Black Friday Box Office Analysis
By Tim Briody
November 26, 2011
If this column had music, it would now be time to play it!
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 1
Much like New Moon did two years ago, Breaking Dawn, Part 1 leads the Black Friday box office despite a huge collapse. The third film in the Twilight series earned $16.9 million on Friday, off 76.5% from its midnight showings inflated Friday. New Moon also led the Thanksgiving weekend, fending off a surging The Blind Side despite a 75.6% decline from its opening night. Again, the pattern here is just eerily similar, showing that the one failure in the giant truckload of money the Twilight series has made is its failure to expand its audience. I expect a carbon copy of New Moon's 2.42 second weekend multiplier. That would mean a weekend of $40.9 million.
The Muppets return after a long absence with $12.3 million on Friday, with an additional $12.5 million earned since its Wednesday opening. This is a quite good opening for something that was probably a pretty big question mark, especially since it's already passed the entire box office take of Muppets From Space. The excellent parody trailers built awareness and the reviews are outstanding (at 98% Fresh at Rotten Tomatoes, it is currently the most favorably reviewed wide-release of 2011, which is something nobody saw coming) so those likely helped its box office. Being Thanksgiving weekend, Black Friday was likely its best day of box office, as multipliers, even for stuff aimed at families, tend to be mediocre. Last year's Tangled was the top new release and managed a 2.5, with Friday being its best day. The same fate should await The Muppets, which would mean a $30.7 million weekend and $43.2 million over five days, with hopefully tremendous legs.
A Christmas movie from Aardman Studios, Arthur Christmas earned $4.6 million Friday with $4.2 million over Wednesday and Thursday. This is option number three for families (as it's behind both The Muppets and Happy Feet Two), but is the only real Christmas option, not that it seemed to make much of a difference in terms of box office. Give it a weekend of $11.5 million with $15.7 million in five days.
Essentially neck and neck with Arthur Christmas, Martin Scorsese's(?!) Hugo earned $4.5 million on Friday with another $4 million in its first two days of release. It's notable that this is only in 1,200 theaters, so it's technically doing better than Arthur Christmas. There's a good chance Hugo squeaks past Arthur Christmas for the weekend, as its made up the initial less than $1 million difference between the two releases. Look for a weekend of $11.9 million and $15.9 million over five days.
Elsewhere, Happy Feet Two is off just 13.5% from last Friday to $5.1 million, thanks to Black Friday being one of the strongest box office days of the year. It's going to beat two of the other family films currently clogging the top half of the box office, but it's still kind of a bust compared to Happy Feet. Look for $14.4 million in its second weekend.