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Leftovers for Thanksgiving

November 27th, 2008

The Thanksgiving long weekend has started, but none of the new releases look like they have what it takes to capture top spot. Compared to last year, there are not as many new releases this time around, nor are there any that look as strong as Enchanted was. That said, the holdovers look strong enough to compensate for this weakness.

After scoring nearly $70 million in its opening, Twilight will look to remain in first place this weekend. Over the 3-day portion of the weekend, a 50% drop-off is nearly assured, while a 60% drop-off is possible. This gives the film a lower limit of roughly $27 million while its upper limit is about $35 million. $33 million over the three-day weekend and $46 million over five is the most likely scenario, which would lift its total to $126 million after 10 days of release. It goes without saying that a sequel is already in the works.

The widest new release of the week is Four Christmases, which is also the first Christmas movie of the year. The dysfunctional family is earning terrible reviews, but there's relatively low level of direct competition and that should help it land in second place over the weekend with $25 million from Friday to Sunday. Add in Wednesday and Thursday and it should bring in $35 million, which is a solid but unspectacular start.

Thanks to the holiday and its family-friendly nature, Bolt should have the best week-to-week drop-off from the major players this weekend. In fact, it should show grow over the 5-day period to pull in $32 million or so while over three days it should earn $23 million. That would lift its total to $63 million after ten days, and as long as it can remain in theaters until the new year, it should earn $100 million in total, but it will be close.

Quantum of Solace is aiming for fourth place with $17 million / $24 million over the weekend for a total of $138 million after three. This will put it ahead of The World is Not Enough as the third biggest Bond hit domestically while keeping on pace to match Casino Royale. While this is impressive, its legs are shorter than expected, which is a troubling sign for the franchise going forward.

There could be quite a race for fifth place between Australia and Transporter 3, two films that share almost none of their respective target demographics. This explains why, despite the former earning better reviews, it is likely that it will also be hurt more at the box office by its critical reception. After all, 52% positive is terrible potential Oscar bait, while 35% positive is just fine for a guilty pleasure action sequel. Look for Transporter 3 to open ahead of Australia on Wednesday, but it won't be able to hold up as well as the weekend progresses, falling out of the top five with $12 million / $19 million. Meanwhile, Australia should earn $15 million / $21 million over the next five days.

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Filed under: Twilight, Quantum of Solace, Four Christmases, Bolt, Australia, Transporter 3