Three new movies. Three chances to fill that family entertainment void, and none of them include teen vampires skulking about their chess-filled honeymoons. But who are we kidding. As much family entertainment is out there – five movies in all – it’ll be all those teens rushing to get away from their Thanksgiving dinners that will make all the difference. Not even the Muppets with their lights and curtains and songs will be able to amass the amount the Twi-hards will be pull in. Still, it should be a nice Thanksgiving for all, young, old, dead, undead, sparkly, felt. They’re all being represented here.
Who doesn’t love the Muppets? Well, I can think of a few people who might not, but they aren’t being invited over for Thanksgiving this year. Disney is counting on that love to equal box office dollar signs, as the first Muppet feature film since 1999 rolls into theaters. The Muppets have had a pretty healthy history at the box office. The Muppet Movie pulled in $65.2m domestic in 1979. While Muppets From Space only managed $16.6 domestic in 1999, the numbers for this new one are sure to be well north of that. The nostalgia level will be a big factor as well as the hype machine behind this latest film. Like I said earlier, it won’t pull in the grand amount Breaking Dawn will be able to generate, but expect The Muppets to slide into the #2 spot nicely with between $35–40m from Wednesday to Sunday. That buys a helluva lot of felt.
What better time than now to bring you the opening of the Muppet Show with our special guest star Miss Ruth Buzzi. Wait, Ruth Buzzi? Hit play now!
Fozzie buys a scale that lies. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Oh, shut up if you aren’t laughing right now.
Arthur Christmas and Hugo are two other entries in the family entertainment this weekend. One is your run-of-the-mill computer animated feature with a Christmas theme. The other one is directed by Martin Scorsese. Yes, that Martin Scorsese. Plus it’s in 3D. Let’s talk about that one first.
Hugo is the latest endeavor for Mr. Scorsese, his first foray into family entertainment since Cape Fear. Don’t expect people getting whacked. Don’t even expect any “Gimme Shelter.” In fact, the Stones are sitting this one out entirely. Hugo is only debuting on 1277 screens, so expect a lot more critical acclaim than financial success for this one. Even with the extra 3D dollars, Hugo will be lucky to break double digits for the Wednesday to Sunday run. Expect more around the $8.5m range.
You really think Hugo was Scorsese’s first family movie? You’re forgetting a little classic called Raging Bullwinkle. Check it out right here, but note it’s very NSFW. A helluva lot more NSFW than the Muppet theme, anyway:
And then there’s Arthur Christmas, the latest offering from Aardman. While it’s a long way from their first trek into CG feature film making, not a whole lot of people remember Flushed Away. An $18.8m opening isn’t much to thumb your nose at, but it’s a far cry from the numbers you might expect for family entertainment. Arthur Christmas looks to get buried under the weight of all the other family films out there and will be lucky to break $15m. Now where’s my Were-Rabbit 2?
With all the family films hitting theaters and running over into their second or even fifth weeks, it’ll be Bella and her two, supernatural suitors who are sure to bring in the biggest crowds. Breaking Dawn – Part 1 had a huge opening this past weekend. Even though the Twilight movies are notorious for having huge drops their second weekends out, you can still rest easy (?) knowing Breaking Dawn will be pulling another $75–80m this five-day run. That’ll put it’s domestic take at well over $200m. It’s worldwide box office is already above and beyond $300m, but it’s still a long ways from Eclipse’s $700m worldwide gross.
Happy Feet 2 and Puss in Boots make up the remaining family fare offerings this Thanksgiving. Both are sure to do just fine here in their second and fifth week respectively. Still, those families have a whole lot to choose from, and, unless their pulling double or even triple features after the cranberry sauce has been sucked down, a number of these movies are going to get lost by the wayside.
Opening in limited release are The Artist opening in New York and L.A., A Dangerous Method opening in New York and L.A., Desi Boyz opening in select cities, My Week with Marilyn opening on 250 screens on Friday, and Rampart opening in New York and L.A.
Here’s how the weekend (five-day) is shaping up:
- The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 – $76.9m
- The Muppets – $36.6m NEW
- Happy Feet 2 -$20m
- Arthur Christmas – $14.8m NEW
- Puss in Boots – $9.4m
- Hugo – $8.7m NEW
- Jack and Jill – $8.3m
- Immortals – $7.4m
- Tower Heist – $6m
- J. Edgar – $4.9m
We’re looking at $193m for the five-day haul. That’s relatively low, especially for a five-day number, when you compare it to recent years. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 in 2010, New Moon in 2009, and the first Twilight film in 2008 were all pretty huge milestones. With nothing able to step up to the might of the Twilight saga this Thanksgiving season, it looks like we’re dependent on those bloodsuckers and shapeshifters. No, I’m not talking about Scooter and Animal, either. Although, if given the choice to spend eternity with one of them, I’d probably have to go with Animal. The guy bangs a mean drum, and you get to walk around the house all day yelling, “Woman! Woman!”
We’ll be back on Sunday to go over the weekend numbers.