It’s Thanksgiving weekend, the ultimate time for families to hit the movie theater in search of wholesome fare that will please both Aunt Dawn and little nephew Woody. Thus, we’re getting an onslaught of kiddie fare this weekend: The Muppets, Arthur Christmas, and Hugo are all hitting theaters. Unfortunately for those films there’s a little phenomenon called Twilight to contend with. Here’s how the box office should shake out over the five-day weekend:
1. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 – $55 million
While a vampire honeymoon doesn’t fall into the “family friendly” category, Breaking Dawn scored the fifth-best opening weekend of all time last weekend. Even if it falls by a harsh 60 percent, the film should top the chart with ease.
2. The Muppets – $45 million
Oh, our little cover frog is all grown up and getting a heavily publicized wide release! Disney has been hyping the $40 million comeback film hard, and audiences seem to be remembering how much affection they once had for their felt friends. That being said, the low-fi puppets could seem too quaint for kids that grew up with 3-D CG animations. Still, Kermit should be seeing a lot of green this weekend, thanks to curious parents and stunning reviews, and The Muppets might play similarly to Enchanted, which found $49 million over the five-day Thanksgiving frame in 2007.
3. Arthur Christmas – $19 million
Sony’s 3-D animated holiday adventure, which was produced by Aardman (of Wallace and Gromit fame), cost a reported $98 million to make, but it will have to work hard to earn that much at the domestic box office. Aardman pictures, while critically heralded (Arthur is earning great reviews), aren’t typically big box office performers — Flushed Away, the production company’s other CG animated movie, only earned $64.6 million during its 2006 run. Arthur Christmas might fare a little bit better, and it should hold very well as Christmas approaches, but for now, a $19 million five-day weekend looks likely.
4. Happy Feet Two – $18 million
The penguin sequel disappointed majorly last weekend, and while it won’t hold as glacially well as Puss in Boots did in its sophomore frame, it might waddle down to an alright-but-still-sad $18 million from Wednesday to Sunday.
5. Hugo – $10 million
While critics love this 3-D Martin Scorsese picture (Yep, all three kids’ movies getting released today have over 90 percent “fresh” reviews on Rotten Tomatoes) and herald it for being a perfect choice for people who love filmmaking, general audiences don’t tend to care about that sort of thing. Blame Alvin and the Chipmunks. The $170 million feature may start soft with just $10 million in five days.
What are you looking forward to seeing this weekend?
Follow Grady on Twitter: @EWGradySmith