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Weekend Wrap-Up: Moviegoers Fill Up on Leftovers

November 26th, 2012

The Thanksgiving long weekend was stronger than anticipated with nearly every film topping predictions, some by pretty big margins. In fact, some earned more over three days than they were expected to earn over five days. Despite this, the box office was actually down 17% from last weekend to $208 million over the three-day portion of the weekend. This was 26% higher than the three-day portion of last year's Thanksgiving long weekend. Over five days, the box office pulled in $291 million, which is the most ever for a Thanksgiving weekend and 25% higher than last year. Year-to-date, 2012 has pulled in $9.75 billion, which is 5.5% higher than last year's running tally of $9.24 billion. If 2012 can simply match 2011 the rest of the way, then we will set a new all-time yearly box office total with about $10.7 billion.

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 2 repeated on top of the box office chart with $43.64 million / $64.44 million over the weekend giving it a total of $227.37 million million after two. On Friday, it became the ninth film released in 2012 to reach the $200 million mark. It wasn't the only film to reach that milestone that day. At this pace, it might become the second film in the franchise to reach $300 million. It will be close.

Skyfall became the tenth film released in 2012 to reach the $200 million mark, and it also did so on Friday. Its Thanksgiving haul was impressive at $35.50 million / $50.55 million over the weekend, while it now has $221.14 million after three weeks of release. It is the highest grossing film in the franchise both domestically and internationally and it should stick around in theaters for a few more weeks at the least. It might still be playing wide in January, depending on how well the glut of Christmas week releases do.

Lincoln's path to $100 million became a lot smoother with $25.68 million / $34.76 million over the weekend for a running tally of $62.84 million. Its three-day total was higher than its predicted five-day total. Additionally, its per theater average was $12,724, which suggests a little more room to expand. Add in the reviews / Awards Season buzz, and this film should stick around long enough to earn well over $100 million.

Rise of the Guardians was the biggest disappointment over the weekend as it only managed to open in fourth place with $23.77 million over three days and $32.34 million over five. This is much weaker than original expectations and makes getting to $100 million unlikely. That said, the reviews are very good and there are not a lot of kids films opening from now till the end of the year, so it could have good legs. On the other hand, its per theater average is pretty week for an opening film, so a lot of theater owners won't be willing to keep it very long.

Life of Pi made more over three days, $22.45 million, then it was predicted to earn over five. Its five-day opening was $30.57 million, which is a great start for this type of film. Additionally, with stunning reviews and solid Awards Season buzz, it should have great legs and could be playing in theaters long enough to reach $100 million, especially if it picks up some major nominations / awards and earns a box office bounce as a result. On the other hand, it did cost $120 million to make, so it will need to do really well to earn a profit.

Wreck-It-Ralph fell to sixth place with $16.57 million / $22.78 million over the weekend for a total of $149.28 million after close to a month of release. Weaker than expected direct competition helped, while if it can last in theaters till the new year, it might actually get to $200 million in total.

Red Dawn was expected to struggle at the box office, and it did struggle, earning just $14.28 million / $21.69 million. Additionally, its reviews are the worst in the top ten, by far the worst in the top ten, and there's little hope it will recover from here. Even worse, it reportedly cost $65 million to $75 million to make. Finally, it's jingoistic enough that its chances internationally are likely even weaker than its chances here. It has almost no chance to earn a profit given this start.

Continuing down the top ten, we find Flight in eighth place with $8.45 million / $11.20 million over the weekend for a total of $74.72 million after four weeks of release. It should come close to $100 million, but not close enough that the studio will help it over the top. On the other hand, it only cost $31 million to make, so it will show a profit sooner rather than later.

Silver Linings Playbook rose to ninth place with $4.38 million / $5.66 million for an early total of $6.21 million. Its per theater average suggests potential to expand, but it likely won't expand enough to go truly wide, not unless it can translate its reviews into Award Season wins. If it does, the studio could give it a wide re-release to take advantage of the free publicity.

Argo rounded out the top ten with $3.87 million / $5.06 million over the weekend for a total of $98.06 million after seven weeks of release. By this time next week, it will be at $100 million.


Filed under: Weekend Box Office, Lincoln, Red Dawn, Life of Pi, Rise of the Guardians, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 2, Skyfall, Wreck-It Ralph, Argo, Silver Linings Playbook, Flight, James Bond, Twilight