Thanksgiving weekend registered the best performing weekend on record for the holiday. This weekend it was back to business as usual. Three-day totals for Twilight: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 and Skyfall fell back to earth somewhat, but Edward and Bella did just enough to fend off James Bond to rule atop the box office fore the third consecutive week. In its three weeks it has earned $254.6 million. Not bad for the (bella) swan song installment. But while this story has closed no way Lionsgate is going to call it quits. They didn’t make an offer to acquire Summit Entertainment to let the rights go to waste.
The area between Twilight and Skyfall was not much. An estimated $400k separates number one from number two. As Skyfall continues to shatter records for the spy genre and the series as a whole, the twenty-third installment’s next goal is to make it to one billion worldwide. As it stands now, the film only needs $131 million to make it a reality. If the drop-offs tighten from week to week and it continues to have good legs through the month of December and into January, then the goal is obtainable. But it has to withstand the last big movie event of the year with The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey arriving in theaters on December 14th.
Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln takes the bronze once again and the historical drama is making its way to the $100 million marker. At $83.6 million after four weeks, what’s interesting to note is that the film is playing on a little more than 2,000 screens. Couple that with its near-three hour runtime and its earnings this far is remarkable. But it’s Spielberg and he’s a household name and the subject is a compelling figure, so its success shouldn’t be that surprising. With the likelihood that it will be up for multiple awards and be featured on many critics’ top ten lists look for the publicity department to go into overdrive to push the film well into next year.
Rise of the Guardians and Life of Pi were competing for the same audiences and in the process were trying to lay claim to the fourth position. After two weekends the films are in a dead hit. Guardians can only be seen as a disappointment for DreamWorks Animation after releasing Madagascar 3 during the summer. Life of Pi always looked to be a critical favorite that would be difficult to reach its target audience. Martin Scorsese’s Hugo was the same thing. But between the two Pi‘s word of mouth is stronger so look for it to be the bigger success at the box office. Guardians will still win the tie-in and marketing war.
In terms of consistency, Brad Pitt has been one of the best in terms of project to hit ratios. But the weekend release of Killing Them Softly will be infamous for being Pitt’s least successful opening in 15 years. That’s only counting wide release/non-animated titles. Softly‘s $7 million opening and an ‘F’ Cinemascore rating doesn’t bold well for its success in future weeks. In my review I made a point to say that most will be turned off by the picture. The film is dialogue rich and does not have wall-to-wall action, and it’s story is no way related to the pop song. As for the movie’s opening gross, it falls just behind 1997’s Seven Years in Tibet which earned $10 million on 300 less screens.
Any lofty expectations that Wreck-It Ralph could make it to the $200 million mark have pretty much been extinguished. With $158.2 million in five weeks and seeing increased drops – falling victim in its post-Thanksgiving Weekend weekend – its total can only be seen as something as a disappointment. But knowing Disney the studio will push the Wreck-It Ralph character in other ways (cartoon shorts, video games, breakfast cereal?). And don’t discount a possible sequel.
Red Dawn wasn’t a great movie to begin with, but I like the idea that somebody out there wanted to remake average/bad movies for a change of pace. With it collecting dust for three years because of MGM’s bankruptcy situation to its November release, FilmDistrict will be happy if it finishes between $40 to $50 million, especially considering it obtained the distribution rights for less than $10 million. Plus a cheap genre movie netting $40 million when it is all said and done isn’t a bad business investment at all.
With Argo exiting the top ten this weekend, it only left Lincoln and Robert Zemeckis’ Flight as the two best bets for adult viewers. Flight has been a strong performer for Paramount Pictures. As a platform release the studio was able to piggyback off the early buzz for Denzel Washington’s performance. While it most likely won’t make it into nine-figure territory, whatever it’s final tally will be will be impressive nonetheless. It’s a drama about alcoholism, a subject that would have likely found its way to the arthouse if it weren’t for Washington’s pull as a leading man.
Tenth place is a photo finish between David O. Russell’s Silver Linings Playbook and the horror release The Collection. For the former, The Weinstein Company is doing it’s best to push people into seeing Bradley Cooper and Katniss Everdeen as a pair of dysfunctional Bah-stonians trying to find that silver lining in their lives. For the unfamiliar, The Collection is a sequel to The Collector and its performance on a little more than 1400 screens disproves the notion that cheapie horror is easy to sell to teenagers.
Tags: Argo, box office, box office report, Flight, Killing Them Softly, Life of Pi, lincoln, Red Dawn, Rise of the Guardians, Silver Linings Playbook, Skyfall, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2, weekend box office, weekend box office report, Wreck-It Ralph