Final 'Twilight' keeps firm grip on No. 1 spot
BY AMY KAUFMAN Los Angeles Times
Tuesday, November 27, 2012
11/27/12 at 6:54 AM
LOS ANGELES - There were three fresh offerings at the box office over the Thanksgiving holiday, but moviegoers opted for leftovers instead.
For the second consecutive weekend, "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2" claimed the No. 1 position. After debuting with a mammoth $141.1 million, the fifth and final installment in the vampire franchise took in an additional $64 million from Wednesday to Sunday.
The film, starring Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson, has now grossed $227 million domestically, slightly ahead of the $220.8 million that "Breaking Dawn - Part 1" made during the same time frame last November.
Other holdovers also fared well over the five-day holiday. "Skyfall," starring Daniel Craig as James Bond, was the runner-up with $51 million, raising its overall North American total to $221.7 million. "Lincoln," in which the 16th U.S. president is played by Daniel Day-Lewis, came in third with $34.1 million and has now sold $62.2 million worth of tickets.
As a result of the brisk business, it was the biggest Thanksgiving at the box office ever - not adjusting for inflation. Ticket sales between Wednesday and Sunday totaled $290 million, far exceeding the previous Thanksgiving record of $273 million in 2009, according to Hollywood.com.
The weekend's newcomers had more trouble attracting crowds. Of the three movies that hit theaters Wednesday, the animated 3-D family film "Rise of the Guardians" fared best. However, the DreamWorks Animation picture's weak $32.6 million, five-day take is the worst opening for the studio since its 2006 bomb "Flushed Away."
"Life of Pi," Ang Lee's 3-D adaptation of Yann Martel's best-selling 2001 book, had a decent debut of $30.2 million.
As for the remake of 1984's Cold War action flick "Red Dawn," the movie launched with only $22 million.
Of the three new movies, audiences seemed to like "Guardians" the best. Those who saw it - 57 percent of whom were female - assigned it an average grade of A, according to market research firm CinemaScore. The movie is about a group of folk heroes, including the Tooth Fairy and Santa Claus, who band together to protect children from an evil foe.
After its disappointing opening weekend, "Guardians" could end up being one of the biggest misses ever for Jeffrey Katzenberg's company. The animation studio, which has found massive global success in comedic franchises such as "Shrek" and "Kung Fu Panda," has had only a handful of films underperform at the box office.
"Life of Pi" earned better reviews than the weekend's other debuts, and audiences assigned it an average A-minus grade. That's good news for Fox, which is banking on positive buzz to turn the $120 million production into a hit.
After years of challenges, "Red Dawn" finally got a bit of a break. The movie, shot in 2009, saw its release date delayed numerous times when financial backer MGM entered bankruptcy.
About 62 percent of the crowd this weekend were men; moviegoers gave the film an average grade of B. The film features Chris Hemsworth, who had the title role in "Thor," and "The Hunger Games" star Josh Hutcherson, who have both become bigger audience draws since "Red Dawn" was shot.
"The cast got better with age," said Jim Orr, FilmDistrict's president of distribution. "I don't know if the movie would have done this well had it been released a few years ago."
6. Wreck-It Ralph $23 million
7. Red Dawn $22 million
8. Flight $11 million
9. Silver Linings Playbook $5.9 million
10. Argo $5.1 million
Source: boxofficemojo.com; Courtesy photos
1. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2, $64 million (Wednesday to Sunday)
4. Rise of the Guardians
5. Life of Pi