The Box Office Report – December 2-4

Last week, in Box Office…

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part 1 (fuck, that’s a mouthful) wins the weekend yet again, as expected, with another $41.7 million, bringing it to $220.8 million domestically in ten days. It’s also crossed $500 million worldwide after twelve days. I don’t really have anything to say. Train’s almost over.

The Muppets finished second with $29.2 million for the weekend, bringing its total from Wednesday through Sunday to $41.5 million. Considering it had a $45 million budget, they’re gonna make a nice profit on this one, all things considered. (Though I imagine, not immediately, since I can’t see them not having spent at least $60 million to market this.)

Happy Feet Two finished third this weekend with $13.4 million, bringing its two week total to $43.8 million. This seems incredibly low for a film whose budget is reported at being $135 million and whose predecessor grossed almost $200 million. It wasn’t that bad. It was actually better than most animated sequels, and those tend to do $500 million worldwide easy. It doesn’t make sense.

Arthur Christmas opened to a $12.1 million weekend and $16.3 million after the five days. Apparently this film had a $100 million budget. But they had to figure it would open pretty soft stateside. Pretty sure this was what was expected.

Hugo — that wonderful, wonderful film, which everyone should see as soon as possible (in 3D) — opened to $11.4 million for the weekend and $15.4 million after the five days. I consider that to be great. Because all four of the films that finished ahead of it opened in at least 3,375 theaters. Hugo only opened in 1,277. Its per-theater average was higher than all of the previous four films except Twilight. Twilight had about a $10,000 per-theater average, while Hugo had almost a $9,000 per-theater average. The Muppets was only $8,500, while Arthur Christmas was only almost $3,600.

I also want to mention that The Artist and A Dangerous Method — they had above $40,000 per-theater averages. The Artist even hit over $50,000 per-theater. Just saying — quality.

Anyway, back to the top ten…

Finishing sixth was Jack and Jill with $10 million (almost evenly, too, it was $10,000,142. I’ve never seen three zeros in the middle like that). That brings its total after three weeks to $57.1 million. Just for reference, they spent about $80 million to make it, plus, I’m guessing, about $30-50 million to market it. So Adam Sandler won’t be turning a huge profit with this one, and I think we can all breath a collective sigh of relief. (At least until his next movie comes out.)

Immortals dropped to seventh, with $8.9 million, brining its total after three weeks to $68.7 million. Off a $75 million budget, I bet they weren’t expecting to be this close this soon. It’s also made about $90 million extra worldwide, so, I think they’re quite pleased with this.

Puss in Boots was eighth, with $7.5 million. It has now made $135.4 million after 5 weeks ($130 million budget), and a total of almost $200 million worldwide. How this does that and Happy Feet Two does not mystifies me.

The Descendants finished ninth this weekend, with $7.3 million. Considering it was only released in 390 theaters — holy shit. That’s incredible. Go them. ($18,835 per-theater average).

Tower Heist finished tenth with $7.2 million. Its total is at $65.2 million after 4 weeks ($10 million shy of its (reported) budget). It has, however, crossed $100 million (total) worldwide, but that was to be expected. I think we can count this as a failure all around.

J.Edgar finished eleventh — 11 movies with $5 million! — with $4.975 million, which, if we’re rounding, we’re calling $5 million. It has made $28.8 million after three weeks, and its budget was only $35 million (which amazes me that Clint can make such films on such a low budget. Why can’t we all do that?!), so this seems like a nice success all around. It’ll get an Oscar boost and make a lot of money on DVD. I think they’re happy with this.

And I’d also like to mention that My Week with Marilyn pulled in $2 million Wednesday through Sunday. I like to continue mentioning awards candidates, because, even if they’re not very good (as Oscar potentials), they’re certainly a lot better than shit like Tower Heist.

So that’s last week…

Normally at this point I’d say, “Onto the new releases…”

Only problem with that? There are no new releases.

There is not one film opening this weekend. At all.

Apparently this is a weekend that does horribly at the box office, so they just decided to not open anything new, and see what happens.

I, personally, love the decision. Reminds me of a time when movies were out for the whole summer, rather than for three weeks and then forgotten about. I like that it gives a chance for films like The Muppets and Hugo to not only enjoy nice holds, but also possibly do more business than they did the previous week (mostly in the case of Hugo. Not so much with The Muppets). I like it. Plus it gives me less to bitch about when something I don’t like makes a lot of money and makes next week’s recap all the easier.

