Bloomberg News

‘Twilight,’ ’Skyfall’ Help Push Box Office to Record High

November 26, 2012

“The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2,” the finale in the teen vampire series, kept the top spot in U.S. and Canadian cinemas over Thanksgiving weekend, driving sales to a record for the five-day period.

The last of the five films from Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. (LGF:US) collected $64.4 million over the long weekend starting Nov. 21, Hollywood.com Box-Office said in an e-mail, helping push combined domestic industry revenue to $290.8 million. The previous five-day record of $273 million was set in November 2009. “Twilight” tallied $43.6 million in sales over the three-day weekend from Nov. 23 to yesterday.

The young-adult films “Twilight” and “The Hunger Games,” along with summer hits like “Marvel’s The Avengers,” have led an increase in 2012 domestic sales, with revenue up 5.5 percent to $9.7 billion through yesterday, according to Hollywood.com. Three new movies opened in wide release this week: “Rise of the Guardians” from DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. (DWA:US), “Life of Pi” from News Corp. (NWSA:US)’s Fox and FilmDistrict LLC’s “Red Dawn.”

“Across the board, all the films played extremely well, even though we were talking about leftovers from last weekend, with no turkeys,” said Jeff Bock, box office analyst at Exhibitor Relations. “You can’t point to any one film” for breaking the record, he said.

Strong Mix

The weekend’s strong mix of films, each reaching specific audiences, helped buoy ticket sales, with newcomers expected to attract movie-goers through the holiday season, analysts said.

Among this week’s returning titles, the James Bond film “Skyfall” collected $35.5 million from Friday to Sunday to place second in its third weekend for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. and Sony Corp. (6758) With about $790 million in worldwide sales as of yesterday, the studio said in an e-mail. The picture has already become the best-performing film in the long-running secret agent series, according to Box Office Mojo.

In the third 007 film starring Daniel Craig, Bond is presumed dead after being shot accidentally by an MI6 colleague. After a surprise return, he battles a new villain, played by Javier Bardem, who steals a list of Western intelligence agents and plots to kill agency chief M, portrayed by Judi Dench.

“Lincoln,” Steven Spielberg’s examination of the 16th U.S. president’s political campaign to end slavery, was third with $25.7 million over three days in its second weekend in nationwide release. The film was produced by the director’s DreamWorks Studios and is being distributed by Walt Disney Co. (DIS:US)

Cerebral Film

Daniel Day-Lewis portrays the president as he maneuvers to win congressional approval of the 13th Amendment. Unlike most Spielberg films, “Lincoln” has little action, focusing instead on negotiations and debates held inside the White House and the Capitol.

The fact that “Lincoln”, a “more cerebral history lesson,” is No. 3 behind “Twilight” and “Skyfall” “speaks volumes to how it’s doing,” said Gitesh Pandya, chief executive officer at Boxofficeguru.com, in an interview. “Lincoln” is “a big hit,” he said. “It was very relevant to older adults.”

“Rise of the Guardians” opened with weekend sales of $23.8 million, to place fourth, Hollywood.com said.

The 3-D picture, one of two releases this year from Glendale, California-based DreamWorks Animation, was forecast to take in $32.1 million, according to BoxOffice.com. The studio (DWA:US)’s other 2012 release, “Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted,” generated $737.6 million in worldwide ticket sales, according to researcher Box Office Mojo.

Ang Lee Returns

“Life of Pi,” from “Brokeback Mountain” director Ang Lee, opened with sales of $22.5 million to place fifth for Twentieth Century Fox. The fantasy adventure features Suraj Sharma as a young man who survives a disaster at sea and finds himself sharing a lifeboat with a Bengal tiger.

BoxOffice.com predicted weekend sales of $28.2 million for the picture, based on the book by Yann Martel. The film cost about $120 million to produce, according to Box Office Mojo.

Disney’s animated “Wreck-It Ralph” fell to sixth place from fourth with $16.6 million. It stars John C. Reilly as the voice of a video game character who grows weary of playing the villain in a vintage arcade game.

Normally, there aren’t as many quality films and Oscar contenders in the top 10 over Thanksgiving, Pandya said. “Usually it’s dominated by family films and mindless popcorn movies -- it’s incredible.”

Weekend revenue for the top 12 films rose 29 percent to $200.4 million from a year earlier, Hollywood.com said. Domestic film sales this year have climbed 5.5 percent to $9.7 billion, with attendance up 5.3 percent.

The amounts below are based on actual ticket sales from Nov. 23 through yesterday.

                      *Rev.            *Avg./  *Pct.  Total
Movie                 (mln)  Theaters  Theater Chg.   (mln)  Wks
================================================================
1 TWILIGHT SAGA     $43.6    4,070  $10,723   -69   $227.4    2
 2 SKYFALL            35.5    3,526   10,069   -14    221.1    3
 3 LINCOLN            25.7    2,018   12,724    22     62.8    3
 4 RISE OF GUARDIANS  23.8    3,653    6,508    --     32.3    1
 5 LIFE OF PI (3-D)   22.5    2,927    7,670    --     30.6    1
 6 WRECK-IT RALPH     16.6    3,259    5,085   -11    149.3    4
 7 RED DAWN           14.3    2,725    5,239    --     21.7    1
 8 FLIGHT              8.5    2,638    3,204    -4     74.7    4
 9 SILVER LININGS      4.4      367   11,945   890      6.2    2
10 ARGO                3.9    1,255    3,080    -4     98.1    7
11 TAKEN 2             1.0      763    1,245   -55    136.5    8
12 ANNA KARENINA       0.9       66   13,580   179      1.5    2

*Top 12 Films Grosses

   This Week     Year Ago      Pct.
     (mln)         (mln)       Chg.
===================================
    $200.4        $155.4       +29


Year-to-date Revenue

     2012          2011
      YTD           YTD        Pct.
     (mln)         (mln)       Chg.
===================================
    $9,748        $9,243       +5.5

Year-to-date Attendance:     +5.3%

*Weekend totals, average per theater, percent change and top 12
film grosses reflect Friday to Sunday totals only.

To contact the reporters on this story: Rob Golum in Los Angeles at rgolum@bloomberg.net; Ehren Goossens in New York at egoossens1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Palazzo at apalazzo@bloomberg.net


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Companies Mentioned

  • LGF
    (Lions Gate Entertainment Corp)
    • $32.3 USD
    • -0.26
    • -0.8%
  • DWA
    (DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc)
    • $22.28 USD
    • -0.05
    • -0.22%
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