GOING BIONIC: DISTRIBUTING INDEPENDENT FILMS INTERNATIONALLY – THE TURKEY TROT AT THE BOX OFFICE!

Hi everyone. I hope you and your family had a happy, healthy and scrumptious Thanksgiving weekend. Mine included my family, our 12-year old blind dog, an incredible dose of laziness, and a double helping of succulent shrimp and salmon (I gave up eating meat in 2000). In short, it was a much needed 96-hours of rest.

As promised, today’s article is focused on this year’s record-shattering Thanksgiving box office, as well as trends that routinely emerge during Turkey week. So, without further ado, let’s dive into how this Thanksgiving rewrote the history books.

New 3-Day Thanksgiving Box Office Record
Thanks largely to “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2” and “Skyfall,” the three-day Friday through Sunday box office earned $207,557,236, making it the 14th highest grossing weekend (of any weekend, not just Thanksgiving) of all time.

New 5-Day Thanksgiving Box Office Record
Thanksgiving records were also shattered in the five day, Wednesday to Sunday frame, with an estimated $288-$290 million at the box office. The previous record was $270.5 million in 2009.

 Top 10 Grossing Motion Pictures Over The 2012 Thanksgiving Weekend
The box office totals below were complied from www.the-numbers.com.

Movie

Gross

Theater

Per Theater

Total Gross

Days

1

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 2

$43,641,448

4,070

$10,723

$227,366,118

11

2

Skyfall

$35,502,973

3,526

$10,069

$221,144,122

18

3

Lincoln

$25,676,413

2,018

$12,724

$62,840,796

17

4

Rise of the Guardians

$23,773,465

3,653

$6,508

$32,341,090

5

5

Life of Pi

$22,451,514

2,927

$7,670

$30,573,101

5

6

Wreck-It Ralph

$16,572,669

3,259

$5,085

$149,278,699

24

7

Red Dawn

$14,276,668

2,725

$5,239

$21,689,162

5

8

Flight

$8,451,144

2,638

$3,204

$74,718,990

24

9

The Silver Linings Playbook

$4,383,669

367

$11,945

$6,209,767

10

10

Argo

$3,865,158

1,255

$3,080

$98,062,309

45

“The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2”, the winner at the box office, earned $43,641,448 from Wednesday through Sunday at 4,070 theaters. While the $10,723 per screen average is great for a film in 4,000+ theaters, it’s interesting to note that the picture made 69% less at the box office from it’s opening weekend. Such a sharp drop points to a weak word-of-mouth from viewers, which will generate limited repeat business. The film has earned $227,366,118 domestically in 11 days of release. Internationally, the film has grossed $350,800,000 giving it a worldwide total of $578,166,118.

“Skyfall”, the silver medalist over Thanksgiving weekend, earned $35,502,973 in 3,526 theaters. That’s a $10,069 per theater average, which is strong. More importantly, this picture only lost 14% in sales in its third weekend of release, meaning its word-of-mouth and repeat business is quite strong. “Skyfall” has earned $221,144,122 at the domestic box office in 18 days, and an additional $568,400,000 internationally. Thus, this most recent installment of James Bond’s adventures has already earned $789,544,122 at the worldwide box office.

History of 3-Day and 5-Day Thanksgiving Weekend Box Office Performance
The most telling aspect about the three-day and five-day Thanksgiving box office is that the majority of the highest grossers did not open on Thanksgiving weekend. Thus, major studios usually shy away from opening on Thanksgiving.

In order to compare the performance difference between the best three and five day grosses over Thanksgiving weekend, versus the the most successful films that actually opened on Thanksgiving weekend. Let’s review the following charts that were compiled at Boxofficemojo.com.

