Weekend Box Office: Harry Potter Takes on All Comers

This week’s Thanksgiving offerings gave ample opportunity for any borderline or overtly stressed family member to duck out from the dinner table and go to the multiplex. In the next few days, I promise to try and catch up with these holiday offerings, but for now let’s just look at the cold, hard numbers.

As many new releases as were unleashed this weekend, none were able to dethrone the boy wizard. For the second week in a row, ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1‘ took the top spot. With a three-day total of $50.3 million, and a five-day total of $78 million, ‘Potter’ easily trumped all comers. I guess not everybody went to the midnight shows last week.

In the second spot was Disney’s 3-D animated trifle ‘Tangled‘, which I have seen twice now and enjoyed quite a bit both times. It’s a technologically dazzling take on the classic fairy tale of Rapunzel, featuring a not-incredibly-stellar voice cast that includes Zachary Levi, Mandy Moore, and Ron Perlman. This is a movie that’s charming and soft and, thankfully, shares nothing with the cynical ‘Shrek‘ franchise, no matter what the advertisements would have you believe. I can see this one having long legs throughout the holiday season. Typical of most 3-D movies, it doesn’t have to be seen in 3-D to be enjoyed. I saw it twice before it opened, once in 2-D and once in 3-D, and it didn’t matter a bit..

Burlesque‘, a gaudy and not terribly convincing musical romp that co-stars Cher and Christina Aguilera, opened at a disappointing #5, with $11.6 million for the three-day weekend and $17 million for the five-day total. It’s just not a very good movie. The behind-the-scenes drama that resulted in the movie is way more interesting than the film itself. (I don’t trade in gossip… much… just Google it for yourself.) The picture is tepid and often dull, even though the musical numbers have a certain amount of sparkly pop (although Cher and Christina never do a song together – WTF?). Despite some uncredited re-writes by Diablo Cody, it never really coheres into anything beyond a mild amusement. It’s good to have Cher back and all – or at least Cher’s robotic doppelganger (the test results haven’t come back from the lab yet on this one) – but man oh man, it should have been for a better movie.

In #6 was another newbie, Ed Zwick’s ‘Love and Other Drugs‘. Its three-day total: $9.6 million. Five-day total: $13.8 million. This one co-stars Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway, and is set in the heady days of the mid-’90s. I haven’t seen it yet for a number of reasons (didn’t have the time, think that glamorizing the morally bankrupt world of big pharma is more than a little questionable). The insistent press about Anne Hathaway’s frequent nudity is enough to leave me curious, though. Of the quasi-love-stories currently in cinemas, I’ll probably check out the J.J. Abrams-produced ‘Morning Glory’ before this one, all nudity aside.

The last new film to debut in the top ten was way down at #7. The Dwayne Johnson-starrer ‘Faster‘ zoomed into theaters with a stalled three-day total of $8.5 million, and a holiday total of $11.8 million. This was the artist formerly known as The Rock’s return to the action genre after a trio of family-friendly fare (‘Tooth Fairy‘, ‘The Back-Up Plan‘, and the ill-conceived ‘Race to Witch Mountain‘). It seems that audiences may have been dulled by his continual commitment to making movies for the kiddies. (This spring, he’ll be back in ass-kicking mode, playing the heavy in ‘Fast Five’, the fifth entry in the venerable ‘Fast and Furious‘ franchise.) I haven’t seen this one yet, but it’ll probably be the one movie I see on my day off this week. Because, you know, of the killing.

Besides that, the weekend box office is pretty much what you’d expect it to be. I know that ‘The King’s Speech‘, Colin Firth’s handsomely filmed, appropriately rousing Oscar bait movie (it’s the Academy Award contender your mom will most love) opened in limited release, and I’m sure it packed them in. As it expands, watch the nation fall under its singular, if not entirely convincing, spell.

The Top 10:

01 ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1’ (Warner Bros) – $50.3/$78 million

02 ‘Tangled’ (Disney) – $48.6/$68.5 million

03 ‘Megamind’ (Dream Works Animation/Paramount) – $12.9/$17.5 million

04 ‘Unstoppable’ (Fox) – $11.6/$16 million

05 ‘Burlesque’ (Sony) – $11.6/$15 million

06 ‘Love and Other Drugs’ (Fox) – $9.6/$13.8 million

07 ‘Faster’ (CBS Films/Sony) – $8.5/$11.8 million

08 ‘Due Date’ (Warner Bros) – $7.3/$10.5 million

09 ‘The Next Three Days’ (Lionsgate) – $4.9/$6.5 million

10 ‘Morning Glory’ (Paramount) – $3.8/$4.5 million


  1. that1guypictures

    I’ve seen Tangled twice now…and outside of Toy Story 3, its my favorite film so far this year. What a great year for animation! I found the 3D served only to enhance the beauty of the animation. At no point were there lots of 3D “comin-at-ya” effects. The film can be enjoyed in 2D or 3D either way, the way any good film should.

  2. BambooLounge

    Glad to hear positive things about Tangled. I may see it in 3D this weekend, but had been sew-sawing on it b/c I initially thought this was Disney trying to do Dreamworks (all that ironic detachment shit they do) and I wanted to avoid that.

    Based on the trailer, I was a little worried also that this is Disney-channel-esque (Wizards of Waverly Place, Zach and Cody) in its delivery. I find both those shows to be beyond moronic and indicative of how far “children’s entertainment” has fallen.

    Can anyone whose seen it let me know if the “comedy” is on scale with that mindless shit?

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