With an opening several times larger than most films can dream of, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn--Part 2 celebrated its finale with an estimated $141.3 million haul for the weekend. That may be $2 million under the debut for The Twilight Saga: New Moon, but I doubt anyone at Summit is complaining. What started out as the final book in the trilogy has been turned into two movies, each with an opening in the six figures. With the Twilight franchise drawing to a close, it's time to look at the heirs. The Hunger Games, which has three movies to go and opened over $150 million? Next year's The Host, which was written by Twilight author Stephenie Meyer? Or the fantastical romance Warm Bodies, which is also releasing early next year? Moving into Thanksgiving, Breaking Dawn--Part 2 may boast a below-average series drop thanks to the influx of holiday audiences, but there are a lot of other films competing for entertainment-seekers during a very busy moviegoing period.
Lincoln rallied audiences in its second-week expansion to over 1,700 theatres. The story of the 16th president's struggle to pass the 13th amendment outlawing slavery earned $21 million with a per-screen average of $11,800, indicating there were packed theatres. Moving into next weekend, there is still plenty of demand left for the movie to tap. Many worried the talky picture, with just one battle scene, would remain in the arthouse, but it appears that savvy marketing and Steven Spielberg's reputation as a director persuaded audiences to attend.
Positioning itself for a prime spot in the Oscar race, Silver Linings Playbook opened to a $28,600 per-screen average in sixteen locations, giving it a total near a half million dollars. That put the dark romantic comedy ahead of the debut of Anna Karenina. The Keira Knightley-led picture, which opened in the same number of theatres, averaged $19,700 per location. That figure is still strong and both awards hopefuls should play well in weeks to come. For Silver Linings Playbook, the test comes this Wednesday, when it expands to 420 locations. Placing above the openings of Silver Linings Playbook and Anna Karenina, The Sessions earned $900,000 in its fifth week as it expanded to 516 locations. However, that left the gentle romance-drama with a thin $1,700 per-screen average, likely lower than distributor Fox Searchlight would like.
On Wednesday, three films will get a head start on Turkey Day: family-friendly animated feature Rise of the Guardians, the (mostly) all-ages literary adaptation Life of Pi, and the remake of Red Dawn.