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Saturday Box Office Preview: 'Twilight' Finale Soars, 'Lincoln' Solid Wide Break, 'Silver Linings' Builds Buzz

Box Office
by Tom Brueggemann
November 17, 2012 4:16 PM
3 Comments
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Comic-Con Press Conference for 'Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn II'

The opening of the final "Twilight" film leads all grosses this weekend, but it's not the only box office news. Without taking anything away from its strong $71-million first day and midnight show gross (equalling last year's, as expected), the most interesting figures come from a trio of likely Oscar contenders.

Steven Spielberg's "Lincoln" went wide yesterday to 1,775 theaters after its incredible limited opening last week, for a one-day total of just under $6.4 million, above the high end of expectations and likely totalling above $20 million for the weekend. Despite great reviews and the pedigree of its creators, this had been expected to be a more limited-interest film, with some questioning Disney's decision to go so wide so quickly. A failure to perform would have jeopardized the film's chances of playing into and through Christmas, and possibly damaged its considerable awards potential. Instead, these grosses should enhance its chances, and more importantly, show that there is indeed a mass audience for serious historical drama far beyond what was expected.

"Lincoln"

Two other potential contenders opened platform runs, both with grosses only a third or less of what "Lincoln" opened to last Friday. Weinstein's "Silver Lining Playbook" (originally scheduled as a wide release next Wednesday) opened to a decent $120,000 in 16 theaters in ten cities for a per screen average of $7,500.  This wider than usual pattern (including cities like Philadelphia, Miami and Austin) for a limited film reduces the PSA a bit than a pure NY/LA platform. But the gameplan makes sense - Weinstein knows from its People's Choice win at Toronto and other screenings that this David O. Russell romantic comedy/drama has tremendous word of mouth appeal, as well as significant Oscar chances. Thus, getting initial big-city sampling, followed by the now revised plan of a 400-theater expansion over Thanksgiving, seems logical to maximize its potential. Still, that "Lincoln" did so much better with only slightly better reviews remains a real surprise.

Bradley Cooper and Robert De Niro in David O. Russell's "Silver Linings Playbook"

Focus opened Joe Wright's "Anna Karenina" in 16 theaters as well (in seven markets) for a total of $81,200 for a PSA of $5,075, reflecting the more uneven reviews (which included some significant raves) for this Keira Knightley remake of the Tolstoy novel. This performance is below the previous Wright/Knightley pairing "Atonement," which opened in twice as many theaters with somewhat lower ticket prices to a PSA just under $7,000. In other words, while this is a decent opening, it's not nearly at the same level.

"Skyfall" fell around 60% from its great opening day. Though that looks like a big drop, it fell less than the previous Bond entry "Quantum of Solace," so it remains an impressive performer.

The Top Ten:

1) The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 (Lionsgate) - $71.2 million

2) Skyfall (Sony) - $12.4 million

3) Lincoln (Buena Vista) - $6.4 million

4) Wreck-It Ralph (Buena Vista) - $4.4 million

5) Flight (Paramount) - $2.5 million

6) Argo (Warner Brothers) - $1.1 million

7) Taken 2 (20th Century-Fox) - $.7 million

8) Pitch Perfect (Universal) - $.4 million

9) Jab Tak Hai Jaan (Yash Raj) - $.4 million

10) Here Comes the Boom (Sony) - $.3 million

'Anna Kareninina'

3 Comments

  • Arjuna | November 18, 2012 11:26 AMReply

    As far as Silver linings Playbook's Box Office is concerned, I agree with Dave poland; you can't read too much into these numbers other than that it was wise to open on a platform. The word of mouth is spectacular and that will help give the film legs. Trust in Weinstein. Oh, and the buzz surrounding Jennifer Lawrence is just as strong today as ever...Lawrence will earn a nomination. I have no idea if that means Lawrence will win but, that would be a second monination in only a couple years....amazing.

  • Joe | November 17, 2012 6:47 PMReply

    For a Toronto winner it's a very poor number for Silver Linings playbook, Lincoln, The master and even Moonrise Kingdom did much much better and all the Lawrence buzz is falling apart.

  • Alan | November 18, 2012 6:08 AM

    I totally agree with what you say. What happens is that the critics and the press will not admit it. Especially with all the hype they did to put Lawrence buzz.

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