The box office results for the Thanksgiving holiday weekend ushered in three newcomers, yet “Breaking Dawn – Part 1” held strong…despite falling off a cliff from its opening weekend. Meanwhile, an early Oscar favorite is making the most of its limited platform. Here are the studio estimates:
1. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 ($42.5 million)
2. The Muppets ($29.5 million)
3. Happy Feet Two ($13.4 million)
4. Arthur Christmas ($12.7 million)
5. Hugo ($11.4 million)
6. Jack and Jill ($10.3 million)
7. Immortals ($8.8 million)
8. Puss in Boots ($7.4 million)
9. Tower Heist ($7.3 million)
10. The Descendants ($7.2 million)
While all the holdovers in the top ten received a nice cushion thanks to the mid-week holiday, “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1” proved that not all history can be changed. Dropping 70% from its opening weekend, this fourth installment in the lucrative series followed in its predecessors footsteps and went into a free-fall. Still, Summit has already surpassed its financial goal as this has reached just over $221 million on the domestic front, bringing its worldwide total to nearly $375 million. Any worries the studio had with the inflated budget of $110 million (expensive for a Twilight flick), have now been drained.
Out of all the newbies, “The Muppets” grand return to pop-culture is clearly the most celebrated by audiences thus far. Costing a modest $45 million to produce, Disney should see a nice long run in theaters all the way through Christmas. This is one of the best reviewed films of the year by both critics and audiences. No Muppet movie has ever opened higher than $8 million (granted 3 opened in the 80’s, 3 in the 90’s), so that puts the seventh film on pace to destroy all its predecessor’s respective records. When adjusting for inflation though, the first flick, “The Muppet Movie,” grossed $206 million (credit: boxofficemojo).
Depending on how the holiday season affects moviegoers’ behavior, “Arthur Christmas” and “Hugo” may have their work cut-out for them. Arthur Christmas rang up a $100 million production tab while Hugo went for $150 million. The latter may be in better shape due to the excellent reviews; and considering that it only opened in about 1300 theaters along with the heavy award-buzz, Martin Scorsese’s atmospheric 3D telling could hang around.
Since “Arthur Christmas” isn’t getting much help overseas, Sony could be dealing with a holiday Flopper.
Sleeper Hit: “The Descendants.” Fox Searchlight Pictures is quietly letting this one find an audience and its literally paying off. In just two weeks, the George Clooney starrer is already over $10 million domestically, playing in 433 theaters (added 400 this past Wednesday). Although the budget has yet to reveal itself, the only elements that could hamper the profitability of this flick is the on-location shooting costs in Hawaii and perhaps Clooney’s salary. This one is going to hang for a while folks.
“Puss in Boots” currently holds the longest streak in the top ten with 5 weeks. The “Shrek” spin-off has clawed its way to $135 million domestically. Including the international totals, DreamWorks Animation has hit $190 million worldwide. The budget was $130 million.
This Friday is the annual limited release weekend. Seems as if we get one of these every year around this time, where no major studio releases are entering the cinemas. One film of note is the NC-17 rated, “Shame,” from Fox Searchlight. ShockYa will have a review for that film which opens in about a dozen theaters. If anything, products such as “Happy Feet Two” could get a resurgence without any competition dropping in.
Report by Joe Belcastro