Screen Gems’ romantic drama notches a superb estimated $41.7m to beat Safe House to the top spot.

Starring Channing Tatum and Rachel McAdams, the real-life based romantic drama The Vow has debuted top in the US after a stunning $41.7m bow - the sitxh biggest February opening of all time.

Universal’s action-thriller Safe House had to settle for second place with an estimated $39.3m. The opening ranks among Denzel Washington’s biggest in the US, second only to American Gangster’s $43.6m debut.

Warner Bros.’ sequel Journey 2: The Mysterious Island and Fox’s 3D re-release of Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace made it a quartet of new releases at the top of the chart.

Journey 2 nabbed third with a highly creditable $27.6m opening, surpassing its predecessor’s $21m US debut; while Star Wars: Episode I had to settle for fourth after delivering an expected $23m.

Last week’s number one Chronicle fell to fifth and has accumulated $40.2m after two weeks.

Underworld: Awakening rounded off this week’s top ten, still chasing the series high $62.3m achieved by the second entry in the franchise, Underworld: Evolution. Awakening stands at $58.9m.

Estimated Top 10 North America Feb 10-12 2012
Film (Dist) / Est wkd gross / Est total to date

1 (-) The Vow (Sony) $41.7m –

2 (-) Safe House (Universal) $39.3m –

3 (-) Journey 2: The Mysterious Island (Warner Bros) $27.6m –

4 (-) Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace (Fox) $23m –

5 (1) Chronicle (Fox) $12.3m $40.2m

6 (2) The Woman In Black (CBS) $10.3m $35.5m

7 (3) The Grey (Open Road) $5.1m $42.8m

8 (4) Big Miracle (Universal) $3.9m $13.2m

9 (8) The Descendants (Fox) $3.5m $70.7m

10 (5) Underworld: Awakening (Sony) $2.5m $58.9m