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(Updated) Weekend Projections: Thor Almost Bested By Best Man Holiday

November 17th, 2013

Updated: Opening weekend for The Great Beauty added.

The Best Man Holiday

Although it's still the calm before the storm that will be Catching Fire next weekend, this weekend has a healthy look to it thanks to a stronger-than-expected debut for The Best Man Holiday, which will post about $30.5 million according to Universal's Sunday projection, more than three times the debut figure for the previous film in the franchise. That won't be enough to unseat Thor at the top of the chart though. The Marvel superhero will post about $38 million, down a reasonable 55% from its opening frame. Most other returning films are enjoying good holds too.

Last Vegas will be down just 20% in its third weekend and returns to 3rd place in its third weekend in release. Most other films in the top ten will be down less than 30%, partly because the market as a whole is strengthening as we get closer to the holiday season, but also because there are a lot of good films to choose from right now.

In limited release, Nebraska stands out, with an opening in the $135,000 range from just four theaters. Alexander Payne's quirky drama should have a solid run through the rest of the year, but its real test will be the next couple of weeks, as it expands to broader markets.

[Update:] The Great Beauty, Italy's nominee for Best Foreign Language Picture at this year's Oscars, is having a similarly excellent weekend at Lincoln Plaza Cinemas in New York. It is set to post about $23,000 from a single theater, in spite of a lengthy 142 minute running time.

The Book Thief is having a good second weekend, averaging close to $15,000 in 29 theaters for a total around $425,000. Dallas Buyers Club is another film on the art-house-to-mainstream path, and it will post about $1.8 million this weekend from 184 locations for 12th place.

All of which adds up to an increasingly crowded market for high-quality films, and a harder task for each new release to break out. A good example of this is All is Lost, which has stalled out a bit around $1 million per weekend and will require some award nominations to extend its run at the box office.

One other film looks set to top $10,000 per theater this weekend, the seasonal adventure The Christmas Candle. That should pick up around $70,000 from five theaters for an impressive $14,000 average.

- Weekend Estimates.

Bruce Nash

Filed under: Weekend Box Office, Dallas Buyers Club, All is Lost, Last Vegas, The Book Thief, Nebraska, The Christmas Candle, La grande bellezza, Alexander Payne