BOX OFFICE: No Wide Releases Lead to Weak Weekend

It wasn’t difficult for The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 1 to take the number one spot at the Box Office for the 3rd weekend in a row, considering this weekend brought no new wide releases. The limited releases performed well with Shame, The Artist, and A Dangerous Method each earning over $30,000 per screen. With a look at the upcoming release calendar, it looks like that is going to be the story for much of December with so many highly anticipated small films on their way.

Box Office Estimates
December 2-4, 2011

1) The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 1 (3rd Weekend)
WEEKEND: $16.9 million | TOTAL: $247.3 million

With this weekend’s gross, Breaking Dawn becomes the 4th highest grossing of the year. It should have no problem earning another $8 million to settle in to the third spot for highest grossing film of the year. That’s where it will stay.

2) The Muppets (2nd Weekend)
WEEKEND: $11.2 million | TOTAL: $56.1 million

The past two weekends there has been speculation that The Muppets might be able to surpass Breaking Dawn, but it has not yet occurred and it is looking like it will not during either of the film’s run.

3) Hugo (2nd Weekend)
WEEKEND: $7.63 million | TOTAL: $25.2 million

Hugo is actually quite a Box Office failure considering how much the film cost (over $150 million), but all that matters for its award potential is that it doesn’t flop, which it hasn’t. With good word of mouth it could even stay in the top ten for a few more weekends. It actually moved up from the 5th to the 3rd spot this weekend, which is a good sign.

4) Arthur Christmas (2nd Weekend)
WEEKEND: $7.35 million | TOTAL: $25.3 million

This film will take the typical Christmas movie trajectory where it performs decently during the weeks leading up to Christmas and drops significantly immediately afterward. There is some decent competition upcoming, but it will at least remain in the top ten for a few more weekends.

5) Happy Feet Two (3rd Weekend)
WEEKEND: $6 million | TOTAL: $51.8 million

This film actually has one of the lowest per theatre averages, but since it is in so many theatres it continues to perform well. As soon as it gets a theatre count decline it will be looking at a major drop.

6) Jack and Jill (4th Weekend)
WEEKEND: $5.5 million | TOTAL: $64.3 million

While other movies shift around this week, Jack and Jill holds steady at the number 6 spot. Please let this movie drop quickly and let a more worthy comedy take its place. Even though I haven’t seen the film, I have a feeling that any movie is more worthy.

7) The Descendants (3rd Weekend)
WEEKEND: $5.2 million | TOTAL: $18.1 million

Moving up from the number 9 to the number 7 spot, The Descendants continues to do very well despite being in a limited number of theatres. It’s a great time of year when movies on fewer than 1,000 screens are regularly making the top ten.

8) Immortals (4th Weekend)
WEEKEND: $4.34 million | TOTAL: $75.6 million

Hugo‘s increase is probably partially due to adding 3-D screens. This in turn means The Immortals lost some. It is not going to finish with nearly as much money as 300, which is what the studio was trying to sell it as, but its very successful for a Tarsem effort.

9) Tower Heist (5th Weekend)
WEEKEND: $4.1 million | TOTAL: $70.8 million

This movie moved up a spot to stay in the top ten this week, but with two new wide releases next weekend it probably won’t continue the trend. It actually had a higher per theatre average than Immortals and Happy Feet Two.

10) Puss in Boots (6th Weekend)
WEEKEND: $3.05 million | TOTAL: $139.5 million

The Shrek franchise continues to be a goldmine for Dreamworks with another successful spin-off. With this weekend’s gross, Puss in Boots becomes the 17th highest grossing movie of the year and it could easily finish in the top 15.

Estimates courtesy of Box Office Mojo. Look for New Year’s Eve to knock Breaking Dawn out of the number one spot next weekend and for Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy and Young Adult to add to the strong slate of limited releases.

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