The Box Office Report – November 25-28

Last week, in Box Office…

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part I wins the weekend.

Well, fucking really?

It made $138.1 million last weekend. Pretty much expected. They spent $110 million on the film — and that’s both parts. So for Part I and Part II, they made their production budget back after the first weekend! That’s insane. There’s nothing to say. That’s insane.

Happy Feet Two finished second with $21.2 million. That has to be considered weak. Doesn’t it? The first one did almost $200 million domestically, and sequels generally do more money, especially animated sequels. So to see this open less than expectations (it did, right? Weren’t people expecting like $25 million?) — wow. Especially since the studio could have opened it a week earlier and probably dominated the weekend. There’s gotta be a story here. This is just — somebody fucked up.

Immortals finished third, with a $12.4 million weekend. It dropped 60%, which makes sense — films like this don’t generally hold (especially when the quality is what it is). Still, it’s made $53.1 million after two weekends off a $75 million budget. I bet they’re very happy with how this turned out.

Jack and Jill finished fourth with $11.7 million. It’s made $40.8 million after two weeks, and had a $79 million budget. I am happy. I am glad it failed. (Not totally failed, but, usually Sandler films go above and beyond their budget. This one will have to fight just to reach it. Good.)

Puss in Boots dropped a sizable percentage (understandably, the penguins being involved), finishing fifth with $10.8 million. It’s made $122.4 million after 4 weeks, and should hit its budget by the end of next weekend. Along with the worldwide grosses, something tells me it’ll be enough to green light a sequel that will do double the business.

Tower Heist — oh boy — made $7.1 million, finishing sixth, to put it at $53.5 million after three weeks. The budget is (reported) $75 million. It’s not gonna hit that. They lost a nice chunk on this one, in all. I’m fine with that.

J. Edgar made $5.9 million in seventh place, in still less than 2,000 theaters. It’s made $20.7 million after two weeks, which is a nice chunk of its $35 million budget. It’s doing pretty solid business.

Okay, so that’s last week. I have no desire to go back and see if those totals were what was expected (by me or anyone else), so I’m just gonna move on.

(Note: I’ve been informed that Happy Feet Two was actually estimated at $40 million last weekend. Which means someone really fucked up. I’m actually surprised that wasn’t a bigger story this past week. I didn’t notice anything about it.)

Onto the new releases…

The big film opening this week (by the way, in case you didn’t notice, they all opened on Wednesday, it being Thanksgiving weekend) was The Muppets. It looks beautiful, and has been one of my most highly anticipated films of the year.

Guessing what it’s going to do is tough, because it’s a holiday weekend. All the estimates get fucked up. They include Wednesday and Thursday. I don’t like such business. So I generally just stay back and say, “Sure,” for most of it. Most estimates figure something around $30 million (slightly higher) for the weekend and about $45 million from Wednesday to Sunday for it. Considering it did about $12.5 million on Wednesday and Thursday, I’m thinking that’s about right. I’m thinking it’ll do about $30 million or so for the weekend. So good for it. I want this to succeed. Its heart is completely in the right place.

Arthur Christmas is the other big film opening this weekend (in terms of number of theaters). I haven’t seen anything about this (not even a trailer), so I don’t even know what it’s about (my reasons for doing so will be understood by those who know me. It reminded me of — something or other — and if I’d went about seeing a trailer and such, it just wouldn’t have gotten a fair shake). But most estimates figure this will do about mid-teens for the weekend and about $19-20 million for the full five days. That makes sense. It feels like a $14 million weekend.

Hugo also opened this weekend, and it makes sense, the way they’re releasing it. They put it in about 1,300 theaters, let word of mouth spread, and then bump it up over the month of December. I actually saw this on Wednesday, and let me tell you — this is the best 3D movie ever made. The 3D is even more stunning than Avatar. Everything about this film is beautiful, and magical, and I think every child should see it.

That said — it won’t make too much money over the weekend, simply because it’s not being released in enough theaters. But that’s okay. I’m thinking it’ll do about $10 million for the weekend and a bit more for the five days. Something like that. I don’t know. I hate this holiday nonsense.

That’s it for the big releases. Now, because it is the most wonderful time of the year, I’m gonna tell you about some smaller stuff that’s coming out that won’t make nay box office impact, but are still films most people should see.

First is The Artist. This film seems like the most magical film to come out of Hollywood in the past twenty years. For someone to make a silent, black and white film, and get it made (and possibly have it win a shitload of Oscars) — I’m with this all the way. I’m so fucking excited to see this one, and will have seen it before next week’s article goes up.

Second is My Week with Marilyn. I am tentative about this. I know Michelle Williams looks like Marilyn Monroe (and I love her as an actress, so I’m sure she’ll be fine in the part), but I’m worried that it’ll be a movie that skates by on the performance, and she’ll get nominated, but the rest of the film will be generic. I hope it’s good, but I had my reservations from when I heard about it. So I’m excited to see it.

Third is The Descendants. It actually opened last weekend, and made a nice $1.2 million, but I held off on it because it got a few more theaters this week, and because I wanted to include it on this list. I hope it’s good. I hated Sideways, but I love Election and About Schmidt. So I hope it’s more along the lines of those two. I also know nothing about this, so I’m going in cold.

And finally, we have A Dangerous Method. David Cronenberg, Viggo Mortensen as Freud, Michael Fassbender as Carl Jung, and Keira Knightley in one of the boldest performances I’ve seen an actress give this year. Really solid film.

All of these films I just listed (Hugo included), are all films that will be around come Oscar-time (which is fast approaching), and are classy films. So if you’re an average filmgoer, and you’re the kind of person who went to see Paranormal Activity in theaters with your friends — these films are the ones that you can see that will help me have respect for you.

Okay, that’s it for new shit. Now for the holdovers…

Twilight will make more money. Even with a 60% drop, this still makes $55 million, Friday to Sunday. However, these films tend to drop even more than 60%, since all the audience goes out opening weekend and then that’s it. So, in reality, $55 million might be what it’ll make for the five day period. Most estimates put this at around $40 million or so for the weekend. Either way, it’s gonna win the weekend, so it doesn’t really matter how much it makes.

Happy Feet — fuck, this is bad — is not looking at anything more than $15-17 million for the weekend, and $23 million or so for the 5 days. Damn. Someone really fucked up. How can a film that’s expected to open to $40 million open to half that? And how does nobody notice it?

That’s pretty much it for the important stuff. Immortals should maybe hit like $6 million for the weekend — I don’t care what it makes for the five days. Jack & Jill — I don’t care what it does for the weekend, hopefully less than $5 million. Puss in Boots should do around $6 million. That’s it, really. I honestly don’t care. I’m more interested in Oscar stuff than I am in what things make. The holiday business also isn’t helping.

Here’s a general guess at where things will end up (no money amounts, just order. For money amounts, check up there):

1. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part I

2. The Muppets

3. Happy Feet Two

4. Arthur Christmas

5. Hugo

6. Uhh…Puss in Boots (?)

7. Immortals

8. Jack & Jill

9. J. Edgar

10. Tower Heist

That’s just blind guessing, 6-10. As you can see, major effort was put into this. Do yourselves a favor, just go see those smaller films. See Hugo. See The Artist. See My Week with Marilyn. See J. Edgar. Don’t waste your time with the other stuff. You have a three week period now with which to see good movies. Before Sherlock and Tom Cruise steal all the audiences. Go see something good.

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