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The post-Thanksgiving hangover was worse than usual for the domestic box office.
With no new wide releases this weekend, revenues came in at $78 million to $82 million, the lowest of 2011, save for the weekend after Labor Day, when the domestic box office took in roughly $81 million. The weekend was also down from last year by 4 percent to 7 percent.
Summit Entertainment’s The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn–Part 1 had no trouble retaining the No. 1 crown for the third weekend in a row, grossing $16.9 million for a domestic cume of $247.3 million. The fourth installment is still pacing slightly behind The Twilight Saga: New Moon, which opened over Thanksgiving in 2009. At the same point in its run New Moon had earned $255.4 million domestically.
Among the flood of Thanksgiving family films, Disney’s The Muppets remained the top choice, grossing an estimated $11.2 million for a hearty domestic cume of $56.1 million to come in No. 2. Overseas, the pic grossed $1.8 million from three markets for an early international total of $4 million and world cume of $60.1 million.
However, Muppets fell off nearly 62 percent from last weekend in North America. There’s always a fall off after Thanksgiving, but the movie’s dip was more than expected and could reflect the deluge of family product. Last year, Disney’s Thanksgiving entry Tangled fell 55 percent in its second weekend.
Sony and Aardman Entertainment’s kids entry Arthur Christmas came in No. 4, grossing $7.4 million in its second weekend for a cume of $25.3 million. Sony insists the pic will have especially strong legs because of its holiday theme. One possible sign backing up Sony’s claim–Arthur was up 111 percent from Friday to Saturday, the largest gain of any film in wide release.
Overseas, Arthur Christmas grossed $11.4 million from 53 markets for a pleasing international total of $45.3 million and global cume of $60.1 million. The 3D pic has done especially well in the U.K., where Aardman is based.
DreamWorks Animation and Paramount’s 3D toon Puss in Boots also continues to prosper overseas, grossing $23 million from 26 countries this weekend for an international total of $89.2 million and global cume of $228.7 million. The pic has been a massive hit in Russia, where it’s earned a record-breaking $50 million. It’s also done well in Spain, despite widespread unemployment.
If there was any action at the domestic box office, it was among awards contenders–including the debut of Steve McQueen‘s Shame, rated NC-17 for its edgy sexual content.
Despite the dreaded rating, Shame scored the top location average of the weekend, a notable feat. The film, distributed by Fox Searchlight and starring Michael Fassbender, grossed $361,181 from 10 theaters in Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco for an average $36,118.
Even the top 10 box office chart included award hopefuls.
Paramount and GK Films’ Hugo—Martin Scorsese‘s first 3D family friendly film–moved up the chart to No. 3 as it expanded into an additional 500 theaters after being named best movie of the year by the National Board of Review. Hugo grossed $7.6 million from 1,840 locations for a cume of $25.2 million.
Alexander Payne‘s The Descendants, headlining George Clooney, landed at No. 7, even though playing in only 574 theaters. The Fox Searchlight film grossed $5.2 million for a cume of $18.1 million–becoming the first platform release in history to cross $10 million in only 12 days. Also, Descendants is the top grossing platform release of 2011 after Woody Allen‘s Midnight in Paris, which cumed $55.7 million domestically.
Sony Pictures Classics’ Midnight in Paris, released in late May, made its own play this weekend as it prepares for awards season and the release of the DVD on Dec. 20, going back into more than 260 theaters. The results were tepid at best, with the film earning $274,518 from 305 locations for a location average of $900.
The Metropolitan Opera continued its successful live theatrical program with Saturday’s broadcast of Handel’s Rodelinda, starring Renee Fleming. The broadcast grossed $1.8 million from 850 screens at the domestic box office, while an additional 45,000 people saw the opera on 500 screens in 38 countries.
Domestic Box Office Dec. 2-Dec. 4.
Title/Weeks in Release/Studio/Theater Count/Weekend Total/Cume
1. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn–Part 1 (3), Summit/4,406, $16.9 million, $247.3 million
2. The Muppets (2), Disney/3,440, $11.2 million, $56.1 million
3. Hugo (2), Paramount/1,840, $7.6 million, $25.2
4. Arthur Christmas (2), Sony/3,376, $7.4 million, $25.3 million
5. Happy Feet Two (3), Warner Bros./3,536, $6 million, $51.8 million
6. Jack and Jill (4), Sony/3,049, $5.5 million, $64.5 million
7. The Descendants (3), Fox Searchlight/574, $5.2 million, $18.1 million
8. Immortals (4), Relativity Media/2,627, $4.4 million, $75.6 million
9. Tower Heist (5), Universal/2,404, $4.1 million, $70.8 million
10. Puss in Boots (6), Paramount/DreamWorks Animation/2,750, $3.1 million, $139.5 million
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