This Thanksgiving weekend was over-stuffed with movies at the box office. With three new wide releases, two major independent films, and a slew of holdovers from previous weeks, there were many reasons to be thankful this weekend.
Thanksgiving weekend has traditionally been a mixed bag at the box office, mainly due to the fact that families will go in large groups to the movies, but it’s not guaranteed that they will go to the latest releases. Family audiences aren’t the most consistent, so they will usually be playing catch-up with the movies they haven’t seen yet, rather than the latest releases, usually opting for more family-friendly fare.
It’s no surprise that The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 maintained the top spot this weekend with a five-day gross of $64.4 million. The Friday-Sunday total ($43.4) saw a 69.1% drop, which, though isn’t the highest drop in the franchise (New Moon saw a massive 70% drop in its second week), it still is in line with the front-loaded nature the Twilight movies are known for. The 10-day total for Breaking Dawn Part 2 is $227.4 million, which is impressive, though it is tracking about $4 million less than New Moon currently.
James Bond film Skyfall managed to hold its own against the new releases as well, staying in second place, adding $50.5 million to its name during the five-day weekend, which is actually up 23% from last weekend, proving good word of mouth is everything. The latest 007 movie has a total of $221.1 million, and will gross at least $270 million domestically before the end of its run.
Two Disney films saw great success over the weekend due to strong word of mouth as well. Steven Spielberg’s historical film Lincoln maintained its third place standing, earning a presidential $34.8 million in five days, which is a massive 65.1% increase from last week. Lincoln is currently standing tall with a $62.8 million total.
Disney’s Wreck-It Ralph managed to stay strong in sixth place with $22.8 million, even with direct competition from the family fare being released last Wednesday. Ralph has earned $149.3 million thus far.
This weekend’s three major new releases were buried under the weight of the established hold-overs, and sadly did not fare as well as hoped.
Out of all the new releases, Dreamworks Animation’s Rise of the Guardians had the best gross for a place at number four. Seeing that the gross was only $32.3 million (which is the lowest opening for an animated Dreamworks ever), it’s not much to brag about. However, all is not lost for Guardians. The film is getting very good word of mouth from its audiences, and, given it’s one of the only Christmas-themed movies coming out this year, it could very well fare better in the coming weeks.
Ang Lee’s Life of Pi came in a close fifth place with a five-day total of $30.6 million. Life of Pi has a lot going for it currently, with not only 3D showings, but showings in the new Dolby Atmos, which does make the experience a lot more immersive. It is getting good word of mouth from both critics and audiences, though it may not connect with as many audiences as Guardians or any of the hold overs will have.
With all of this, the two films that were sadly over-looked in the fray of big Hollywood productions are Silver Linings Playbook and Hitchcock.
Silver Linings Playbook expanded to a mere 367 theaters this weekend, earning $5.7 million, which was good enough for ninth place. This may not be as plentiful; as the other films mentioned, but seeing that it’s playing in less than 10% of the theaters Breaking Dawn is screening in, it shows that it can stand up in the big leagues, especially, considering the Friday-Sunday haul, yielded an $11,945 per-theater average, which actually trumps Breaking Dawn‘s $10,723 per-theater average.
Hitchcock‘s debut was in a similar boat, opening in only 16 theaters, earning a $16,924 per-theater average with a final 5-day gross of $287,715. Both Hitchcock and Silver Linings Playbook have strong casts and early Oscar buzz surrounding them, so, seeing that the next two weeks are going to be incredibly slow, more than likely both will be expanding slowly to accommodate the demand of these two movies.
Next week finds Brad Pitt in Killing Them Softly and recently added horror film The Collection, while the first weekend in December sees only one new release — romantic family comedy Playing For Keeps. Be expecting smaller grosses until The Hobbit comes out December 14.