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Weekend Forecast for November 16-18, 2012

By Reagen Sulewski

November 16, 2012

Of *course* there is an arm-wrestling match in this movie. Why wouldn't there be?

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It's a legitimate question to ask how excited audiences are for a film that's innately political right at this moment, coming so closely after the bitterest election in recent memory. Then again, it's about a political process that ultimately accomplished something great, and about one of the more universally admired political figures in American history. There's also the matter of what looks to be one of the best performances of the year by Day-Lewis, who may very well be a wizard channeling Lincoln.

This being Spielberg, he's got no problem attracting a top flight cast for supporting actors, including Sally Field, Tommy Lee Jones, David Straitharn, James Spader, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Tim Blake Nelson... I could go on. Expect to see a few of these names discussed at Oscar time.

Lincoln debuted on 11 screens last weekend, nearly cracking a million dollars, showing that there's undoubtedly a high amount of anticipation for this story, and the combination of director, subject and cast seems perfect. I don't know that Daniel Day-Lewis has people busting down the doors, but stranger things have happened. The expansion this weekend isn't a full one, as it hits around 1,700 venues, but with the past weekend's performance used for context, I think we're looking at a double application of the Rule of Thirds, and an opening weekend of around $17 million.

With an opening weekend of $88 million, Skyfall is well on its way to becoming the highest grossing Bond film – surprisingly, no Bond film has to date broken $175 million domestically, though of course we are talking about a 50 year old franchise. To put this in perspective, it beat the entire domestic run of The Living Daylights by about three minutes into the first screening on Saturday. It's also about to hit $600 million worldwide thanks to its release strategy overseas, again a record.




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The two Daniel Craig Bonds so far have had wildly different performances after their opening weekends. Casino Royale was a refresher on the Bond formula after Brosnan's got stale and campy again, while Quantum of Solace threatened to wipe all of that out in just one film. As a consequence, one fell 205 in its second weekend and the other fell 60%. While Skyfall is getting some of the best reviews of the entire series, as well as some of its strongest word-of-mouth, I don't think it can match the performance of Royale thanks in large part to just how big it opened – it's tough to follow huge opening weekend with strong second ones just out of sheer numbers. We could still see a relatively strong second weekend of around $52 million, though.

Wreck-it-Ralph continues to cruise along, dropping just a third last weekend to push its total to almost $100 million in two weekends. The video-game themed film is definitely capturing the family audience, and solid word-of-mouth is pushing it to a possible $200 million finish, if it can last through Thanksgiving in a significant position. For this weekend, add about $20 million.

Flight, starring Denzel Washington, was third last weekend with $14 million, following a surprisingly strong $24 million start on less than 2,000 theaters. Actually something of a clever trick on moviegoers, it's a “perils-of-alcoholism” movie disguised as a disaster film, but hasn't seemed to pay the price films usually do for playing fast and loose with genre. It's no giant hit, but has done decently well for that. Add about $8 million this weekend.


Forecast: Weekend of November 16-18, 2012
Rank
Film
Number of
Sites
Changes in Sites
from Last
Estimated
Gross ($)
1 Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 2 4,070 New 150.3
2 Skyfall 3,505 0 51.8
3 Wreck-it-Ralph 3,622 -130 20.7
4 Lincoln 1,775 +1,764 17.7
5 Flight 2,612 +565 8.9
6 Argo 2,210 -553 4.2
7 Taken 2 2,063 -424 2.4
8 Pitch Perfect 1,118 -27 1.9
9 Here Comes the Boom 1,350 -694 1.6
10 Hotel Transylvania 1,248 -1,318 1.6

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