If you missed any of the great releases in the past few weeks, now is the time to catch up. For the past decade, movie studios have avoided releasing any film they want to open big the weekend after Thanksgiving. The two movies opening today, both with R ratings, appeal to niche and frequent moviegoers. The Collection will satisfy horror fans while Killing Them Softly will play to adult connoisseurs of mobster and gunplay movies. Neither of these movies should inch up far past the $10 million mark, if they even get that far. The Collection, in particular, may only tally up a few million.
The lead spot this weekend will likely go to The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2. Even with free-fall drops, the supernatural romance started off high enough that it could end up with just under $20 million three weeks after its blockbuster $141 million opening. In the follow-up weekend after Thanksgiving, that may be enough to boast a number-one finish. The rest of the top five should be filled with broader-playing, quality fare, including Lincoln, Life of Pi, and Skyfall, which is staying aloft thanks to great word-of-mouth. I've heard more buzz about Skyfall from friends who are infrequent moviegoers than I have for any other movie this year.
Rise of the Guardians should also play somewhere north of $10 million in its second weekend,
though it will be interesting to see how much of a lead it can maintain over its much more successful animated competitor. Wreck-It Ralph has been playing just two spots below Guardians during the weekdays despite releasing three weeks earlier.
Killing Them Softly (2,424 theatres) should open in the bottom half of the top ten, but not because it's a bad movie. Instead, the tale of a hit man (Brad Pitt) who is hired to take down a trio who robbed a mob card game, making the entire criminal world insolvent, serves as commentary on the collapse of American banks and offers the insight "that all this bottom-feeder jockeying
for position is the funhouse mirror of American politics and
business," according to critic Maitland McDonagh. As
"black comedy as its most stygian," it may alienate some viewers, but McDonagh is giving this one her endorsement thanks to its "razor-sharp edge."
An "exercise in gratuitous sadism and gore," The Collection (1,403 theatres), a sequel to the horror movie The Collector, has enough "carnage to satisfy hardcore horror fans," according to THR's Frank Scheck. Though there are moments of "tension" and successful scenes involving tarantulas and a person forced to
break their own arm, don't check this one out unless you unequivocally say yes to all things torture porn.
The Bollywood movie Talaash will open in 172 theatres, and it could ring up some big business. Two weeks ago, the Yash Chopra-directed Jab Tak Hai Jaan, with a similarly small release, opened in the top ten with $1.2 million, and has now earned $3 million. Critic Daniel Eagan predicts the "polished and seductive" noir should "do extremely well at
the box office." The mystery covers topics seen less frequently in Indian movies, and Eagan gives it a nod for its "sympathetic but realistic view of sex workers."
On Monday, we'll see which of the Thanksgiving releases held on to their audiences, and if Killing Them Softly and The Collection were able to draw new viewers who weren't already stuffed from the holiday offerings.