Weekend Box Office: 'Breaking Dawn' Does $140 Million, Still Sucks Uncontrollably

Features
by Gabe Toro
November 20, 2011 12:41 PM
29 Comments
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Summit was either being coy or having a bit more faith in humanity than everyone else by projecting "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part One" to open lower than "New Moon." No such luck, humankind -- the lethal siren song that is Stephenie Meyer's ignorance scored again, with "Breaking Dawn" grabbing $72 million on Friday, beginning an opening weekend that, after final estimates, could even surpass the series' best.

What's more, this opening could be a harbinger of even bigger acceptance of this culturally dangerous, socially regressive phenomenon. Not surpassing the "New Moon" opening tally could be related to the possibility that some fans were holding out for the second installment of "Breaking Dawn," knowing they'd prefer the ending instead. When "Harry Potter" pulled the same stunt, "Deathly Hallows Part One" grabbed $125 million in its opening weekend, but it was "Part Two" that nabbed $169 million. "Twilight" performs similarly to the boy wizard, even though the films open bigger and have softer legs, so it's likely even without 3D that "Breaking Dawn Part Two" could have the biggest box office opening of all-time, which would do nothing to disprove that it is likely going to be a tremendous piece of shit. By the way, the movie's also doing massive overseas business. This sort of sickness is called a pandemic.

Sometimes, a film can't work as counter-programming if it's too damned expensive. When one film is expected to do $120 million or over, you'd have to be lucky you can score $23 million. But when you're a mega-budgeted CGI 'toon, you're going to have overlap with a major PG-13 tentpole, and that number is going to be disastrous. Thus, "Happy Feet Two" came in far under the first film's $41.5 million opening take, and the inflated 3D prices suggest the opening week audience was effectively halved.

There's reason to believe something like "Happy Feet," like most CG-toons, will have legs. But this is a case of an overcrowded release schedule. Where was Warner Bros. going to put "Happy Feet Two"? The week of December 2nd seems like a no-brainer, with no major new releases on the slate, but that's usually a quiet movie weekend. And yet, is it better off against "Twiight," and being forced to fight with "Arthur Christmas," "The Muppets" and "Hugo" for Thanksgiving weekend business? With the exception of "The Muppets," which has strong cross-culture appeal, this children's film surplus is one big industry clusterfuck. 

Still managing momentum is "Puss In Boots," which closes its fourth weekend with $122 million. It's still got a bit of heat, but some of those 3D screens have to disappear, so you wonder how much it's going to survive. Flopping out of the number one spot was "Immortals." Relativity's sword-and-sandlas fantasy took a Titan-sized dip in weekend two, and no longer looks quite like the hit the studio wanted it to be. Still, Relativity no doubt made a nice chunk of change through foreign pre-sales, and "Immortals" is bound to be a big DVD title.

Most Adam Sandler titles drop off around 40% in their second frame, though efforts like "You Don't Mess With The Zohan" and "Funny People" fell off more than 57%. "Jack And Jill" is one of the over-50% drop crowd, suggesting its not playing to his core, and after the deflated opening, it certainly seems like it has the potential to be one of his weakest performers. But keep in mind, "Grown Ups" bucked the trend and dropped huge in its second week of release, only to level off and gross a spectacular $160 million. However, it seriously does not look like "Jack And Jill" will repeat such a feat.

Dangling around the top ten like a family heirloom on Cindy Sanders are "Tower Heist" and "J. Edgar." "Heist" should finish around a completely pedestrian $70 million, a flop, but more of a warning than an emergency for all parties involved. And "J. Edgar" couldn't get anything cooking with a light expansion, registering a similar per-screen average to most of the lineup despite playing on less than two thousand screens. "Harold And Kumar" and "In Time" also stuck around in the top ten, because theater owners can't just play blank screens.

Slamming into the top ten despite a limited release was Fox Searchlight's "The Descendants." Riding a wave of Oscar buzz, the film premiered at twenty nine locations, grabbing $1.1 million for a $38k per-screen average. Searchlight is hoping "Descendants" is in it for the long haul, but appearing in the top ten after such a small first weekend release suggests they might want to jump on this one now and go wider harder and quick. If "The Descendants" does the usual George Clooney business of $30-$40 million, it won't mean squat for award voters.

