Box Office: ‘The Blind Side’ Almost Topples ‘New Moon’

The Blind Side posterThis week we will be looking at the weekend box office as well as the 5-day holiday, which includes totals for Wednesday through Sunday. There were some interesting developments regarding the international box office scene as well, so this will be a jumbo sized report. New releases barely made a blip, it was the holdovers that led this weekend to the highest grossing Thanksgiving weekend ever.

The Twilight Saga:  New Moon continued to dominate on the domestic and international side. Playing on over 4,000 screens, it grossed $42.5 Million domestically. Over the five day stretch, it grossed $66 Million. No matter your thoughts on the movie, you have to admit we are witnessing a cultural phenomenon unfold in real-time.  Its domestic cumulative take for 10 days now stands at $230.7 Million.

Nipping at the heels of New Moon was The Blind Side. The movie grossed $40.1 Million for the weekend, and $57.5 Million for the five day, with that weekend total being higher than its opening weekend total of $34 Million. Wide releases rarely see an increase in ticket sales from one weekend to the next so this is unusual. This movie is getting exceptionally positive word of mouth, which is bringing more people into the theaters — a topic we discussed on the most recent edition of The Flickcast podcast.

The Blind Side drove over the $100 Million mark as well. Not too shabby for a family friendly film made for around $30 Million. I’m also starting to hear the “O” word casually mentioned regarding this film, as in Oscar. Sandra Bullock seems to be edging her way into consideration for best actress.

For reasons beyond my grasp, 2012 is still raking it in, adding $18 Million over the weekend for a domestic cumulative of $139 Million.  The movie is really performing better internationally, which I will touch on later. Coming in at number four this weekend was Old Dogs, the John Travolta/Robin Williams comedy with $16.8 Million for the weekend and $24.1 for the five day. Holdover A Christmas Carol enjoyed a nice bump (up 30%) and placed fifth. Newcomer Ninja Assasin made a respective weekend haul of $13.1 Millionand $21 Million for the five day.

Breaking the hearts of every critic and Wes Anderson fan I know, Fantastic Mr. Fox had a dismal weekend, making only $7 Million and $9.5 Million for the five day, placing it ninth, behind Planet 51 and Precious. Quite frankly,  the film’s performance is a head-scratcher to me. It has star power (George Clooney, Meryl Streep),  fantastic reviews (pun intended),  and was family friendly.  I didn’t see the movie, but everyone I know absolutely loved it, and found the box office results very disheartening.

The very good, but very hard to market film The Road made $1.5 Million but only played on about 111 screens.  Its five day take was about $2 Million, which averaged about $19,000 per screen, which is pretty decent. This week’s early estimates were from Variety but keep in mind adjusted totals will vary a bit.

Now a nugget for the trivia obsessed.  I’ve been reading a lot more about international box office totals of late, because there is quite a bit going on there. The weekend of November 20-22 was the first time that two releases earned over $100 Million overseas simultaneously. New Moon and 2012 both performed that feat. I find this interesting, because on paper, if you look at the domestic haul of 2012, it’s a turkey.

It has a domestic cumulative of $139 Million, but it had a reported budget of $200 Million. Its saving grace is an enormous overseas take, over $350 Million now, making it a financial winner.  I just wonder if studios are going to start marketing movies differently. Will there come a time when domestic totals just don’t matter at all, because they know they can recoup their losses overseas? Time will tell.

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