'Harry Potter' Tops Thanksgiving Weekend Box Office
By Moviefone Editors Posted Nov 29th 2010 07:45AM
Harry, Ron and Hermione may be spending a miserable winter hiding out in various forests, but they can be thankful for holiday weekend moviegoers, who made 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I' the top-grossing film again. It's an impressive feat, considering that four new wide-release movies opened Wednesday to steal some of Harry's Thanksgiving thunder.
According to studio estimates, the 'Potter' picture pulled in another $50.3 million over the last three days. That's down a striking 60 percent from last week's business, which might be cause for alarm if the movie's domestic gross in its first 10 days weren't already up to $220.4 million. Over the five-day holiday, it earned $76.3 million, which is also better than its four new competitors over the same period.
Still, 'Tangled' was close behind with an estimated $49.1 million for the weekend. With a five-day total of $69 million, the Disney take on the Rapunzel tale scored the best Thanksgiving opening since Disney's own 'Toy Story 2' back in 1999. (That film earned $57.4 million over the three-day weekend and $80.1 million from Wednesday to Sunday.) It also boasted the best per-screen average ($13,628) of any top 10 movie this week. Credit the Disney marketing machine, glowing reviews, a princess story that also had some boy appeal, a PG rating that was a little more family-friendly than the dark 'Deathly Hallows' and 3-D ticket surcharges.
A distant third -- but still holding strong (stronger, anyway, than three of the four newcomers) -- 'Megamind' grossed another estimated $12.9 million. Like 'Tangled,' it's benefiting from 3-D ticket prices and family crowds, and it's also playing in more theaters than every other movie except 'Tangled' and 'Deathly Hallows.' Down just 20 percent from last weekend, 'Megamind' claims a four-weekend total of $130.5 million.
Opening at No. 4 was the Cher/Christina Aguilera musical 'Burlesque.' Pundits had been expecting an opening weekend of $13 million with a five-day total of $19 million. It performed slightly below those guesses, earning an estimated $11.8 million over the weekend and $17.2 million since it opened on Wednesday. Despite tireless promotion from its two leads, the movie still may have seemed like an enigma to potential viewers -- a musical not based on a familiar Broadway title, a pop star (Aguilera) who'd never acted in a film before, teasing hints of adult sexuality wrapped in a PG-13 rating and wishy-washy reviews.
Like 'Megamind,' 'Unstoppable' is still in good shape, taking the No. 5 spot with an estimated $11.75 million, just a hair behind fourth-place 'Burlesque.' (When final numbers are released Monday, those positions could switch.) The runaway-train thriller barely lost any of last week's business (just 10 percent), for a three-weekend total of $60.7 million.
Debuting in sixth place was 'Love and Other Drugs,' which scored an estimated $9.9 million over the weekend and $14.0 million since Wednesday. That's near the low end of expectations, which had been in the $9-$11 million range for Friday to Sunday and $14-$16 million over the first five days. On the minus side, the romantic drama had a tough-sell adult premise, middling reviews and word-of-mouth, and competition for the adult female audience from 'Burlesque.' On the plus side, much hype about a frequently-naked Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway.
The last of this weekend's new wide releases, 'Faster,' opened in a disappointing seventh place. Predictions had been around $11-$13 million for the weekend and $17-$19 million for the first five days, but it opened with only an estimated $8.7 million weekend and $12.2 million since Wednesday. Despite the return of Dwayne Johnson to action films for the first time in five years, the absence of other new action product and positive word-of-mouth, the movie was under-hyped and under-released (on just 2,454 screens). Plus, it had to compete with the still-popular 'Unstoppable.' Nonetheless, $12.2 million is more than half the movie's reported $24 million budget, so 'Faster' should turn a modest profit even if it's out of theaters soon.
Opening in limited release, 'The King's Speech' set a record for the best per-screen average of 2010, earning a regal $87,448 on each of four screens. Sure, that's just $350,000, but watch for its numbers to grow as it rides a wave of strong Oscar buzz for Colin Firth's performance and opens wider across the country.
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