No surprise here: "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part I" had no problem taking the No. 1 spot at the box office on Friday, kicking off the traditionally slow weekend after Thanksgiving. 

With no new wide releases to compete against, "Breaking Dawn" raked in $5.5 million, for a projected weekend total of $16.8 million. The penultimate "Twilight" film's domestic gross currently stands at $235.9 million.

Likewise, "The Muppets" held onto the second slot with $2.8 million. The critically acclaimed family film will likely draw around $12 million for the three-day period. 

Martin Scorsese's 3D film "Hugo" added another 500 screens to its count, and battled it out with Aardman's "Arthur Christmas" for the bronze. The former earned $2 million, while the latter pulled in $1.7 million. Both films are expected to earn around $7 million for the weekend. 

Other smaller releases fared well, including the NC-17 "Shame." Despite its limiting rating, the drama starring Michael Fassbender and Carey Mulligan, intrigued enough people to earn an impressive $110, 476 from just ten screens. It opens wider in the coming weeks. 

Playing on a mere six screens Friday night, silent film "The Artist" pulled in a remarkable $55,574.

Look for final weekend estimates tomorrow on HitFix.


Dave Lewis has been a Los Angeles-based entertainment writer and editor for nearly ten years. Originally hailing from Minneapolis, he moved to L.A. in 1996 to attend USC, before working for various periodicals and web sites including a lengthy stint at He joined the HitFix staff in 2011.