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Summit Entertainment’s The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn–Part 1 topped the Thanksgiving eve box office with $12.5 million, while Disney’s new family film The Muppets came in No. 2 with $6.6 million million.
Wednesday’s grosses suggest that Breaking Dawn — with a domestic gross of $171.5 million — will land in the high $50 million range for the five-day holiday stretch.
In a victory for Disney, The Muppets has a strong shot at hitting $40 million for the five days. Starring Jason Segel and Amy Adams opposite the iconic puppets, the family film cost a modest $45 million to produce and is designed to introduce a new generation to the brand.
Warner Bros. holdover Happy Feet Two bested Sony and Aardman’s new family film Arthur Christmas, grossing $2.9 million, compared to $2.4 million for Arthur. Sony believes that Arthur, costing $85 million to produce, will have especially strong legs, even if it starts slow.
Happy Feet Two should hit $20 million for the five days; Arthur is hoping for the same.
Muppets earned a stellar A CinemaScore, while Arthur earned an A-.
Martin Scorsese’s critically acclaimed new 3D film Hugo came in No. 8 on Wednesday after opening on 1,277 theaters, only a third of the location count of Muppets and Arthur Christmas. Projections show the film grossing $12.5 million for the five days, in line with expectations.
Paramount, which is distributing Hugo, believes the film will play older than traditional family films, as well as to more sophisticated audiences. By opening on a smaller number of screens, Paramount is looking to build word-of-mouth heading into the heart of awards season.
Hugo, Muppets and Arthur Christmas have all received great reviews.
Alexander Payne’s The Descendants, starring George Clooney, expanded nicely, grossing $985,000 on Wednesday as it moved into a total of 390 theaters across the country. The film came in No. 10, and its domestic cume is now $2.5 million.
Michelle Williams specialty film My Week with Marilyn opened Wednesday in 123 theaters, grossing $155,000 for a location average of $1,256. The Weinstein Co. is distributing the film.
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