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Weekend Report: 'Harry Potter,' 'Tangled' Tower Over Thanksgiving Weekend

by Brandon Gray
Hary Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1
 

 
November 29, 2010

Families were out in force as Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 and Tangled dominated the Thanksgiving box office with a potent one-two punch, followed by Megamind in a distant third. Burlesque, Love and Other Drugs and Faster each posted modest numbers, and overall weekend business was down three percent from the same period last year when The Twilight Saga: New Moon and The Blind Side led.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 pulled in $49.1 million, down 61 percent from last weekend. Its drop was more extreme than the last Thanksgiving Potter, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, which was off 47 percent. Tallying $219.1 million in ten days, though, the penultimate Potter boasted the top-grossing ten-day launch of the series, passing Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince's $201.2 million, and it has gained ground on New Moon, which had $230.9 million by day ten. However, in terms of estimated attendance, Deathly Hallows Part 1 ranked third in its franchise, behind Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone and Goblet of Fire. On the IMAX front, Deathly Hallows Part 1's 239 venues contributed an estimated $5.7 million to the weekend gross, off 52 percent, and $22.6 million to the total.

Tangled unfurled with $48.8 million on approximately 5,400 screens at 3,603 locations, lifting its sum to $68.7 million in five days and ranking as the second highest-grossing Thanksgiving opening ever (behind Toy Story 2). More importantly, it exceeded the $49.1 million five-day start of Walt Disney Pictures' last Thanksgiving princess event, Enchanted, and it was Disney's top-grossing non-Pixar animated showing yet. Tangled had 2,461 of its locations presenting the picture in the 3D illusion, and they accounted for 56 percent of business. Disney's exit polling indicated that 61 percent of Tangled's audience was female and 57 percent under 25 years old. Tangled also earned a rare "A+" from moviegoer pollster CinemaScore.

In fourth place, Burlesque collected $11.9 million on around 3,500 screens at 3,037 locations for a $17.3 million five-day start. Its gross was on par with Rent, the last major musically-oriented Thanksgiving release, albeit with lower attendance. Distributor Sony Pictures reported an audience breakdown of 69 percent female and 54 percent aged 25 years and older.

Few were high on Love and Other Drugs, which took in $9.7 million on close to 2,700 screens at 2,455 locations, tallying $13.9 million in five days. There were no recent direct Thanksgiving antecedents to compare it to, but, among other releases, business wasn't much better than low performers like Love Happens and A Lot Like Love. According to distributor 20th Century Fox, 63 percent of Love's audience was female and 60 percent was aged 25 years and older.

Faster blew a gasket, grossing $8.5 million on over 2,700 screens at 2,454 locations for a $12 million five-day sum. It trailed recent Thanksgiving action pictures Ninja Assassin, Transporter 3 and Hitman by a wide margin, and it hit a new low for actor Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. Distributor CBS Films' research showed that 57 percent of Faster's audience was male and 57 percent was aged 25 years and older.

Disney aggressively promoted Tangled as something more Shrek-like than typical Disney fare, but the marketing still maintained the Disney princess flair. Riffing on the Rapunzel storyline in a bid to expand the base, the studio even ran a fake ad called "Rapunzhair," which aired during Saturday Night Live as if it were one of that show's sketches. The rest of the new releases also had ads in heavy rotation, but their premises were far from unique. Burlesque appeared to tell the same showbiz story that's been going around for ages, relying only on Cher, Christina Aguilera and its chutzpah to distinguish it. Love and Other Drugs' marketing made the movie look like a generic romance, hoping for low-pulling Brokeback Mountain alumni Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway to charm audiences. Faster was just another revenge picture in its ads with a quote about how The Rock was back in action (presumably after his family forays, though he covered similar ground in Walking Tall).

Meanwhile, Megamind generated $12.6 million, increasing its total to $130.2 million in 24 days. Its Thanksgiving pattern hewed closely to Chicken Little among past similar titles, and, despite the advent of Tangled, it still pulled 70 percent of its business from 3D showings. Unstoppable came in fifth with $11.4 million, and, with $60.4 million in 17 days, it has chugged past The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 through the same point.

Last Weekend
'Deathly' Marks Liveliest 'Harry Potter' Debut Yet

This Timeframe in Past Years:
2009 - 'New Moon' Eclipses 'Twilight,' 'Blind Side' Surges
2008 -
'Four Christmases' Rushes Thanksgiving
2007 - 'Enchanted' Bewitches Thanksgiving
2006 - 'Happy Feet,' 'Casino Royale' Top Thanksgiving
2005 - 'Goblet' Gobbles 'Rent' Over Thanksgiving
2004 - 'Kranks' Out-Rank 'Alexander' Over Thanksgiving

Related Charts
Weekend Box Office Results
5-day Thanksgiving Weekend Results
All Time Thanksgiving Weekend Grosses
All Time 2nd Weekends
Fastest to $200 Million



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