Weekend Wrap Up: Holdovers hold off Newcomers

Thanksgiving is usually an all-around strong weekend, as the extra time off gives movie-goers ample opportunity to head to their local theatres. However, Thanksgiving also seems to usually be more about catching up on holdovers rather than pouring money into new, unproven releases. This weekend is a prime example of that, as the top three from last weekend remained completely unchanged.

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part II

Wheeeee! Alt text for teh win!

How the hell did this character get his own poster?

Despite falling just under 70% from last weekend, TTS:BDP2 (even abbreviated, that title is still annoying to type out) managed to hold on to the top spot with $43.1 million. It’s doing slightly better than Breaking Dawn Part I but slightly worse than New Moon, which had about four million more dollars than the $231 million TTS:BDP2 now has through two weekends. Ultimately, it will probably finish somewhere around 285-290 million. And now is the time for Summit Entertainment to desperately hope they can find another mega-franchise to keep their studio afloat now that the Twilight ship has sailed.

Skyfall is now far into uncharted territory for a Bond film, and soon enough, will be uncharted territory for the entire spy genre. Slipping just 12% to $36 million, 007 has amassed a huge $222 million total. It’s already $50 million ahead of Quantum of Solace and there is still a lot of money to be made. Furthermore, the $227 million of The Bourne Ultimatum will fall soon, giving the title of highest grossing spy film back to the Bond franchise. Skyfall has a realistic shot at a final gross in the neighborhood of $275 million.

Lincoln expanded again this weekend, which coupled with the holiday, allowed it to increase 19% to just over $25 million. With $62 million in the bank already, audiences are clearly responding to this tale and this box office success bodes well for Oscar season. With $62 million already in the bank, Lincoln is easily going to surpass $100 million.

Finally, we get to our first newcomer in fourth. Rise of the Guardians disappoints with $24 million. This isn’t quite a disaster, but Dreamworks had to be hoping for something closer to $35 or $40 million. With a budget of $145 million, this film now has its work cut out for it. Fortunately, family-oriented Christmas movies can play very well through December and then reap the massive benefits of Christmas itself. But it’s now a long road to profitability for Rise of the Guardians.

In fifth, we have our next box office newb, Life of Pi, although the news is better here. Life of Pi also has a high budget of $120 million. However, it was in fewer theatres than Rise of the Guardians, so it debuted with a noticeably higher per theatre average. Plus, it has stellar reviews (87% at Rotten Tomatoes) and, as Avatar and Titanic, have shown, movies with revolutionary visuals can do wonders at this time of year. So a $22 million opening is a very solid start here, but it’s still going to need good legs down the road.

Sixth brings us to now four week old Wreck-It Ralph. Slipping just 10%, Ralph and company pulled in a strong $16.8 million this weekend. $150 million in total is a good result for a non-Pixar Disney release. Red Dawn actually manages to avoid becoming a complete failure, opening to a decent $14.6 million. Luckily for the studio, which let this film sit for years, Chris Hemsworth became famous since filming this, and his new drawing power (along with, to a lesser degree, Josh Hutcherson’s), definitely added on a few million here.

Eight goes to Flight, which eased a tiny 2.3% to $8.6 million. $75 million in the bank is very good as Denzel gets another profitable film for his career. Ninth goes to the expanding Silver Linings Playbook, which broke the top ten for the first time and pulled $4.6 million from just 367 theatres for a per venue average of $12,597, which is actually the highest in the top ten. However, this is still a far cry from the ridiculous averages Lincoln pulled off just weeks ago. Nonetheless, the budget here is only $21 million and with $6.5 already with surely more expansions to come, Silver Linings Playbook will be just fine.

Spending quite possibly its final week in the top ten, Argo, now in its seventh weekend, dropped just 4.2% (despite losing 43% of its theatres. If the studio was smart, they would’ve added back a few dozen theatres instead and Argo probably could’ve increased as much as 20 or 30 percent) to $3.9 million. Sitting at $98 million, it will inch its way over the $100 million barrier. Good for Ben Affleck. What an inspiring career resurrection he’s had since hitting rock bottom a few years back.

Next weekend brings us two releases that hardly feel like they’re worth the typing to discuss. So I’ll just give The Collection $4 million and Killing them Softly $7 million. The weekend after Thanksgiving typically sees pretty severe drops across the board, but it sure was nice enjoying the bonanza we had this weekend, as the top 12 managed to pull in just $200 million in total. See you next week, friends.

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