The box office gods were kind to all in Hollywood this weekend. Not only did Roland Emmerich's "last" end of the world disaster flick "2012" over perform at the box office with $65 million, but Disney's "A Christmas Carol" has an impressive hold, "Precious" continues to astound and Fox Searchlight got back on the right track with "Fantastic Mr. Fox."
It was expected to debut strongly, but "2012" destroyed every picture in its wake (not to mention every movie critic) and played similarly to Emmerich's "The Day After Tomorrow" which made $68 million during its opening frame in 2004. Considering that was a usually lucrative Memorial Day weekend it makes "2012's" similar result is an impressive take even if it's over five years later with inflated ticket prices. Considering the massive $300 million plus price tag, "2012" is lucky it really only has "The Twilight Saga: New Moon" as blockbuster competition until December.
Perhaps Walt Disney's well liked president of marketing was fired too soon? Dropping only 25.7% in its second week, the studios "A Christmas Carol" found another $22.3 million for a new 10 day total of $63 million. This is a sign the holiday-themed movie will continue to play well through the season, similar to Robert Zemeckis' earlier motion capture hit "The Polar Express." However, considering how disappointing the film is playing overseas, "Carol" is going to need to make as much as it can stateside to turn a profit.
In the third slot was Overture's "The Men Who Stare At Goats" down 51% for $6.2 million and a new total of $23.3 million. At this pace, the George Clooney comedy should finish somewhere around $40 million. Acquired for distribution by Overture in the U.S. for only $5 million, the flick should be a nice hit for the mini-major. The quirky comedy is also playing even stronger overseas which just points that Clooney's star power can work wonders in the right vehicle.
Right at "Goat's" heels in a stunning rise to fourth place was "Precious: Based on Push a Novel by Sapphire." In only 174 theaters, the acclaimed melodrama made $6 million for a per theater average of $35,000. With $8.9 million to date, the Oscar contender has already grossed more than potential nominees "A Serious Man" ($6.8 million), "An Education" ($3.2 million) and "Bright Star" ($4.2 million). It expands to approximately 600 theaters this Friday. It certainly won't beat expected champ "New Moon," but could easily rake in another $12-15 million. How high it goes? Your guess is good as mine, Lionsgate's and Oprah Winfrey's.
Finally feeling a big drop to fifth place was "Michael Jackson's This Is It." The pseudo doc fell 61% with $5.1 million for the weekend and a new domestic cume of $68.2 million. Worldwide the Sony Pictures release passed $200 million last week.
In a very strong debut in only four theaters, Fox Searchlight's "The Fantastic Mr. Fox" grossed $260,000 for a $65,000 per screen. Another critic's favorite, "Fox" will open nationwide on Thanksgiving weekend.
Here are this weekend's estimates according to Box Office Mojo. Final results are released on Monday.
1. "2012," $65 million.
2. "Disney's A Christmas Carol," $22.3 million, $63 million to date.
3. "The Men Who Stare at Goats," $6.2 million, $23.3 million to date.
4. "Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire," $6 million, $8.9 million to date.
5. "Michael Jackson's This Is It," $5.1 million, $68.2 million to date.
6. "The Fourth Kind," $4.7 million, $20.5 million to date.
7. "Couples Retreat," $4.25 million, $102.1 million to date.
8. "Paranormal Activity," $4.2 million, $103.8 million to date.
9. "Law Abiding Citizen," $3.9 million, $67 million to date.
10. "The Box," $3.2 million, $13.2 million to date.
What did you think of "2012"? Are you waiting for "Precious" to hit your city? Share your thoughts below?