The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 took on a pack of family films on a family holiday weekend and still managed to emerge on top, proof yet again of the power teen girls posses (if we needed any at this point).
The vampire love story made $61.8 million over the long 5-day Thanksgiving weekend, a step down from the $66.2 million generated by The Twilight Saga: New Moon back in 2009 over the same holiday. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 lost a bit of traction during weekdays but came back up over the normal weekend when it made $41.6 million (3-day weekend) compared to the $42.8 million grossed by New Moon two years ago. That actually amounts to a strangely similar drop pattern between the two, New Moon falling 70% while Breaking Dawn – Part 1 lost 69.8%. After just 10 days in theaters the latest Twilight movie has amassed $220.8 million while New Moon had $230.9 million at the same point in time. Since New Moon finished with $296.6 million, it’s safe to say that Breaking Dawn – Part 1 should stop around the same mark, maybe just shy of $290 million.
New release The Muppets was 2nd with a 5-day of $41.5 million and a 3-day weekend of $29.2 million. I think we can say at this point that The Muppets can join the ranks of other successful reboots that were released this year (X-Men: First Class and Rise of the Planet of the Apes come to mind). Made on a budget of $45 million, The Muppets should have a good box office run over the coming month thanks to the holiday season. It will probably finish north of $130 million in North America, more than enough for Disney to green-light a sequel for say, 2013?
In 3rd place Happy Feet Two grossed $18.3 million over the 5-day holiday and $13.3 million for the 3-day weekend. By now I can tell you Happy Feet Two won’t come even close to $100 million in North America since it’s falling further and further behind the original. The sequel has $43.7 million after 10 days while Happy Feet had $99.2 million at the same point in its run and that movie finished with $198 million. With Happy Feet Two not able to stay at 50% of the original, you can see why I’m so sure of my prediction.
Aardman Animations, famous for their stop-motion classics like Chicken Run and Wallace and Gromit, opened their second fully computer generated feature film with Arthur Christmas. With $16.3 million over the 5-day holiday and $12 million for the weekend, Arthur Christmas finished 4th. Unfortunately for the studio this was their worst wide opening to date. The Christmas theme might help this animated flick over the long run and ensure good box office legs during the second half of December so things might not be so bad after all. Arthur Christmas could still finish around $80 million or more in North America.
Rounding up the top 5 was another new release, Martin Scorsese’s Hugo. $15.4 million over the 5-day holiday and $11.3 million for the weekend might make it look like this big budget family film as a box office flop but hear me out for a second. You see, for fear of a bad opening weekend (since the movie wasn’t tracking very well with families) Paramount cut the theater count from 3000+ to 1277. This was made in an effort to make Hugo a platform release, generating good word of mouth and increasing the theater count as demand grew since they knew what a little gem of a movie they had. A gem that could run well during the very financially attractive Christmas period. We’ll just have to see how this marketing ploy will work for Paramount and Hugo.
What did we learn today? Twilight is a beast fuelled by teen girls, handmade puppets are still popular, there’s nothing happy about the box office run of Happy Feet Two, Aardman can’t open a animated flick to save their life and Martin Scorsese is not as successful without Leonardo DiCaprio.