Box Office Report: Thanksgiving Holiday Moviegoing Could Reach Record High

Life of Pi in Calm Sea - H 2012
Twentieth Century Fox

Life of Pi in Calm Sea - H 2012

Holdovers including "Twilight: Breaking Dawn -- Part 2" and "Skyfall" are helping to fuel the boom; new entry "Rise of the Guardians" off to soft start on Wednesday, while "Life of Pi" outpaces tracking.

The long Thanksgiving holiday could ring in record grosses at the North American box office if Wednesday's turnout at the multiplex is any indication.

Grosses were up 25 percent over the same Wednesday a year ago, with holdovers The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn -- Part 2 and James Bond pic Skyfall dominating. Steven Spielberg's Lincoln also continued to build momentum.

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The news, however, was mixed for a trio of new films opening on Wednesday.

DreamWorks Animation's 3D toon Rise of the Guardians got off to a slow start despite an A CinemaScore, grossing $4.9 million for a projected five day gross of $33.4 million, one of the lowest recent openings for a DWA title. Guardians cost $145 million to produce.

Ang Lee's $120 million Life of Pi ouptaced predictions on Wednesday, opening to $3.7 million for a five-day debut in the $28 million range. Pi, from 20th Century Fox and marking Lee's first 3D film, earned an A- CinemaScore.

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MGM and FilmDistrict's Red Dawn remake opened to $4.2 million on Wednesday, putting its five-day debut at roughly $24 million. Red Dawn, which was shot in 2009 but held up because of MGM's financial woes, earned a B CinemaScore.

In terms of order, Summit Entertainment's Breaking Dawn 2 topped Wednesday with roughly $13.5 million for a five-day holiday gross north of $60 million and pushing it's domestic total past $222 million.

MGM and Sony's Skyfall took in $7.5 million for a five-day gross between $49 million and $51 million. Skyfall should finish the holiday weekend with a domestic total north of $220 million.

Rise of the Guardians, the last DWA movie to be distributed by Paramount, came in No. 3, followed by Lincoln with $4.2 million for a five-day gross in the $35 million range and a domestic cume of nearly $70 million. 

Red Dawn placed No. 5, followed by Disney Animation Studios' Wreck-It Ralph with $3.7 million.

Wreck-It Ralph is posing unexpected competition for Rise of the Guardians, and could earn $22 million to $24 million for the five days (the 3D toon is heading into its fourth weekend).

Life of Pi and Wreck-It Ralph essentially tied for No. 6, but Pi is expected to move up the chart ahead of Red Dawn and Wreck-It Ralph.

The Weinstein Co.'s critical darling Silver Linings Playbook came in No. 9 on Wednesday as it expanded its theater count from 16 locations to 367. The awards contender, directed by David O. Russell, grossed $656,000 for a solid five-day gross of $6 million.

Silver Linings stars Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro and Jacki Weaver.

Box office observers believe domestic grosses could total $275 million for the Wednesday-Sunday frame, beating the previous record of $258.6 million earned in 2009.