Friday Report: 'Twilight' Holds Off Mighty 'Muppets'
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 maintained a solid grasp of first place on Friday, though The Muppets continued to be a strong presence in second. Meanwhile, newcomers Arthur Christmas and Hugo remained neck-and-neck despite Arthur's significant theater count advantage.

Breaking Dawn Part 1 plummeted 76 percent to an estimated $16.9 million on Friday. That decline is nearly identical to that of New Moon at the same time in 2009. With $196.2 million so far, though, Breaking Dawn is currently trailing New Moon by over $9 million. The fourth installment in the Twilight series appears to be on target for a five-day Thanksgiving weekend around $60 million.

The Muppets added $12.3 million yesterday for a three-day total of $24.8 million. It's closely following the pattern of Disney's 2007 Thanksgiving entry Enchanted, albeit with slightly lower grosses so far. Based on that comparison, The Muppets is currently poised for a $42 million five-day haul.

The music continued to fade for Happy Feet Two on Friday. The movie was off 12 percent to $5.1 million, or just 33 percent of the original Happy Feet's gross on the same day in 2006. Through eight days in theaters, Happy Feet Two has made a meager $35.5 million, and is currently in line for around $18 million for the holiday weekend.

Arthur Christmas earned an estimated $4.55 million on Friday for a three-day total of $8.8 million. That should translate in to around $15 million for the five-day weekend, which is lower than the three-day starts of all previous Aardman Animation wide releases. With its very direct connection to Christmas, Arthur didn't need to get off to a great start, but it still looks set to come in on the low-end of modest expectations.

Hugo claimed fifth place on Friday with an estimated $4.5 million, which is a very solid tally considering it's only playing at 1,277 venues. The movie has so far made $8.55 million, and will end the weekend with roughly $15 million. Paramount is reporting that 75 percent of Hugo's Friday box office came from 3D presentations.

Much further down the chart, The Artist debuted to an estimated $75,000 at just four locations. That's 63 percent of The King's Speech's opening day, which The Weinstein Company unveiled on the same weekend and at the same number of venues last year. Considering one movie is an uplifting historical drama while the other is a black-and-white silent movie, The Artist's debut is definitely impressive. Still, it remains to be seen how the movie plays outside of New York and Los Angeles.

Related Story:

Forecast: 'Twilight' Set to Beat Three Family Movies Over Thanksgiving

Related Chart:

• Grosses for Friday, November 25, 2011

• Grosses for Thursday, November 24, 2011

• Grosses for Wednesday, November 23, 2011