 Best 3-Day Grosses, (all films) Thanksgiving Weekend

Rank

Title

Weekend
Gross

Total Gross

Release
Date

1

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

$57,487,755

$317,575,550

11/16/01

2

Toy Story 2

$57,388,839

$245,852,179

11/24/99

3

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

$54,727,138

$290,013,036

11/18/05

4

How the Grinch Stole Christmas

$52,118,445

$260,044,825

11/17/00

5

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Pt. 1

$49,087,101

$295,983,305

11/19/10

6

Tangled

$48,767,052

$200,821,936

11/24/10

7

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2

$43,641,448

$227,366,118

11/16/12

8

The Twilight Saga: New Moon

$42,870,031

$296,623,634

11/20/09

9

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1

$41,683,574

$281,287,133

11/18/11

10

The Blind Side

$40,111,364

$255,959,475

11/20/09

 Best 3-Day Grosses for films that opened on Thanksgiving Weekend

Rank

Title

Opening

Total Gross

Release
Date

1

Toy Story 2

$57,388,839

$245,852,179

11/24/99

2

Tangled

$48,767,052

$200,821,936

11/24/10

3

Enchanted

$34,440,317

$127,807,262

11/21/07

4

101 Dalmatians (1996)

$33,504,025

$136,189,294

11/27/96

5

A Bug’s Life

$33,258,052

$162,798,565

11/27/98

6

Four Christmases

$31,069,826

$120,146,040

11/26/08

7

Unbreakable

$30,330,771

$95,011,339

11/22/00

8

The Muppets

$29,239,026

$88,631,237

11/23/11

9

Toy Story

$29,140,617

$191,796,233

11/22/95

10

Back to the Future Part II

$27,835,125

$118,450,002

11/22/89

As you can see when comparing the two charts above, even though “Toy Story 2” was the number one, 3-day gross that opened on Thanksgiving weekend, (with $57,388,839), no other film that opened on Thanksgiving weekend appears in the top 10 earners over Thanksgiving weekend. This reasserts that the highest-grossing films over Thanksgiving weekend usually aren’t ones that opened on that weekend.

Best 5-Day Grosses, (all films) Thanksgiving Weekend

Rank

Title

Weekend
Gross

Total Gross

Release
Date

1

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

$82,387,621

$317,575,550

11/16/01

2

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

$81,266,683

$290,013,036

11/18/05

3

Toy Story 2

$80,102,784

$245,852,179

11/24/99

4

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Pt. 1

$74,988,944

$295,983,305

11/19/10

5

How the Grinch Stole Christmas

$73,523,665

$260,044,825

11/17/00

6

Tangled

$68,706,298

$200,821,936

11/24/10

7

The Twilight Saga: New Moon

$66,273,378

$296,623,634

11/20/09

8

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2

$64,435,436

$227,366,118

11/16/12

9

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1

$61,853,847

$281,287,133

11/18/11

10

The Blind Side

$57,519,188

$255,959,475

11/20/09

Best 5-Day grosses for films that opened on Thanksgiving Weekend

Rank

Title

Opening

Total Gross

Release
Date%

1

Toy Story 2

$80,102,784

$245,852,179

11/24/99

2

Tangled

$68,706,298

$200,821,936

11/24/10

3

Enchanted

$49,060,281

$127,807,262

11/21/07

4

Four Christmases

$46,054,468

$120,146,040

11/26/08

5

Unbreakable

$46,010,629

$95,011,339

11/22/00

6

A Bug’s Life

$45,739,516

$162,798,565

11/27/98

7

101 Dalmatians (1996)

$45,073,479

$136,189,294

11/27/96

      8 Back to the Future Part II

$43,016,225

$118,450,002

11/22/89

      9 The Muppets

$41,516,691

$88,631,237

11/23/11

10

Toy Story

$39,071,176

$191,796,233

11/22/95

Once again, “Toy Story 2” is the only film released over Thanksgiving that also cracks the top ten films that grossed the most over the five-day Thanksgiving frame.

Thanksgiving Trends
One trend that continues to reassert itself is that most films that do well over Thanksgiving weekend are rated G, PG, or PG-13. In fact, of the top 10 performing films this past weekend, only #8 “Flight,” #9 “Silver Linings Playbook,” and #10 “Argo” are rated “R.” Thus, families and general audiences are the primary target for studios as they offer their best efforts over Thanksgiving.

Okay, friends, that’s the insight I have for you today. I thank you once more for lending me your eyes, and I truly look forward to borrowing them again next Tuesday. Until then, I hope you have a tremendous week! I can be followed on Twitter @Lonelyseal.




Posted on November 27, 2012 in Features, Going Bionic by
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