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Weekend Box Office Report: Everyone Wins on Thanksgiving

Lincoln Box Office
DreamWorks

Many Americans found themselves with four days off last week, ostensibly so they could go see their family and eat turkey and celebrate Thanksgiving from the comfort of their homes. Instead, they went to the movies. In fact, this was the biggest Thanksgiving box office of all time. Congratulations, America!

Film Weekend Per Screen
1 The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 $43,070,000 (-69.5%) $10,582 $226,951,000
2 Skyfall $36,000,000 (-12.4) $10,210 $221,720,000
3 Lincoln $25,020,000 (+18.9) $12,398 $62,178,000
4 Rise of the Guardians $24,025,000 $6,577 $32,607,000
5 Life of Pi $22,000,000
$7,581 $30,150,000
6 Wreck-It Ralph $16,760,000 (-9.8) $5,143 $149,512,000
7 Red Dawn $14,600,000 $5,360 $22,000,000
8 Flight $8,600,000 (-2.3) $3,260 $74,880,000
9 Silver Linings Playbook $4,623,000 (+943.6) $12,597 $6,451,000
10 Argo $3,875,000 (-4.2) $3,088 $98,114,000

 

Let’s just start at the top. ‘The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2‘ took a steep but expected 69% drop for a weekend total of $43 million. As always, the ‘Twilight’ films tend to be front-loaded, but they’re so powerfully front-loaded that no one cares or notices. With a $226 million gross so far, it’ll most likely cross the $300 million mark in a few weeks…unless it suffers a few more devastating drops, but even then, this series has concluded as an unqualified financial success.

Skyfall‘ held onto the second place spot with $36 million, pushing its total gross to $221 million, shattering the previous Bond film record by over $50 million. That’s huge. Even more huge is the film’s minuscule 12% drop, evidence that audiences are responding very positively to the film (as they should, since it’s great). Here’s a crazy question: if ‘Twilight’ keeps dropping big and ‘Skyfall’ keeps its legs, can Bond actually outgross Bella and Edward? We’ll see what transpires next week, but right now, it feels like a strong possibility, especially since both are currently neck and neck.

In a week where the number two film was somehow more successful than the number one film, it’s only appropriate that the number three film is the most successful of them all! Steven Spielberg’s ‘Lincoln‘ didn’t drop off from last week’s gross: it rose. 18.9%, to be specific. The film added some new theaters this week, but not that many in the grand scheme of things. These numbers were derived entirely from buzz and word of mouth. Not bad for a lengthy, talky (and wonderful) historical epic! With $62 million in the bank, ‘Lincoln’ is looking at a gross of $100-plus million if it plays its cards right. Like ‘Argo’ before it, ‘Lincoln’ is evidence that adults like movies, too.

The fourth place start for ‘Rise of the Guardians‘ is tricky. With $32.6 million over five days, it made significantly less than ‘Wreck-It Ralph‘ and ‘Hotel Transylvania’ did in their opening weekends. However, let’s not label this one a disappointment quite yet. History has shown that kids’ movies tend to have legs and audiences may be more inclined to see a holiday-themed movie like this as we go deeper into the Christmas season. ‘Rise of the Guardians’ still has all of December left to be a hit.

In fifth, place, ‘Life of Pi‘ exceeded expectations and battled past a polarized critical reception to open with $30 million. Not bad for a movie based on an “unadaptable” novel with a strange and difficult to sell premise. However, the strongly mixed opinions the film tends to inspire may spell trouble in the weeks ahead.

In sixth place, ‘Wreck-It Ralph’ dropped a tiny 9% and made $16 million, bringing its total to $149 million. $200 million seems like it’s a long way away, but the film has been performing extremely well from week-to-week.

The final new release of the week, ‘Red Dawn‘ opened better than a shot-years-ago-and-sat-on-a-shelf-for-ages film has any right to do. $22 million over the five-day isn’t great, but it’s solid and helps everyone save face. Expect it to sink like a stone next week, though.

In eighth place, ‘Flight‘ made $8 million with a $74 million total. As this column has talked about time and time again, Denzel Washington films have legs. $100 million is a longshot, but this is better than a two and a half hour addiction drama has any right to do.

A theatrical expansion pushed Oscar-favorite ‘Silver Linings Playbook‘ into the ninth spot with $4.6 million, which doesn’t sound that impressive until you realize that it has the highest per-theater gross of any movie in the top ten. A slow and steady expansion could turn this into a hit, just in time for Awards season.

And finally, we have ‘Argo,’ in the tenth spot and just about to end its lengthy and highly successful run. With a current gross of $98 million, it’ll hit the $100 million mark in a few days and it will quietly slip away…until the Oscar campaign, of course.

Next week will see the release of ‘Killing Them Softly’ and ‘The Collection,’ but expect to see another ‘Twilight’/'Skyfall’/'Lincoln’ showdown.

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