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Weekend Predictions: Holdovers are Killing New Releases

November 30th, 2012

Like last weekend, holdovers will again dominate the new releases this weekend. However, one could argue the headline is inaccurate, as Killing Them Softly is really the only new film opening truly wide, so it should be "release", singular. The Collection is opening in more theaters than originally anticipated, perhaps enough to grab a spot in the top ten, but it is not opening truly wide. That said, there are some who think The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 2 will relinquish top spot at the box office with some thinking Skyfall will regain the title, while others think Lincoln will climb to first place. This weekend last year was a total disaster with the best new release playing in just 10 theaters. This year we should be a little stronger at the top and with a lot more depth.

Most expect The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 2 to fall just over 60% this weekend, which will leave it with $17 million over the next three days. That should be enough for first place, but it could be very close. It will push the film's running tally to just over $254 million and since it should still be in theaters come Christmas, it has plenty left in the tank. It won't be playing in nearly as many theaters, but it could still be playing truly wide.

Skyfall should be very close behind with just under $17 million over the weekend. Its week-to-week decline won't be as sharp as the previous film, partially because of its reviews and partially because of its more mature target demographic. On the other hand, it does have more crossover appeal with Killing Them Softly than Breaking Dawn, Part 2 does and that will probably prevent it from reclaiming first place.

Lincoln is performing better than a lot thought it would and with Award Season buzz growing, it might climb all the way to first place this weekend. That's a little too bullish for me, but earning third place with just over $16 million is more likely.

Life of Pi and Rise of the Guardians should be in a close battle for fourth place with $12 million each. Life of Pi has the advantage thanks in part to its reviews / Awards Season buzz, but it also has an older target demographic, while Rise of the Guardians was given a bigger boost thanks to last week's holiday, so it will likely fall faster this weekend.

Killing Them Softly has a great cast, stellar reviews, and it is the only truly wide release of the week. If it were opening wide during a good weekend, it would have a shot at serious box office success. However, the weekend after Thanksgiving tends to be a dead zone, and there simply isn't enough buzz surrounding this film to suggest it will overcome that problem. It shouldn't bomb, but an opening of just under $10 million won't be enough for a top five finish.

The Collection will likely struggle to earn a place in the top ten, as it is a horror film opening closer to Christmas than Halloween, plus it is only playing in 1,400 theaters. Its reviews are better than most teenage slashers, but not good enough to overcome the theater count and its release date. In order to earn a spot in the top ten, the film probably only needs to earn a per theater average of just over $2,000, which is doable, but isn't guaranteed. Look for $3 million over the weekend, more or less, which will leave it in a virtual tie for tenth place.


Filed under: Weekend Preview, Lincoln, Life of Pi, Rise of the Guardians, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 2, Skyfall, The Collection, Killing Them Softly