The love for “Twilight” knows no box office bounds.
For the third consecutive week, “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1” is the No. 1 movie in America, keeping “The Muppets” at bay in second place, the same spot the Jason-Segel-meets-Miss-Piggy movie occupied last weekend.
Is there any stopping those baby-conceiving vampires? And does Kermit the Frog’s inability to top the box office mean the Muppets revival is officially on hold?
The answers to those questions are: no and not necessarily.
But let’s begin with “Breaking Dawn” — the Bella-Edward honeymoon story earned $16.9 million this weekend, bringing its North American box office total to an extremely healthy $247.3 million. The first chapter of the “Twilight”-saga closer looks poised to leapfrog “The Hangover Part II” in the next week to become the third highest grossing film of 2011.
That’s bad news for “The Muppets,” which looked poised to outperform “Breaking Dawn” given that it had already been in wide release for two weeks. The ”Rainbow Connection” comedy earned $11.2 million this weekend, bringing its total gross to $56.1 million. That marked a 62 percent decline from last weekend to this one.
Given its positive reviews, its mega marketing support and the many charms of Beaker, it’s puzzling that “The Muppets” hasn’t generated more ticket sales. On the positive side, “The Muppets” has one more weekend ahead of it with no competition in the family-friendly genre; after that, “Alvin and The Chipmunks: Chipwrecked” and “The Adventures of TinTin” will arrive in theaters and attempt to appeal to the parents-with- kids demographic. If “The Muppets” doesn’t improve or at least hold steady next weekend, that may not mean that Jim Henson’s creations are irrelevant. But it would cement the fact that their comeback hasn’t been quite the indisputable success Disney might have hoped.
The two other big Thanksgiving weekend releases — “Hugo” and “Arthur Christmas” — followed directly behind “The Muppets” in third and fourth place, with $7.6 million and $7.3 million respectively.
Of note on the Oscar-worthy-films beat: both “Shame,” the Michael-Fassbender-as-sex-addict indie, and “The Artist,” the silent film poised for an almost certain best picture nomination, performed well in limited release.
In its second week and on just six screens, “The Artist” took in $206,000 for a per-screen average $34,333. The NC-17-rated “Shame” did even better, earning $361,000 for a per-screen intake of $36,1000 on 10 screens. Both prove that positive, awards-season buzz still counts for something.
Here are the top five movies of the weekend, followed by your opportunity to predict next weekend’s No. 1 movie.
1. “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1”: $16.9 million
2. “The Muppets”: $11.2 million
3. “Hugo”: $7.6 million
4. “Arthur Christmas”: $7.3 million
5. “Happy Feet Two”: $6 million