Goin' to the Movies

Informin' You About Movies

Makin’ Bank: ‘Twilight’ Nearly Toppled From ‘The Blind Side’

Early estimates are in, and they show that “The Twilight Saga: New Moon” ($42.5 million) was almost overtaken by holdover “The Blind Side” ($40.1 million) during the holiday weekend. The crazed fans of sparkling vampires made “New Moon” a recording-breaking hit on opening day last weekend, smashing records with $72.7 million on it’s first day in release.

The fan base also proved it was extremely anxious  for the second film, as the sequel broke midnight showings records with $26.3 million. However, just like the sun during a real twilight, the film fizzled out and fell over 40 percent Friday-to-Saturday.

Follow me after the break for the complete breakdown and impressions.

Despite that, the opening day blitz was enough to grab the biggest opening weekend of 2009 ($142.8 million) and third highest-grossing weekend ever (note, that isn’t raw attendance, just money).

Now, the holiday weekend saw an ever larger slide for the vampire romance and “The Blind Side” actually improved in the head-to-head clash on the second try. The first weekend for “Blind Side” saw a respectable $34.1 million cume while it improved nearly 18 percent from weekend-to-weekend and has surpassed the $100 million mark.

Meanwhile, disaster flick “2012” grabbed $18 million (3rd), “Old Dogs” opened to the tune of $16.8 million (4th), and “Christmas Carol” grabbed $16 million (5th).

Opening weekend for “Ninja Assassin” was not an instant success, but managed $13.1 million in an odd bit of counter-programming during the Thanksgiving weekend. “Fantastic Mr. Fox” grossed $7 million from its expansion Wednesday and “The Road” grabbed $1.5 million after opening Wednesday in limited release.


I must say that I am surprised “The Blind Side” did so well. Not that it wasn’t a quality film, as my own viewing experience was quite enjoyable, but the advertisements seemed admittedly hokey. Many critics had said that the film looked like a Hallmark movie and although I did not go into the film making such snide remarks, it seems by and large that even they enjoyed the film, often admitting their mistake.

The film isn’t a must-see, but we haven’t seen a quality sports film in a while and rarely does a true-story provide so much humor and drama in a finely balanced pic. Despite the ending, it is the journey there that remains touching and unpredictable.

With that said, coming within $2.5 million of toppling the box-office beast is quite impressive. That also says something about the Twilight series though. Yes, it is incredibly popular, but it also saw a huge fall despite the holiday weekend.

No long-term projections from me for the franchise, but you would expect something this popular to hold up well after opening weekend. Exit polling during the opening weekend by Summit Entertainment just reinforced the current views: 80 percent female and 50 percent under 21.

According to Box Office Mojo, that is skewed younger and more female than the first.

Also interesting to see “Ninja Assassin” fall so flat. Yes, it is counter programming, but with a name like that, you would expect alot of males to run to fill auditoriums. However, perhaps it will do well next weekend as this is a holiday weekend.

We are also in prime Oscar season now, with “Fantastic Mr. Fox” and “The Road” in theaters and I hope the box office can provide a good run for those. Expect the coming months to showcase quality dramas including my highly anticipated film “Up In The Air”.

Quick Notes

The first film in the vampire franchise (“Twilight”) drew in $192.8 million in its entire domestic box-office run. “New Moon” has already, erm, eclipsed that figure in only its second weekend with an estimated $230.7 million domestic take.

Considering the first film was made with a reported $37 million budget, it was a resounding success. “New Moon” found a higher budget ($50 million) from the success of the previous entry, and looks to remain a huge bread winner for distributor Summit Entertainment.

All numbers collected from THR Weekend Box Office Alerts and Box Office Mojo. This weekend’s numbers are estimates from studios, and are not yet final (obviously).

November 29, 2009 - Posted by | Makin' Bank | , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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