Nicole Sperling
February 14, 2010 AT 05:42 PM EST

There’s no denying the power of the romantic comedy, even if Valentine’s Day, the movie, is as manufactured as the holiday itself. The all-star film grossed an estimated $52.4 million over three days and is likely to top $60 million by the time the President’s Day holiday weekend is over. Its high-grossing debut—the best ever for President’s Day—coupled with solid numbers from the other two new wide releases put 2010’s holiday frame into the record books with an estimated total gross of $193 million.

Percy Jackson & The Olympians, based on the popular kids’ book series by author Rick Riordan, earned an estimated $31.1 million for the three days while the R-rated horror remake Wolfman, starring Benicio del Toro, grossed an estimated $30.6 million for a per-theater average of $9,497. Avatar in its 9th weekend of release grossed another $22 million, falling only 4 percent from its previous weekend and putting its total cume close to $660 million.

Last weekend’s winner, Dear John, dropped into fifth place for the frame. Losing 50 percent of its value, primarily off of Valentine’s Day competition, the film earned $15.3 million. Its total stands at $53 million. These strong numbers from female-driven films have Hollywood noticing that women are strong drivers of box office. Expect a rash of female-starring films to be green lit in the near future as the industry realizes (yet again) that women love going to the movies. What a revelation! Check back tomorrow for complete four-day box-office numbers.

Photo credit: Ron Batzdorff

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