In smaller indie numbers, "Another Happy Day" only registered $9.2k on two screens, still stronger than "The Lie," which registered only $3k at one engagement. The bigger winners were the holdovers, with "Like Crazy" pulling in bonafide hit numbers, scoring $525k at 108 theaters for a $1.7 million total in four weeks of release. VOD release "Melancholia" is also out-doing expectations, with $350k at fifty six locations, and a two-week total of $721k, which makes the film likely to expand further and cross $1 million by Thanksgiving. Support your local arthouse theaters, boys and girls.

1. The Twilight Saga: Movies For Simpletons (Summit) - $139.5 million

2. Happy Bunions (Warner Bros) - $22 million

3. Shinychests (Relativity) - $12.3 million ($53 mil.)

4. Adam Sandler's Latest Excrutiating Exercise In Audience Abuse (Sony) - $12 million ($41 mil.)

5. Puss-In-Boots (Paramount/Dreamworks) - $10.7 million ($122 mil.)

6. Tower Heist (Universal) - $7 million ($53 mil.)

7. Clint Eastwood Presents Grandpa Theater (Warner Bros.) - $5.9 million ($21 mil.)

8. A Very Harold And Kumar (Will Be On DVD By) Christmas (New Line/Warner Bros.) - $2.9 million ($28 mil.)

9. In Time (Fox) - $1.6 million ($33 mil.)

10. The Descendants (Fox Searchlight) - $1.1 million

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29 Comments

  • Brittni | November 26, 2011 2:12 AMReply

    Loved the Muppets!!!!!! It was cute and Jason Segal wrote the script! Liked that Neil Patrick Harris had a cameo in it! :D

  • Jessica | November 21, 2011 6:39 PMReply

    People have such great taste don't they? I tried to watch the first film it wasn't horrible. New Moon bored me to tears, and didn't bother seeing the third, heard what happens in fourth one. Waste of time! What did you say? Oh he tears the baby from her stomach and her spine breaks well that sounds lovely. Oh and the guy who loves her and she almost goes off with imprints on her child? Well this is getting better. Edward is controlling oh wait everyone tells Bella what to do and she tried to commit suicide in New Moon. True love! Oh and vampires sparkle in the sunlight.Pass the barf bag please.

  • Rennie | December 8, 2011 1:09 PM

    thankfully, your opinion doesn't count. To each his own and you needing to degrad it so much shows the negative person you are. Go make yourself happy and don't try to influence people. We're smart enough to make up our own minds. Find your fautls.

  • Luke | November 21, 2011 6:30 PMReply

    Yeah I lost a bet lets just say it was a horrible night. Kristen Stewart broken body, skinny legs she went through hell. It should be a horror film, the acting was scary, the dialogue, the writer Meyer, it was just horrible all around and the moms bringing their young daughters to see this? Sort out your priorities. Seriously this shit is suppose to be romantic? Doesnt wolf boy imprint whatever they hell that is anyways on a child? What is that f*uckery? He is a pedophile. Sicko!

  • brittni | November 26, 2011 2:08 AM

    bahaha, he's a pedophile! I like what you say here :D

  • Hates the Media | November 21, 2011 3:32 PMReply

    Obviously , you none of you ever listenened to your parents teachings of if you don't have nothing nice to say "DON'T SAY IT AT ALL" you reluctant media jerks know nothing of romance or nothing about real love . this movie maybe a fantasy but stephanie meyers and all the people includeing one of the hottest casts EVER!!! WERE FULL OF PURE GENEIOUS WHEN THEY MADE THIS! you critics don't even know real geneious because your all just jealous of the fame because it was not your idea to work the fantasy angle dealing with women and such but obviously they only reason you write ignorant pieces of trash like this is because you obviously only critique movies that are great. BUT , then of corse their are sick psychotic writers and what not that come up with stupid titles not worth the paper they were written on or the film used to put sick disgusting movies like "the blair witch project , or IT " . Leave Harry Potter and THE TWILIGHT SAGA ALONE!!!! your critique of these two movies very unsatisfactory.

