Weekend Box Office: ‘Twilight’ Still Sparkles

Was there ever any doubt that ‘Breaking Dawn’ would hold onto the #1 spot this weekend? With nothing much opening this coming week, I’m going to predict that the latest ‘Twilight’ sequel will stay on top for three straight weeks, but will finally trail off once the big December movies open. With another $42 million over this long holiday weekend, ‘Breaking Dawn’ has grossed more than $489 million in ten short days – which I believe is a sign of the apocalypse. Do you honestly think it’s a coincidence that ‘Breaking Dawn, Part 2’ will open just before the end of the Mayan calendar? I think not.

Oddly enough, ‘Breaking Dawn‘ is the only film in the Top 10 to drop more than 36%. Films rarely decline over long holiday breaks such as Thanksgiving, yet this one dropped 69.6%. That number would be staggering no matter what time of year it was released.

The Muppets‘, which opened on Wednesday, came in second with $29.5 million over the weekend. Added to the $12.5 million gross from Wednesday and Thursday, that makes for quite an impressive five-day total for a franchise that hasn’t been on the big screen since 1999’s ‘Muppets from Space’.

Although ‘The Muppets’ earned more than studio predictions, the same can’t be said for ‘Happy Feet Two‘ or ‘Arthur Christmas‘. Landing in the #3 spot, ‘Happy Feet’ was expected to earn $18 million, but only brought in $13.4 million. ‘Arthur Christmas’ debuted at #4 with only $12.7 million out of an expected $15 million.

Coming in at fifth place, and surpassing its five-day prediction by more than $5 million, was Martin Scorsese’s kid-centric adventure flick ‘Hugo‘. Not expected to land in the Top 5, ‘Hugo’ defied predictions on just 1,277 screens by pulling in $11.3 million, featuring a per-screen average of $8,888. It finished off the weekend with 75% of the gross coming from 3D showings. With this success, Paramount will be expand the release of ‘Hugo’ on December 9th.

The Weinstein Company’s ‘My Week with Marilyn‘ opened on 244 screens and finished in the #12 spot with an impressive $1.7 million. That’s $7,266 per screen. But the real per-screen winners this week were the extremely limited releases of ‘The Artist‘ and ‘A Dangerous Method‘. ‘The Artist’ earned $52,500 per screen and ‘A Dangerous Method’ earned $45,500 – each on only four screens.

The Descendants‘ expanded to 433 screens, and the numbers for Fox Searchlight’s comedic drama boosted immediately. In ten short days, seven of which were spent on only 29 screens or less, the George Clooney vehicle has now earned more than $10 million. $7 million of that was earned over the three-day weekend.

Top 10:

1. ‘The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 1’ (Summit) – $42,000,000

2. ‘The Muppets’ (Buena Vista) – $29,500,000

3. ‘Happy Feet Two’ (Warner Bros.) – $13,400,000

4. ‘Arthur Christmas’ (Sony) – $12,700,000

5. ‘Hugo’ (Paramount) – $11,350,000

6. ‘Jack and Jill’ (Sony) – $10,300,000

7. ‘Immortals’ (Relativity) – $8,800,000

8. ‘Puss in Boots’ (DreamWorks) – $7,450,000

9. ‘Tower Heist’ (Universal) – $7,323,000

10. ‘The Descendants’ (Fox Searchlight) – $7,200,000


  1. We were actually looking at going to see Hugo this past weekend. I tried talking everyone into going to see Muppets, but we finally settled on Puss In Boots. Then we didn’t even go to the theater – we ended up taking the kids to Mr Gatti’s (because we had already finished off all the turkey), and they ended up spending all their movie money playing bumper cars and laser tag. Oh well, they probably had more fun doing that.

  2. JM

    ‘New Moon’ had a 70% drop its second weekend, so ‘Breaking Dawn’ is bleeding out as expected, but I think we’re going to have to count the Twilight franchise as a failure.

    The bar for theatrical success these days is $1 Billion worldwide. When you look at the highest grossing films of all time, the Twit flicks are about to fall out of the Top 50. They all made about as much money as ‘Forrest Gump.’ Within five years, they won’t even be in the Top 100.

    The only thing that could possibly bring about the ending of the world in 2012, if I remember my schooling correctly, would be the election of Newt Gingrich, aka the Whore of Babylon. Which would make me sad, as, if the world actually ended, we wouldn’t get to see Oliver Stone’s ‘Newt,’ which, ironically, would have been the greatest film of all time, with Anthony Hopkins’s greatest performance, Geena Davis as Callista, and Christopher Walken as all four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.

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