Plus, all the suspects are the films I just talked about, and the whole thing is my favorite part — guessing how much things’ll make.

So, onto the holdovers…

Twilight will probably win the weekend, simply out of the fact that it started so high, the drops it’ll have will be more than everything else can possibly make. This film has traditionally not held well, and I’m expecting at least a 60% drop here. A 60% drop puts this at almost $17 million. A 65% drop puts this at almost $15 million. So, let’s call this somewhere between $15-17 million.

Keep in mind — since nothing new is opening, this really comes down to how well people turn out this weekend. A sizable drop is expected, but it’s possible that due to the lack of new films, the drops aren’t as steep. So it’s possible these totals that are expected could all be bumped up a couple of million dollars. Not much, of course — Twilight shouldn’t make $20 million this weekend — but it’s possible it could do $17 million and change. I wouldn’t rule it out. But I still say $15-17 million, closer to the lower end of that.

The Muppets should hold well, but not amazingly well. However, with a strong hold (and Twilight‘s propensity to have these huge drops), it’s possible it could win the weekend. I don’t foresee that happening, but, it’s possible.

Keep in mind, if Twilight wins the weekend again, it will make it just the 9th movie since 2007 to do so. Get that? In the past five years only 10 films have won the weekend three times in a row. And three of those films are Avatar, The Dark Knight and Inception. Alice in Wonderland was also on there.The rest, because I know you’re just dying to know, are National Treasure: Book of Secrets (Christmas through New Years. This happens a lot), Tropic Thunder (it won #1 from Dark Knight too. And won the end of summer/Labor Day period when nothing is out), The Help (ditto summer/Labor Day thing), and Disturbia, of all films (won three weekends in April ’07). Let us also mention — Iron Man, Spider-Man 3 — all Transformers movies — all the Potter movies from Order of the Phoenix through both Deathly Hallows films — none of those won the weekend more than twice. That’s what the box office has become today. Not like 1982, when E.T. won the box office 15 times. (Not making that up. 15 weekends.)


The Muppets, with a 50% drop, should make somewhere between $14-15 million for the weekend. It’s possible, it being a kids film and all, it holds better than that, dropping only 45%, which puts it at about $16 million and change. Or, since things seem like they’re gonna drop regardless, it could drop to like 53%, which puts it at about high $13 million. I think there’s no way this doesn’t hit $15-16 million for the weekend, and, as I said, with Twilight‘s propensity to drop, this is right on its heels and could overtake the weekend. I’d really like to see that.

Hugo, with an added 500 theaters, should finish third for the weekend. Most people have it making $8-9 million, which is cool. I’ll take that. As long as it does solid business. I’m hoping that as they roll it out, word of mouth helps this maintain solid business all the way through Christmas. But if $8-9 million is what they say, let’s hope for that, and possibly more.

Happy Feet Two should drop to fourth, seeing as how it already had two weekends to hold well. I’m figuring it’ll drop to about $6-7 million. It made $13 million last weekend, and a 50% drop is $6.5 million or so. I’m figuring it’ll do about that.

Arthur Christmas is a nice little wild card here. It did $12 million last weekend, and a 50% drop puts it at $6 million. Only thing is — this film could either drop more than 50%, and do upper $5 million business, or, since it is December and Christmas season, could hold to closer to $7 million and overtake Happy Feet for fourth place. I’m interested to see how this one turns out.

Jack and Jill will hopefully drop to $5 million (and possibly under). I can’t see this holding better than 50%, so that’s nice to know that I can stop talking about it after this weekend. (And save my opinion until the Unforgivables list comes out.)

Everything else should easily drop below $5 million. I’ll keep you posted as to the smaller releases and how they do.

As for this weekend, it’s a ‘take it easy’ weekend. It seems pretty simple.

How it should pan out:

1. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part 1 — ~$15-17 million

2. The Muppets — ~$15-16 million (it’s possible these two flip first and second. I’d like that)

3. Hugo — ~$8-9 million

4. Happy Feet Two — ~$6-7 million

5. Arthur Christmas — ~$6-7 million (possibly swapping with Happy Feet)

6. Jack and Jill — ~$5 million (hopefully under)

Seriously, America. This is your weekend. Go see Hugo. The Descendants. The Artist. My Week with Marilyn. A Dangerous MethodShame. Even J. Edgar. Go see something good, for christ’s sake.

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