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The weekend after Thanksgiving is one of the slowest of the year, and 2011 is no different.
With no new wide releases, Summit Entertainment’s The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 continued to top the domestic box office, grossing $5.5 million on Friday for a cume of $235.9 million. The pic is on track for a $16.8 million weekend.
Disney’s kids pic The Muppets held at No. 2, grossing $2.8 million on its second Friday for a winning domestic cume of $48 million and projected $12 million weekend.
As expected, movies saw steep drops from the previous Friday, a holiday. Breaking Dawn was down 67 percent from the previous Friday, while Muppets fell 77 percent. But overall, box office revenues for the weekend aren’t expected to fall behind 2010 levels.
The real action is among award contenders. Martin Scorsese’s Hugo upped its theater count by more than 500 on Friday after being named best film of the year by the National Board of Review (Scorsese also won best director). Hugo, distributed by Paramount, grossed $2 million on Friday, putting it at No. 3.
Hugo, now playing in 1,840 locations, will be in a close race Saturday and Sunday with Sony and Aardman’s 3D family film Arthur Christmas.
Arthur Christmas, playing in far more theaters, grossed $1.7 million on Friday from 3,376 locations for a domestic cume of $19.6 million. Both Arthur Christmas and Hugo are projecting a $7 million weekend.
In addition to Hugo, award contenders Shame, The Artist, The Descendants and My Week with Marilyn all did good business on Friday.
Shame’s performance is particularly impressive since it’s rated NC-17. From Fox Searchlight, the film grossed $110,476 from 10 theaters in five cities. Directed by Steve McQueen, Shame stars Michael Fassbender as a sex addict. Carey Mulligan also stars.
Searchlight’s The Descendants, directed by Alexander Payne and headlining George Clooney, did well enough on Friday to come in No. 6, grossing $1.4 million from only 574 locations for a cume of $14.3 million.
Silent film The Artist grossed an impressive $55,574 on Friday as it expanded its reach into the San Francisco area. From the Weinstein Co., the awards darling is now playing in six theaters in Los Angeles, New York and the Bay Area.
The Weinsteins’ awards hopeful My Week with Marilyn, starring Michelle Williams as the iconic Marilyn Monroe, came in No. 12 on Friday, grossing $345,000 from 244 locations in top markets for a cume of $1.4 million.
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Behind The Screen