Despite what you may have heard, Abraham Lincoln is no
vampire hunter. After an impressive polling in limited run last weekend, Spielberg’s
“Lincoln” bio-pic expands into wide release, but will be no match for what is unquestionably
the most rabidly anticipated film of the holiday season—“Twilight: Breaking
Dawn Part 2.”
In fact, Fandango is already reporting that the final
chapter of the “Twilight” franchise is sucking down 92% of all ticket sales.
That sucks, big time…for “Lincoln.” But, truth be told (and Abe was never a
feller to beat around the bush), the target demo for “Lincoln” probably doesn’t
even know what a “presale ticket” is.
For what it’s worth, both films will come out as winners, at
least as far as their respective audiences and box office projections go. It’s just
that one film will gross, oh, say $135+ million or so more than the other. Thus, proving once and for all, that Abe
Lincoln really has no business hunting vampires, or werewolves, or any other
magical creatures for that matter. Has that been sufficiently cleared up? Good.
Author Stephenie Meyer’s swan song is by far the most
interesting film of the five (as of this writing, I say this as a male in his
30’s), even though it tried really, really hard to be a new “X-Men” flick. Who
knew vampires had so many mutations?!? Who knew dozens of decapitations could
get a PG-13 rating?!? “X-Men” envy and MPAA investigations aside, “BDp2” should
have no problem pulling a “Deathly Hallows,” and much like the final
cliffhanger episode of Harry Potter, see “BDp2” propel the series to new box
“Deathly Hallows Pt. 1” debuted with what was then the
franchise-high, $125 million, and then just eight months later, “Deathly
Hallows Pt. 2” bookended the franchise with a magical debut of $169M—second only
to “Marvel’s The Avengers.” It is worth noting however, that “DHp2” was the
first film in the franchise to be released in 3D, which certainly helped bump
up the box office.
It’s doubtful “Breaking Dawn Pt. 2” will see an injection
into the main box office vein of +$44 million like “Harry Potter” did between the final installments, but it
will easily surpass the $138M “BDp1” debuted with, and most likely eclipse “New
Moon’s” series-topping $142 million. Yes, in 4,070 theaters expect $150+
million…and that’s a relatively conservative estimate.
For a series that has spawned a whole new rabid fanbase—call
them “Twi-hards” or more appropriately “Fang-girls”—this is a demographic
Hollywood has been attempting to court for quite some time. Before “Twilight,”
women never really had a “Star Wars” or “Lord of the Rings” to call their own. “Twilight
has given them that…and much more.
With the recent success of “The Hunger Games” and possibly
next summer’s “The Mortal Instruments” this fanbase will be well served for
some time. And although, Meyer has not officially announced she will be
continuing the legend of the Twilight saga in book form, Summit and Lionsgate
are certainly more-than-eager to crank out a few more harlequin horror films.
I’m betting Meyer will write more, even if they just turn
out to be screenplays instead of novels. “Breaking Dawn Part 2” might be the
end of this series, but the film franchise that has earned $2.5 billion from
box office receipts alone, is far from over. Heck, even the end of “BDp2” sets
it up for much more. After all, tentpoles, like vampires, are immortal in
Hollywood, aren’t they? Just ask George Lucas. And even if actors aren’t,
motion-capture certainly is. Who knows, in 1,000 years audiences may still be
watching new adventures of Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart all the while
gazing longingly at Taylor Lautner’s 12-pack abs.
With the “Twilight” frenzy enveloping the nation—and the
world—“Lincoln” will be a bit lost in the blood-sucking media maelstrom, no
doubt. However, expect Disney to spin their straw polls into gold and stump up
$15 million in 1,775 theaters. That would double up the opening gate for
Spielberg’s last film, “War Horse,” which went on to gross nearly $80 million
domestic and $97 million internationally. Expect “Lincoln” to be a slow burn,
but if awards nominations are showered upon it, this could easily end up being
the #1 Lincoln film of the year, surpassing “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter,”
which has taken in $114 million worldwide so far.
With “Twilight” flirting with $150 million and “Skyfall”
expected to rake in another $40+ million it looks like we’ll have one of the
biggest weekends of the year at the box office. And, if “Twilight” over-performs ala “Harry
Potter” this weekend may go down as the top dog of 2012. Either way, it’s a good
sign as we enter the home stretch where we are currently +5% over 2011’s total
1. Twilight: Breaking Dawn Pt. 2 - $150M
2. Skyfall - $42M
3. Wreck-It Ralph - $24M
4. Lincoln - $15M
5. Flight - $9M
(Nov 15, 2012) - Comments (1)