Forecast: 'Twilight' Targets Trifecta, 'Shame' Aims to Woo Arthouse Crowds
by Ray Subers
December 1, 2011
The weekend after Thanksgiving is a notoriously slow one: in 2008 and 2010, for example, the weekend was the second-lowest grossing one in the entire year. With no new nationwide release, this weekend seems poised for a similar fate. Last weekend's Top Four movies are all holding at about the same theater count levels, and should all experience fairly steep declines.
Two unique situations do exist, though, as both Hugo and The Descendants are expanding significantly. Hugo is moving in to 1,840 theaters (up from 1,277 last weekend), while The Descendants is expanding to a nearly-wide release (the official figure is not currently available). Still, this weekend's winner will come down to a battle between The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 and The Muppets, with the vampire drama likely eking out a victory.
While there aren't any new nationwide movies, there are a handful of limited releases including Mexican comedy Pastorela (55 theaters), Bollywood action movie I Am Singh (54 theaters) and drama Answers to Nothing (21 theaters). The movie with the most buzz, though, is writer-director Steve McQueen's sex addiction drama Shame, which is opening in nine theaters across New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. While scoring raves on the film festival circuit this Fall, Shame was picked up by Fox Searchlight Pictures as one of their big end-of-year releases. Because of the movie's explicit sexual content, it was ultimately tagged with an NC-17 rating by the Motion Picture Association of America's Classification and Ratings Administration.
Weekend Forecast (Dec. 2-4) 1. Breaking Dawn - $15.4 million (-63%) 2. The Muppets - $14.3 million (-51%) 3. Hugo - $7.1 million (-37%) 4. The Descendants - $7.0 million (-5%) 5. Arthur Christmas - $6.9 million (-43%) 6. Happy Feet Two - $6.3 million (-53%)