Despite three new wide releases, it was the returning films that led the Thanksgiving box office. The long holiday period still gave plenty of extra cushion to all the movies in theatres, which enjoyed five days of weekend-level returns. A thin offering of new movies this coming weekend will allow the current releases plenty of time to run through their potential viewers.
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn--Part 2 led for a second week with $43 million Friday to Sunday, giving it a total to date of $226 million. The event picture, which was the finale for the franchise, plummeted 70% from its first-week total. It will likely continue its decline next week.
In second place, Skyfall leveled its descent with $36 million, just a 12% decrease from last week. Over the five-day period, its receipts totaled $51 million. The James Bond film's three-week total is
$221 million, just behind Twilight. By next week, Bond will rise above the vampire romance and stay there. It's also the best-performing Bond movie of all time, well ahead of Quantum of Solace's $164 million total. Time to shake up a martini for Daniel Craig and director Sam Mendes.
Lincoln went up 19% from the previous week to post a $25 million weekend. Continued strength in its week-to-week performance should bring this historical picture above $100 million. That's great for a talky movie many considered a tough sell.
Rise of the Guardians had the best opening of any of the new releases, earning $24 million over the weekend and a five-day total of $32.6 million. That's on the low side of projections for
the CG-animated release. In comparison, Disney's Wreck-It Ralph earned $16.9 million while falling just 9% from the previous week. Wreck-It Ralph has much better reviews, and comes from a trusted brand name. That definitely hurt the debut of Guardians.
Life of Pi opened to $22 million, right on target for the Ang Lee-directed picture. Audiences turned out to see it in 3D, too, with two-thirds of ticket sales for glasses-wearing audiences. While the literary adaptation has received mixed reviews from critics, audiences gave it an "A-" in exit polls, a sign that the mildly spiritual picture will do well in word-of-mouth.
Red Dawn rallied from the three-year delay in its release to gross $14.6 million, a number that
rose to $22 million over the five-day period. FilmDistrict reported the South and military areas had the best turnout for the invasion-themed picture. However, with many other offerings in weeks to come, Red Dawn will have a quick sunset.
Specialty pictures big and small did well over the holiday. Silver Linings Playbook, expanding into 367 locations, earned a spot in the top ten, posting a $4.6 million weekend and an applause-worthy per-screen average of $12,500. Hitchcock, which centers on the making of Psycho, debuted to $301,000, and had an even higher per-screen average of $17,700. The awards hopeful Rust and Bone averaged $15,000 per screen at two
locations. The documentary The Central Park Five had a lower per-screen
average but a higher total, earning $11,300 per screen at three
This Friday, violence rules at the box office. The horror movie The Collection will go up against Killing Them Softly, which stars Brad Pitt as an enforcer tracking down a trio who robbed a Mafia-run card game.