The husband-and-wife team of Charles and Ray Eames are widely regarded as America's most important designers. Perhaps best remembered for their mid-century plywood and fiberglass furniture, the Eames Office also created a mindbending variety of other products, from splints for wounded military during World War II, to photography, interiors, multi-media exhibits, graphics, games, films and toys. But their personal lives and influence on significant events in American life - from the development of modernism, to the rise of the computer age - has been less widely understood. Narrated by James Franco, Eames: The Architect and the Painter is the first film dedicated to these creative geniuses and their work.
It is a surprisingly strong week on the home market with two $100 million hits, Kung Fu Panda 2 on Blu-ray Combo Pack or Rise of the Planet of the Apes on Blu-ray, both of which are contenders for pick of the week. There are also several smaller releases that are also contenders for that title like The Guild: Season Five on DVD. But in the end, I gave that honor to Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame on Blu-ray.
There were only two films that were able to crack the $10,000 club this weekend, but they were both huge hits. The Descendants opened with more than $1 million in 29 theaters, for an average of $41,038. Add in the film's reviews and its Awards Season buzz and there's little doubt that the film will expand wide. Speaking of wide, the only other film in the $10,000 club was The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 1. The overall box office leader took in $138 million in 4,061 theaters, for an average of $34,012.
Twilight-mania continues this weekend at the box office, as The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 1 is set to post a $139.5 million opening, according to Summit's Sunday estimate. That will be the fifth-biggest weekend in history, just behind The Twilight Saga: New Moon, which remains the best in the franchise with a $142.8 million debut, which was also posted the weekend before Thanksgiving, in 2009. Breaking Dawn's Friday performance of $72 million is the third-best day in history, also just a fraction behind New Moon's first day. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part II continues to hold the records for biggest weekend and day.
It's a great week for limited releases, but not because there are a huge number of releases, but because this week The Descendants comes out. This is Alexander Payne's first feature-length film in seven years. (He directed a segment of Paris, je t'aime since then.) His previous three feature-length films all earned at least one Oscar nomination and it would be a major shock if this film didn't also perform well during Awards Season. There are other films coming out this week, including a few earning good reviews, but their box office chances are dwarfed by this movie's potential.
Full financial estimates for this film, including domestic and international box office, video sales, video rentals, TV and ancillary revenue
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