By Kim Hollis
December 30, 2011
With the arrival of the final weekend of 2011, the studios aren’t bothering to release any new product. That’s okay, though, because with the Christmas bonanza of titles released, there is still plenty for movie consumers to see.
The reason distributors are perfectly willing to stand pat is the fact that because of the holiday excitement and the full availability of free time, people continue to visit theaters in droves. Historically, films do about as well on New Year’s weekend as they do on Christmas weekend, with a couple of exceptions. Movies that have bad buzz can occasionally drop, while family-oriented films frequently see an increase in audience.
What this means for the next three days (and Monday will be a continued boon since most people will have that day off as their New Year’s Day holiday) is that Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol will be spending one more weekend in the top spot. It should be bringing in another $30 million or so, which means it’s going to cross well past the $100 million mark by the time people are back at work next week.
Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows will hold onto second place, and although it’s tracking well behind the original film in the series, the additional $20 million it will accrue this weekend will put it in line to beat its budget with domestic numbers alone.
Last weekend’s third and fourth place films should flip spots, as the kid-targeted Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked will have a slight increase from its previous total. Its $13.8 should overshadow the decidedly dark Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, which should tally about $13 million.
With a nice family focus, both The Adventures of Tintin and We Bought a Zoo are looking to bring in $10 million apiece, while War Horse should bump up quite a bit since it has some extra days in play. It should add another $16 million to its coffers. The Darkest Hour was another Christmas Day opener with an abbreviated total last weekend, but that’s not really going to help it much. $3.5 million is the best it can hope for, and that might even be pushing it.
New Year’s Eve is finally topical, but any bump it might receive is mitigated by the fact that New Year’s Eve the holiday is a pretty bad day for theaters. It should earn another $3 million or so. The Muppets will close out their holiday season run by holding onto tenth place with another $2.5 million.
Box Office Prophets wishes all of you a very Happy New Year and hopes that your 2012 is the best year ever.