‘Bolt’ Holds, ‘Twilight’ Fades

by Brandon Gray

December 1, 2008

Last weekend, Twilight's opening was over two and half times the size of Bolt's . Over the three-day Thanksgiving weekend, their grosses were neck-and-neck. Bolt maintained the same level of business as its opening, while Twilight fell precipitously. The diverging paths speak to the kinds of movies they are: family movies play strongly on Thanksgiving, while movies with excited fan bases or that are part of the vampire sub-genre burn through much of their demand in their first weeks.

Landing in second place behind Four Christmases, Bolt barked up $26.6 million, a smidgen more than its debut. Though its $66.8 million ten-day tally is lower than many family movies that opened the weekend before Thanksgiving at the same point, its hold was better than Happy Feet, National Treasure and How the Grinch Stole Christmas among others. Also enjoying the family bounty of the holiday was Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa, which eased nine percent to $14.2 million for $159.1 million in 24 days, though it does appear to be slightly trailing its predecessor in terms of attendance through the same point.

Twilight burnt through much of its demand on its opening weekend, leading to one of the steepest Thanksgiving drops ever. The vampire romance bled 62 percent to $26.3 million, and its total rose to a lively $119.7 million in ten days. It's about to top Van Helsing as the highest-grossing vampire movie on record, though, adjusted for ticket price inflation, it still has a long way to go to catch Interview with the Vampire, which has a final gross that would equal nearly $180 million today. Portending Twilight's fate, Interview itself suffered an enormous fall by 1994 standards, plunging 52 percent in its second weekend.

Quantum of Solace nabbed $18.8 million in its third weekend, down 29 percent for $141.4 million in 21 days. The other recent James Bond pictures had their third weekends on the slow post-Thanksgiving timeframe, so there is no direct comparison, but it is clear that Quantum has not been displaying the staying power of Casino Royale.

Below the top eight movies, the grosses were low enough for some limited releases to chart highly. The Boy in the Striped Pajamas ranked ninth with a mere $1.7 million at 582 venues in its fourth weekend. More ostentatious, Milk debuted at 36 locations and landed in tenth place with a promising $1.45 million over the weekend, and Slumdog Millionaire slotted in below it with a solid $1.35 million at 49 theaters in its third weekend.

• 12/1 - 'Four Christmases' Rushes Thanksgiving...

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DAILY: Monday, 7/16 (32 tracked)