November 27, 2011


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Written by: Mitch Salem


BREAKING DAWN PART 1: After a full week of running behind New Moon on a day-to-day basis, often by more than $1M per day, Summit’s estimates for the past 2 days suddenly have Breaking Dawn 1 ahead by a few thousand dollars. These are among several numbers that may change when Actuals are released tomorrow.

THE MUPPETS: With 2 free weeks before the dreaded arrival of Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked, Muppets should get comfortably over $100M, and perhaps considerably more if it can hold on to theaters during Xmas week. Development of a sequel may well be announced momentarily, but whether this is really a franchise will be determined by overseas results.
ARTHUR CHRISTMAS: In order to claim weekend victory over Hugo, Sony had to estimate by far the lowest Sunday drop in the weekend’s Top 10, 28% compared to 42-49% for everything else. Another number to be double-checked in Actuals tomorrow.
HUGO: With a relatively limited 1277 theater launch, Hugo is a long-term play by Paramount, hoping to build throughout the holiday and award season. The weekend per-theater number is higher than The Muppets’, so there’s a chance the movie could develop a head of steam, especially if early critics’ awards go its way.
HOLDOVERS: HAPPY FEET TWO is at $44M after 10 days in theaters; after the same 10 days in 2006, the original Happy Feet was at $99M. ‘Nuff said. JACK AND JILL and J. EDGAR both had decent holds, but neither is likely to see profit (although the latter has a chance for some help from critics’ awards, if today’s NY Times lovefest is any guide).
INDIES: THE DESCENDANTS had a very solid $16.5K average in 433 theaters, and Fox Searchlight will continue to expand its run. MY WEEK WITH MARILYN was off to a slowish start, with a $7300 average in 244 houses. THE ARTIST and A DANGEROUS METHOD both had the starts in tiny 4-theatre runs their distributors were looking for, with a $53K average for Artist and a $46K average for Method. (Note: both Marilyn and Artist are from The Weinstein Company, and both are estimating very low 25-30% Sunday drops; Sony Pictures Classics, which handles Dangerous Method, doesn’t release daily numbers.) THE SKIN I LIVE IN, MARTHA MARCY MAY MARLENE and TAKE SHELTER all gave up the ghost while they hope for critic awards resurrection, dropping theaters as they head to what would currently be moderate (even by art house standards) results at best.
Next week Fox Searchlight gets attention to shine squarely on its 9-theatre debut of Steve McQueen’s remarkable (but sure to be polarizing) SHAME, the only opening of the weekend.
– Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

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."