  • Salingers Ghost | November 21, 2011 12:02 PMReply

    A stunning total for a movie hated so much by nearly all the critics - I guess it shows how much influence they really have. Here is my favorite of the "bad" reviews - from a funny Finnish film critic -

    http://mankabros.com/blogs/btp/2011/11/16/the-twilight-saga-breaking-dawn-part-1-review/

    It will be interesting to see how much it falls off next week. Not even horrible word of mouth could stop it.

  • skoksvalley | November 20, 2011 9:04 PMReply

    I took my two teenagers to the movie and they enjoyed it, however I didn't.
    I love vampire movie, but not love stories and that is what this movie is. Kissing, kissing, and more kissing, yuk!!!!

  • Sia | November 20, 2011 7:20 PMReply

    I actually liked it and I've seen the other three and wasn't a fan. So I'm glad Breaking Dawn did well and it's a movie for fans so screw your review or any critics review.

  • padre | November 20, 2011 6:32 PMReply

    WITNESS AND FEAR THE POWER OF TEENAGE GIRLS!!! They travel in packs and have poisonous vicious tongues that will strip the flesh from bones and leave rotting corpses by the side of the road. On the flip side, they are also fanatically loyal to their idols, and it is impossible to become a SUPERSTAR without them. They will devote countless hours and years and any amount of money in supporting their idols. Although teen idols have a high rate of flash-in-the-pan burnout, sometimes the girls remain lifelong fans of an idol. When the males eventually come around and reevaluate their once hated idol, two massive forces collide, and a SUPERSTAR is born. First you win the girls, then you win the guys over with action/thriller/horror movies, then you are a Superstar. This is almost always the pattern for every male Superstar. But it all begins with that teenage girl fanatical fanbase. RPatz: future Oscar winner and king of Hollywood. Resign yourself to it now.

  • padre | November 20, 2011 9:53 PM

    hmm the comment system is now upside down. Irritating. Replies get posted on top of the comment they are responding to. Not liking this new Playlist redesign even more. Let us return to the glorious days where we dwelled as Luddites! Bring back the old Playlist! Down with the new!
    fyi: the following comment was to Georgia.

  • padre | November 20, 2011 9:43 PM

    No one is a bigger champion of the teenage girl than I am! My forensic studies of their hearts and minds have bestowed upon me vast powers of Hollywood predictive abilities. No one becomes a Superstar without them. If it true that they have abandoned RPatz and now only old people see his movies, then he is done for. Another Jonas Brother that will never amount to anything. Woe to RPatz! However, I'm inclined to believe the old demo is just parents accompanying their teen girls. Hope for RPatz is still alive!

  • Georgia | November 20, 2011 8:06 PM

    Just read an article that indicated 60% of the audience was over 25. I think your "well thought out" postion may need to be re-written, lol. What an uptight group at this site. I thought there would be insight here. Even the article is written with a huge chip on the shoulder and stick up the a$$. This is an industry about money without which the interesting, smaller projects would never see the light of day. Profitable, audience pleasing films (whatever the audience) are extremely important.

  • Georgia | November 20, 2011 5:10 PMReply

    Wow. What an over reaction. Are you feeling threatened? If, so, that makes this diatribe even more laughable. It just a movie, one with a built in audience. There are a lot of films I truly dislike, but, the fact they have an audience and make money is hardly offensive. Grow up and Move on!

  • ASFan | November 20, 2011 4:08 PMReply

    A thing to note about Grown Ups is that its second Sunday was the 4th of July when people wouldn't be going out at night to see a movie. That's why it was a steeper second weekend drop for that.

  • Fact Check | November 20, 2011 3:43 PMReply

    Breaking Dawn Part 1 DID open lower than New Moon so the studio was right. New Moon opened at $72.7 for the day and $142.8 for the weekend so I don't know where you are getting your facts from. The final HP movie was EPIC coming down to the BATTLE between good and evil. The end of Breaking Dawn is the lamest non-fight in book history. There is no way Breaking Dawn Part 2 is going to be the series' best for Box Office. Even major twihards are embarrassed by the last half of that book.

