Sorry I was down last week with a bug, but I'm back this week and ready to get on track. Unfortunately, the films at the box-office weren't able to do the same. Here's what happened in Week 6…
It didn't take long for the euphoric return of The Muppets to turn into the yawn of season... And by long we mean 10 days. Maybe having multiple Christmas-themed Muppet movies and specials already airing for free on TV this month didn't help encourage parents to drop their cash at a theater. I don't think even the '79 classic John Denver and the Muppets Christmas Special got that old this fast.
Despite the glowing reviews and decent start, The Muppets collapsed 62% in their second weekend with only $11.1 million. It's as if someone took the hands out of each of the characters left them all just laying on the ground. I hope the Henson family cashed the check already they got for selling the Muppets property to Disney or it may be bouncing right about now.
Breaking Dawn also dipped a similar 60% this weekend, though after collecting $247 million those are the lumps producers are willing to take.
As for the other PG films of Thanksgiving, Arthur Christmas and Hugo both held well in the 35% range and managed to make about the same $7.5 million. That means, yes, their gross is also about the same around $25 million. I'm pretty sure the filmmakers thought a movie about a goofy son-of-Santa and a whimsical French period piece would stand out as completely different moves, yet audiences have wrapped the same amount of love around each.
However, it should be noted that Justin Bieber himself, as opposed to a claymation version of him, opens Arthur Christmas singing "Santa Claus is Coming to Town." Pretty much the only fascinating part of this music video before the movie is that Justin appears to have broken into the wardrobes of both Prince and Michael Jackson and couldn't decide on which outfit to go with, so he just went with all of them. I think the stylist must have a real case of Bieber Fever right now.
Moving on to Week 7…
Whoever sat in the room and thought, "I know, if we do the exact same thing as Valentine's Day, call it New Year's Eve, and release it during a crazy holiday shopping/party period, then all the women will flock to it," should be starring in a film based on Bastille Day. Then that person can recreate being dragged through the streets and having his or her head stuck on a pike.
The clock struck early for New Year's Eve which debuted with a mere $13.7 million. For comparison's sake, Valentine's Day opened with $56.3 million just a year and a half ago. Even Dick Clark's Rockin' New Year's Eve would have a bigger audience in 2011 if his only musical guest was the Mambo No. 5 guy. Besides, anyone over 30 already knows if you want to see a romantic comedy that culminates on New Year's Eve, you just go with When Harry Met Sally. Anything else is like an ABC Family movie starting Melissa Joan Hart and Mario Lopez.
The Sitter got sat on. While a normal babysitter would love to make $10 million over three days, a normal movie hopes to do a little better than that. When are studios going to realize certain genres just don't work in certain seasons. August has been kind to slacker/stoner films like Pineapple Express and Super Bad. Harold & Kumar just learned things here are different with last month's $13.1 million start. Now Jonah Hill is finding the same results.
When two films tank in one weekend, it really begs the bigger question… Why didn't something people actually wanted to see open? A week from now starts a period of nine days where eight potential Top Five films will be coming out. Why are these films all bunched-up then when this weekend was just sitting there for the taking? Studios may claim that there's more money to be made closer to the Christmas Break period and when personal schedules are less hectic, but just a few years ago The Lion, The Witch, & The Wardrobe debuted on this same second weekend of December to the tune of $65 million. People find time to see the movies they want to see. Your job is to actually make those movies.
Shockingly, the Thanksgiving releases and subsequent "non" releases since have left our Top Five movies unchanged. The Muppets is only a few million away from Jack & Jill, yet all of those movies below Puss in Boots looked to get vetoed out of the Top Five soon by the NBA and deemed not in the best interest of the The Pool.
The 2011 Holiday Movie Pool Top Five (If Today Was MLK Day):
#1. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1 - $259.5 million
#2. Puss in Boots - $141.9 million
#3. Immortals - $79.9 million
#4. Tower Heist - $74.1 million
#5. Jack & Jill - $68.6 million
by Matt Neuenburg on 12/12/2011
Movies Mentioned in this Post:
Jack and Jill,
New Year's Eve,
Puss in Boots,
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1,