By Bill Wine

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Romance was in the air at movie theaters on the weekend before Valentine’s Day, as The Vow took a bow.

The romantic drama, starring Rachel McAdams and Channing Tatum, finished first at the box office on its debut weekend, by earning an estimated $41-million.

Another new attraction — Safe House, the CIA action thriller with Denzel Washington and Ryan Reynolds — also opened strong, placing a close second with a total of $39-million.

The weekend’s other new release, the adventure sequel Journey 2: The Mysterious Island, took third place with a healthy $27-million, while the re-release of Star Wars: Episode 1 – Phantom Menace in 3D finished fourth with $23-million.

With an unexpected four movies clearing the $20-million mark — in February, no less — the year’s sixth weekend was the strongest yet as industry-wide totals continue to surpass those of a year ago.

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