November 25, 2012



No great disconnects between Saturday’s estimates and Sunday’s, although one number needs some scrutiny.

OPENINGS:  RISE OF THE GUARDIANS (DreamWorks Animation/Paramount) was at the top of the new arrivals, but with a very disappointing $24M weekend ($32.6M over 5 days).  At that rate, it’s going to have to struggle to hold onto its theatres in order to have a major multiplex presence during Christmas week–otherwise, it could peter out around $100M.  LIFE OF PI (20th), just behind Rise with $20M ($30.2M over 5 days) did about as well as the studio could have hoped–if it could duplicate Hugo‘s feat last year and quintuple its Thanksgiving gross, it would be in good shape, but Hugo was in less than half as many theatres, so had plenty of room to expand.  Also, Hugo did surprisingly well with early critics’ awards, and Pi will have to hope to do the same.  RED DAWN (FilmDistrict) wasn’t embarrassed by a $14.6M weekend ($22M over 5 days), and lack of embarrassment was all it could reasonably ask.

The suspicious number of the weekend is the estimated 24% Sunday drop for SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK (Weinstein), by far the lowest in the Top 10 (next lowest is 41% for Rise, which has a family matinee audience).  Admittedly, Silver Linings had the best Saturday performance of the group (up 5%), but not by anywhere near that reported Sunday margin, and last year’s The Descendants, which had a parallel release strategy, had an even better Saturday (up 9%) and still fell 43% on Sunday.  So for the moment Silver Linings is reporting a solid weekend average of $12.6K ($16.1K over 5 days), just barely the best in the Top 10 (albeit considerably less than Descendants’ $18.8K/$24.1K)–but we’ll see tomorrow if it holds up.

HOLDOVERS:  THE TWILIGHT SAGA:  BREAKING DAWN PART 2 (Summit/Lionsgate), at $43.1M, was slightly ahead of Breaking Dawn 1‘s $41.7M last Thanksgiving weekend (the respective 5-day numbers are $64M and $61.9M).  Both fell 70% from their opening weekends, but Breaking Dawn 2 started out from a slightly higher number.  If the new film’s numbers stay on their current track, it should end up with about $290M, making it the 3rd highest grosser in a tightly packed franchise.  (It’s also earned $350M overseas.)  Meanwhile, SKYFALL (Sony/MGM) continues to mint money, down only 12% from last weekend (3-day to 3-day) to $36M, with $221.8M already banked.  not to mention $568M more overseas, shattering all Bond records.  It should end up around $900M worldwide before it’s done.

LINCOLN (Disney/DreamWorks/20th) isn’t quite at those rarefied franchise levels, but nevertheless grossed a superb $25M this weekend ($34.1M over 5 days) for a $62.2M total that seems likely to go over $100M by Oscar season.  The picture added 10% more theatres this weekend, but managed to climb 19% from last week.  As a point of perspective, its per-theatre average in 2018 theatres was almost identical to the (current) average for Silver Linings Playbook in 367.

Among the longer runs, WRECK-IT RALPH (Disney) added $16.8M to nudge against $150M total, FLIGHT (Paramount) was down only 2% with another $8.6M ($74.9M total), and ARGO (Warners), already Ben Affleck’s biggest hit as a director, should hit $100M next weekend.

LIMITED RELEASE:  ANNA KARENINA (Focus/Universal) expanded to 66 theatres, and had a decent $12.6K average ($16.3K over 5 days).  HITCHCOCK (Fox Searchlight) started with an unimpressive $17.7K average at 17, and RUST AND BONE (Sony Classics) was slow with a $15.1K average at only 2 theatres.  THE SESSIONS (Fox Searchlight) won’t be able to hold onto its theatres for long with a $1400 average in 515.

About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."