Breaking Dawn Threepeats as Holdovers Struggle
By John Hamann
December 4, 2011
It's the post-Thanksgiving weekend at the box office, and that means only one thing: poorly cooked leftovers. There were a total of zero new openers this weekend, as Hollywood has abandoned the post-Turkey weekend as moviegoers simply have no appetite. Often, studios will dump distateful product this weekend (like last year's The Warrior's Way), but with the September to November stretch being so downright ugly this year, there's nothing left to dump. That leaves us with a repeat of last weekend, only without the supersize of the weekend. You may want to avert your eyes, as this is going to get ugly.
The first weekend of December is the definition of ugly when it comes to box office. Situated smack between the two beautiful places in the box office world (Thanksgiving and the lead up to Christmas), the first weekend of December has always been known as a void. Last year, The Warrior's Way was dumped into the first weekend of December, and earned all of $3 million on its way to a domestic total of $5.7 million. The year before, Brothers, Armored and Everybody's Fine saw wide release, and the result was about $18 million split three ways. Three years ago, Punisher: War Zone and Cadillac Records finished eighth and ninth, earning $8 million between the two of them. Awake, The Nativity Story, Turistas, Van Wilder: The Rise of Taj, Aeon Flux – all of these are titles that crashed and burned over the first weekend in December. Usually I say that any movie can open over any weekend – if it is the right film marketed in the right way. I believe the first weekend of December is the exception that proves that rule, as we've only seen ugly over this weekend for almost 20 years.
You want ugly? The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 three-peats this weekend, as nothing came close to overtaking it. It earned only $16.9 million from a still massive 4,046 venues, and drops a nasty 59% compared to last weekend. The good news for Breaking Dawn Part 1 is that it is the first of movie the Twilight Saga to repeat at number one for three consecutive weekends. The first film spent only one weekend at number one, earning $69.6 million. By the time weekend three came around, the original Twilight earned $13 million. The second Twilight opened to $142.8 million, and over weekend three, it earned $15.4 million. Eclipse opened to $64.8 million (but its first five days took in $157.6 million), and by weekend three it was earning $13.4 million.
The point I'm trying to make is that no matter how Twilight opens, by weekend three, its getting close to throwing in the towel. Breaking Dawn is actually holding up better than its predecessors (slightly), but despite its top ranking this weekend, it will be out of the top ten come Christmas. This version of the monstrosity has now earned $247.3 million stateside and about $300 million overseas.