'Four Christmases,' 'Twilight' Hold Post-Thanksgiving

by Brandon Gray

December 8, 2008

It was leftovers again for the post-Thanksgiving weekend. The timeframe typically represents a hiccup in the holiday season, when holdovers tumble yet still dominate and the few new releases are weak. This time overall business was particularly soft, following suit from the Thanksgiving session to hit a ten-year low in terms of attendance. Not helping matters were new releases whose receipts were skimpier than usual, including an anemic debut for Punisher: War Zone.

Four Christmases topped the box office again with $16.8 million on approximately 4,700 screens at 3,335 theaters, which was down significantly from distributor Warner Bros.' $18.2 million estimate on Sunday. The family-skewering comedy had the best hold among nationwide releases, off 46 percent, buoyed in part by its combination of adult-appealing comedy and Christmas theme. The total stands at a hearty $69.4 million in 12 days, putting it on the high end among comparable movies.

Though it was down 50 percent, Twilight stabilized somewhat in its third weekend, further indicating that its steep Thanksgiving drop had more to do with the opening fan rush than anything else. Ranking second for the weekend, the vampire romance drew $13 million on around 5,200 screens at 3,620 theaters. With $138.4 million in 17 days, it has $20 million more than Sex and the City through the same point, though it remains to be seen if it can outdo Interview with the Vampire (adjusted for ticket price inflation) to become the biggest vampire movie in recent memory.

After its strong Thanksgiving showing, Bolt buckled as children's movies commonly do on the weekend after the holiday. In third place, the computer-animated comedy was down 63 percent to $9.8 million on nearly 5,400 screens at 3,516 theaters, and its tally rose to $79.4 million in 17 days. Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa also wilted, off 64 percent, and continues to lag behind its predecessor when adjusted for ticket price inflation.

Australia remained unspectacular in its second weekend, dropping 52 percent to $7.1 million. The romantic epic has lassoed a modest $30.9 million in 12 days. Not far behind, Quantum of Solace collapsed 64 percent in its fourth weekend to $6.8 million, grossing less than predecessor Casino Royale on that timeframe. It was the biggest post-Thanksgiving fall ever for a James Bond movie. The total grew to $151.6 million in 24 days, which trails Die Another Day in terms of attendance.

'Punisher' Among Post-Thanksgiving Turkeys...

Last Weekend:
'Four Christmases' Rushes Thanksgiving
'Bolt' Holds, 'Twilight' Fades

This Weekend in Past Years:
2007 - 'Enchanted' Tops Slow Weekend
2006 - 'Happy Feet,' 'Casino' Repeat, 'Nativity' Meek
2005 - 'Aeon Flux' Flounders
2004 - 'National Treasure,' 'Polar Express' Measure Up

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