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Weekend Forecast for November 25-27, 2011

By Reagen Sulewski

November 23, 2011

Is that Ratio Hornblower in the background?

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This isn't groundbreaking stuff, but it does have the benefit of not looking as bad as the Santa Clause movies, nor falling into the Uncanny Valley like The Polar Express. Aardman can really do no wrong (yes, even Flushed Away) though I'd note this isn't Nick Park directing, and reviews are pretty stellar. It's not based on anything in particular, however, and doesn't reference pop culture directly, so it's tying a hand behind its back some. If you're really in the mood to see something Christmasy, this is your choice (OK, OK, Harold and Kumar *if* you want to introduce your kids to pot and sex jokes early). I'd look for a solid $18 million over three days and $30 million over five days.

In the 2011 “Words That Don't Go Together” competition, “Martin Scorsese 3D children's film” ought to be a strong contender for the title. And yet, here we are, with Hugo, his first foray into 3D and into family film-making. Set in 1930s Paris, and based on a sort-of graphic novel, it follows a young orphan who discovers a mysterious clockwork device and meets up with the adopted daughter of reclusive film director George Melies. And hey, I know all the kids are into pioneers of French cinema, but why do *you* care about this? Well, Scorsese, and 3D, so the theory is supposed to go.

Presumably there are significantly fewer people buried in shallow graves than in your typical Scorsese film, but then again, I've only seen the trailer. The appeal of this one is based on general filmmaking magic, which Scorsese certainly brings into all his films whether you like them or not. Live action children's films are a tough sell right now, though, and with little star power (We've got Ben Kingsley, an unrecognizable Sacha Baron Cohen and then we're all the way down to Chloe Moretz in terms of notability in names), it's going to have to work hard to get noticed. Continuing a theme for the week, its reviews are just short of perfect, and that's sure to help in the long run. Expectations for this first weekend are pretty modest judging by the venue count, which is just over 1,200, and I'd look for $8 million over three days and $13 over five.

Of course, Twlight is still likely to ruin the family part by winning the weekend, thanks to its $138 million headstart. As popular as the Twilight films are in their opening weekends, they have universally driven themselves into the ground in the second weekend, regardless of circumstance or the fact that it's a holiday weekend after their debut. These massive starting numbers only drive that phenomenon more. Seeing as how we're right in the middle of a plot, I have to imagine most of the repeat viewings are being saved for right before next year's conclusion to this whole stupid saga. A hollow victory with $39 million should be in the cards here.




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The family-palooza continues with Happy Feet Two, which debuted to a disappointing (relative to the first film's start) $21 million. Perhaps there is only so much dancing penguin that America can take. With the generally poor reception for this film and the crowded family market, I don't see this faring well in its second week. Give it $11 million over three days.

As we go down the list, we have a bunch of films people weren't happy with at all. Immortals? 62% drop. Jack and Jill? 53%. Puss in Boots? Finally showed some weakness by being cut in half. Tower Heist and J. Edgar? About 45% fall offs themselves. Thanksgiving is a weekend where more films can find room, but these seem like stale leftovers. Puss in Boots should do best with around $8 million over three days, but we're looking at around $6 million for Immortals, slightly less for Jack and Jill, $5 million for Tower Heist, and then worse for J. Edgar.

On the other hand, we have The Descendants, which is expanding after its surprise entry into the top 10 on just 29 screens last weekend. Screen counts are currently unavailable as of this writing, but the Clooney-starring, Alexander Payne-directed dramedy about cuckolding and Hawaii has a lot of potential.


Forecast: Weekend of November 25-27, 2011
Rank
Film
Number of
Sites
Changes in Sites
from Last
Estimated
Gross ($)
1 Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 1 4,066 +5 39.7
2 The Muppets 3,440 New 35.9
3 Arthur Christmas 3,376 New 18.8
4 Happy Feet Two 3,606 No change 11.6
5 Hugo 1,277 New 8.7
6 Puss in Boots 3,005 -410 8.7
7 Immortals 2,677 -443 6.5
8 Jack and Jill 3,029 -409 5.8
9 Tower Heist 2,474 -468 5.0
10 J. Edgar 1,947 +3 4.2

Continued:       1       2

     


 
 

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