Box Office: "TWILIGHT" TAKES ON TURKEY TRIO
Nov 21, 2012
With discount shopping and mall madness taking precedence
over movies this Friday—or Black Friday as it’s known here in the states—and
Thanksgiving on Thursday, that means audiences get a special holiday treat a
couple days early as three new wide releases are dished up in multiplexes on
Wednesday: DreamWorks’ Animation’s “Rise of the Guardians,” Ang Lee’s 3D opus
“Life of Pi,” and the 80’s reboot “Red Dawn.”
With “Twilight: Breaking Dawn, Pt. 2” racking up $141
million last weekend, even if it drops -70% like previous “Twilight” flicks,
that would still translate to $42-$43 million—a mighty tough number to topple.
“Rise of the Guardians” does have a legitimate shot to take
down the box office bloodsuckers; DreamWorks certainly has the pedigree and
family films always show well this time of the season. Still, holiday-themed
films don’t always break the bank, as last year’s “Arthur Christmas” can attest
to. Sony’s animated flick opened over Thanksgiving and was shut out in the cold
by audiences, chilling cinemas with just $12 million over the 3-day portion of
Of course, a lot of that had to do with “The Muppets”
opening the same weekend, which pigged out with $29 million. So odds are, DreamWorks’
$145 million production, as the only straight-forward family flick, should be
able to capture the imaginations and, more importantly, the wallets of
And, with “Wreck-It Ralph” now four weeks out and kiddies
crawling up the walls, parents will likely see this as a welcome fallout
shelter. In 3,653 theaters “Rise” may be
able to float $38 million for the weekend and $55 million over the extended
"Life of Pi" is Ang Lee's immersive journey...into the realm
of 3D. While reviews have been extremely solid, traditionally, films that have
based their advertising campaign on the wonders of 3D haven't necessarily
broken through the dimensional barriers of the box office. Still, if the
PG-rated metaphysical drama can capture some of that "Slumdog
Millionaire" audience, this could be one of the surprises of the holiday
season, and is widely considered an Oscar contender, too.
"Life of Pi" is essentially a $100M art film. While that may
not jive with spiritually savvy (or is that morally bankrupt?) American
audiences, it will certainly reach a higher plane internationally. Expect
a solid 5-day debut of around $26 million this week in 2,927 theaters.
Let's be honest here--something that is traditionally taboo in
Hollywood--"Red Dawn" has been on the shelf for a long time. While
most of the marketing spin insinuates that had everything to do with MGM's
troubles, there is also a reason it has taken many seasons to reach
multiplexes--it's a bit of a mess.
It's also outdated. At the height of the cold war, when the original
"Red Dawn" dropped, it was entirely plausible that the Soviet Union
would attack us...at any minute. Now, we have North Koreans invading...Spokane,
Washington?!? Uh, do they have an irresistible hankering for some
crispy Red Delicious apples? I mean, I know getting tickets to watch a Gonzaga
Bulldogs basketball game is tough, but foreign invasion is not the answer,
Craiglist is. Plus, growing up in the Northwest, I know for a fact that nearly
everyone living in the outskirts of Spokane owns a gun. You just don't mess
with country bumpkins!
The original “Red Dawn” was actually a meaningful sociological
examination, while the reboot, like so many others recently, merely seems like
a misguided cash-grab. Having Chris Hemsworth and Josh Hutcherson in leading
roles may be its only salvation as both have become much bigger stars than when
this was originally scheduled for release in 2010.
The original made the equivalent of $90M when adjusted to
today's ticket prices, while the retread will be fortunate to make
half that amount. At 2,725 sites, expect a misfire with just $9 million
for the weekend and would be fortunate to hit $13 million through Sunday. Hey,
there is always a turkey
Expanding in limited release is Weinstein’s Oscar contender,
“Silver Linings Playbook,” which will operate at 367 venues. A couple weeks ago
the Jennifer Lawrence/Bradley Cooper drama was set for a wide release, but as
is often the case with Weinstein, the distribution pattern was changed at the
last minute. Certainly didn’t help its cause when it opened flat with $27k per
in 16 theaters last weekend. In comparison, “Lincoln” scored $85k per in its
limited run before opening wide.
Happy Thanksgiving—may your turkey be juicy and your tofurkey,
1. TWILIGHT: BREAKING DAWN PT. 2 - $43M ($62M, 5-day)
2. RISE OF THE GUARDIANS - $40M ($57M)
3. SKYFALL - $27M ($39M)
4. LIFE OF PI - $18M ($26M)
5. LINCOLN - $17M ($23M)
(Nov 21, 2012) - Comments (4)
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