  • Gabe Toro | November 20, 2011 3:55 PM

    It's not about higher vs. lower, it's about comparable grosses. The difference in grosses between New Moon and Breaking Dawn are largely negligible.

  • KT | November 20, 2011 1:53 PMReply

    What "LILLA" said.

    It's one thing for people to find the films a guilty pleasure based on your interest in their novel counterparts, but for anyone to say they're well acted, directed, and written just shows how stupid they are. This is Hollywood hustling people at its finest.

    I grew up a Transformers fan as a kid, but I barely made it through the first film and didn't bother returning for its intelligence insulting sequels. But, hey... little girls (and their mothers) will buy into anything. I guess if Justin Bieber can sell records...

  • Lilla | November 20, 2011 1:45 PMReply

    Goodness, what is the world coming to?
    It’s not just that these are bad movies. I also just can’t understand their appeal on any level. They’re so awkwardly put together that they seem less like real movies and more like some odd, underhanded deal with the Rifftrax people.
    Between these flicks and everything Michael Bay ever does, we seem to have culturally conditioned everyone to expect the lowest possible standards and to then accommodate their lives accordingly.

  • Mike | November 20, 2011 1:42 PMReply

    Two things: Twilight will not break Harry Potter's record, it isn't the culminaiton of a decade long event from a series that sold 200m+ copies, the biggest franchise of all time, and even Twi-hards hated the end of that horrid book. #2: You said Descendants only opened on 29 screens, it's in 29 theaters not the same thing.

  • Gabe Toro | November 20, 2011 1:58 PM

    Good catch, true. Thanks for the heads-up.

  • A | November 20, 2011 1:32 PMReply

    1) Scott Fendelman - shut the fuck up. Don't act like Jews were the only people to experience an attempted genocide.

    2) Irena - don't like act you've ever experienced an orgasm. Twilight is the closest you'll get.

    3) Gabe Toro - dude, what did you expect? You knew these numbers were coming.

  • Scott Fendelman | November 20, 2011 3:40 PM

    @A - Who the fuck are you to tell me to ''shut the fuck up''? I'm well aware that Jewish people aren't the only ones to have been victims of genocide through the ages, I'm not some ignorant ass wipe (see Mr Toro for that). But I am more than free to express my disgust at a comment made that makes light of atrocities committed against my members of my own family. I can't comment on the suffering and hurt caused to the families of the millions slaughtered in Rwanda, Cambodia, or the Sudan. But like I said, I can comment on something that has affected me and my family personally.

    Gabe Toro's comment was disgusting, and in any line of work a comment like that would not be tolerated, the author of said comment would be dealt with.

    His comment showed him to be nothing but an ignorant fool.

  • Scott Fendelman | November 20, 2011 1:12 PMReply

    ''There's a lesson here, and it involves someone not complaining next time there's a mass genocide.''

    Seriously? Twilight may well be the biggest piece of trash in a long while but that is an absolutely disgusting comment. As someone who's ancestors were slaughtered in the Holocaust I am outraged at this comment. Gabe Toro should be held accountable for this and if nothing is done by his superiors then that says a LOT . But hey it's The Playlist, you guys aren't exactly the epitome of class and tact.

    Absolutely disgusting comment.

  • Irena | November 20, 2011 1:07 PMReply

    Silly boys, you know men when it comes to Twilight, they become such little babies! I love the Twilight series! Breaking Dawn - Part 1 was amazing! Oh, God, the only thing that's going through my head to describe this movie, it's like sex with an orgasm at the end of it!

  • adafa | November 20, 2011 1:09 PM

    As opposed to... sex without an orgasm at the end of it?

  • Kling | November 20, 2011 1:00 PMReply

    This just shows that online opinions and blogs count for little when it comes to Twilight. Just as it mattered little when it came to Scream 4.

  • Natalie | November 20, 2011 12:52 PMReply

    Yes! Yes! Yes! OMG, Breaking Dawn - Part 1 is absolutely incredible! I can’t wait for Part 2! MORE MORE MORE!!!! Don't ever stop making Twilight movies! They've never been better...never! Never better! Woooo! :)

  • Jesse | November 20, 2011 1:04 PM

    Oh God... why?

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