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'Twilight,' 'Skyfall' leading Thanksgiving box office

November 23, 2012|By Ben Fritz
  • "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2" continued to lead the box office on Thanksgiving Day.
"The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2" continued to lead… (Andrew Cooper )

No new movies have been able to challenge blockbusters "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2" and "Skyfall," which continue to lead the box office over the first two days of the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

Among a trio of new pictures, "Rise of the Guardians" is shaping up to be the worst opening in six years for DreamWorks Animation, while "Life of Pi" started slow but appears to be building with good word-of-mouth, and the remake of "Red Dawn" is off to a decent start.

The newest and final "Twilight" sequel easily topped the box office Wednesday and eked out a victory Thursday with $12.8 million and $8.1 million, respectively. Total box office in the U.S. and Canada since the teen vampire romance opened last Friday is $183.8 million. That's $4.7 million ahead of "Breaking Dawn Part 1" at the same point last year, but $4.3 million behind 2009's "The Twilight Saga: Eclipse."

It appears "Breaking Dawn Part 2" will end up grossing virtually the same amount as the last few "Twilight" movies, dashing the hopes of some at studio Lionsgate that, like the final "Harry Potter" movie, it could beat its predecessors.

"Skyfall," meanwhile, has become the highest grossing James Bond movie of all time domestically and with healthy $7.3 million and $7.5 million receipts Wednesday and Thursday, should keep going for a while. Its total domestic gross as of the holiday was $185.6 million.

With only $4.9 million on its opening day Wednesday and $3.7 million Thursday, "Rise of the Guardians" is unlikely to gross more than $30 million through Sunday. That would be lower than any three-day opening weekend for a film from studio DreamWorks Animation since the 2006 flop "Flushed Away."

"Life of Pi," a pricey 3-D adaptation of the bestselling novel, got off to a less-than-impressive start Wednesday with $3.7 million. However, it enjoyed the best Wednesday-to-Thursday rise of any movie in the top 10, a sign that word-of-mouth is strong and 20th Century Fox's picture could enjoy a long life in theaters. With a 23% rise in ticket sales Thursday to $4.5 million, "Life of Pi's" total gross was $8.2 million.

"Red Dawn," a long-delayed remake of the Reagan-era movie about invading Communists, opened to $4.2 million Wednesday and dropped to $3.2 million Thursday. That's a fine start for the film that was produced by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer but inexpensively acquired by independent distributor FilmDistrict.

Audiences seemed to enjoy all three new movies. "Rise of the Guardians" earned an average grade of A  from opening day attendees, according to research firm CinemaScore, "Life of Pi" got an A- and "Red Dawn" a B.

"Lincoln" also continues to do solid business, coming in No. 3 at the box office on Thanksgiving. With $4.2 million Wednesday and $4.9 million Thursday, the total gross for the historical biopic starring Daniel Day-Lewis is $37.2 million after six days in national release.

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