The Reject ReportIt’s a rare weekend we’re looking at here. Coming off the big Thanksgiving weekend, we have no new movies opening in wide release. The only new films coming out are in limited, and only one of those is really worth mentioning. So let’s do that right now, shall we?

There’s been a lot said about Shame, mostly about what Michael Fassbender brings to the table. Director Steve McQueen required the film to remain…um…uncut from potential buyers, and, thankfully, that’s how the film remains. Of course, that means it’s not getting much of a release here, only nine screen across the nation, but that’s to be expected for this type of Oscar hopeful, art-house flick. Our very own Kate Erbland called Shame “beautiful” and “deeply personal”, and that’s pretty much what most critics are saying about it. Expect a lot of critical acclaim and Oscar nominations for Shame when that time comes. Right now, however, the film won’t be making much of a splash at the box office.

That splash will be left to the returning champs, the glittering vampires and whistling Muppets that have already taken over the box office charts. They’ll be coming out on top once again here, guaranteed, but the roles might be reversed. The Muppets, after its $29.2m opening weekend, will surely have a much smaller drop this weekend than Breaking Dawn Part 1. Expect The Muppets‘ second weekend drop to be somewhere around 35%, giving it almost another $20m to add to its domestic total so far. Chances are good it will be coming out on top this weekend with Breaking Dawn Part 1 sure to have another big drop.

The Twilight films aren’t exactly known for their longevity at the box office. Despite their huge opening weekends, Eclipse is the only film of the franchise to break $300m total domestic, and even that was by $500,000. Breaking Dawn Part 1 isn’t even holding up as well as New Moon, which ended its domestic run with $296.6m. Expect another big drop this weekend for Breaking Dawn, somewhere in the high 50% range and another $15-17m for its weekend. Its worldwide gross is at $513.1m, so don’t lose any sleep over Summit Entertainment being in any kind of financial trouble. However, when all is said and done, expect Eclipse to remain the sole $300m+ domestic earner for the franchise.

The family entertainment remains strong this weekend. Besides The Muppets, Happy Feet Two, Arthur Christmas, Hugo, and Puss in Boots are all likely to have minimal to moderate drops. Between 35-40% for each of them looks about right, and Happy Feet Two is expected to take the #3 spot behind The Muppets and Breaking Dawn Part 1, but not by much. Depending on the drops which could easily fluctuate between them, Happy Feet Two, Arthur Christmas, and Hugo are all practically interchangeable when it comes to the potential rankings. They’ll each be pulling in between $7-8m this weekend.

The Descendants is another film that looks to have a slight drop this weekend. After its massive upswing last weekend – up 517.2% in terms of gross – the Oscar hopeful won’t be dropping heavily any time soon. In fact, with the Oscar push for both George Clooney and the film as a whole, there’s potential for the film to have a few more upswings in box office as it continues to expand.

Other than Shame, these films open in limited release: Answers to Nothing opening in select cities, I Am Singh opening in select cities, Khodorkovsky opening in select cities – not sure the specific cities, since the website is in Russian -, Outrage opening in New York and L.A., Pastorela opening in select cities, and Sleeping Beauty opening in select cities.

Here’s how the weekend is shaping up:

  1. The Muppets – $18.9m (-35%)
  2. Breaking Dawn Part 1 – $16.8m (-59.5%)
  3. Happy Feet Two – $7.8m (-41.2%)
  4. Arthur Christmas – $7.3m (-38.8%)
  5. Hugo – $6.6m (-41%)
  6. The Descendants – $5.3m (-26.7%)
  7. Puss in Boots – $4.7m (-36.6%)
  8. Jack and Jill – $4.4m (-55.4%)
  9. Immortals – $4.2m (-51.6%)
  10. Tower Heist – $3.3m (-48.8%)

Ugh. Not exactly a weekend for parades and celebration. The top 10 look to pull in $79.3m, waaaaaaaaaaaaaay down from last weekend. In fact, that’s just a little over half of what the same films brought in last weekend. Not exactly a shock, since they indeed all the same films, none of which are expanding by any notably large amount. With no new moves hitting wide release, there just isn’t much reason to believe it would have been anything but a much smaller weekend than last anyway. Perhaps some of those studios that caused the log jam of family films last weekend should have taken a long, hard look at the schedule and bumped one of their films back a week.

We’ll be back on Sunday to go over the weekend numbers.

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