Was there ever any doubt that 'The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey' was going to dominate this weekend? Heck, it's probably going to dominate next weekend, too. If audiences embrace it like they did 'Lord of the Rings,' it may even dominate the week after that. The big question now is whether or not Peter Jackson's return to Middle Earth will make a bunch of money, but exactly how many bunches.
Anyone who follows the box office will look upon this weekend's results and feel strong pangs of deja vu. Isn't this the same thing as las week?! Pretty much, yeah. The vast majority of the top ten stayed in the same position as last weekend thanks to an incredibly weak crop of new releases, making these some of the strangest box office numbers seen in 2012.
Many Americans found themselves with four days off last week, ostensibly so they could go see their family and eat turkey and celebrate Thanksgiving from the comfort of their homes. Instead, they went to the movies. In fact, this was the biggest Thanksgiving box office of all time. Congratulations, America!
As expected, the fifth and final film of the 'Twilight' series opened huge. In fact, 'The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2' had the second biggest opening of the franchise and when you consider how huge these things tend to open, that's a big accomplishment. However, this was not just a victorious weekend for Twi-hards -- just about every film in the top ten had something to cheer about.
It was a given: 'Skyfall' was going to win the weekend no matter what. What wasn't a given was 'Skyfall' shattering the opening weekend record for its franchise and positioning itself to become the most successful film in history of the James Bond films. 007 is back and after 50 years, he's showing no signs of slowing down.
Another Halloween, another 'Paranormal Activity.' Another 'Paranormal Activity,' another large opening weekend. But all is not well in the state of Denmark (and by Denmark, we mean "the 'Paranormal Activity' franchise"): the fourth film in the series opened to significantly less than the previous entries.
'Taken' was the surprise hit of 2009, a January dump that inexplicably made nearly $150 million in the United States and transformed Liam Neeson into an instant action star. Three years later, 'Taken 2' has arrived in theaters on a primo release date and with an advertising campaign that probably cost more than the entire first movie. Well, it looks like the hype was worth it. The first film may have been a sleeper, but the second adventure of Liam Neeson's kidnap-prone family has opened like a true blockbuster.
After a few painful weeks, it looks like the box office has finally found its legs again. The combined power of 'Hotel Transylvania' and 'Looper' announced the end of the post-Summer doldrums and the start of the true Fall movie season. Sony, who distributed both films, must be the happiest studio in town right now.
It's expected that box office numbers go up on Sunday afternoon. By that point, the estimates tend to be pretty accurate and if there is a difference come Monday morning, it's negligible. Not so today. Three new releases are nearly deadlocked as I write this and we won't know until sometime tomorrow who will actually be one top. We shall update accordingly. Anyway, here's where we stand right now.
How do you define a hit? What's more important: total gross or actual audience enthusiasm? The answer to this question will help us decide who actually won the weekend. Call it the "Battle of the Paul Andersons": Paul WS Anderson's 'Resident Evil: Retribution' and Paul Thomas Anderson's 'The Master' both opened this week and both had completely different results, but they beg to be compared to each other.
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