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'Breaking Dawn Part 2' to take a huge bite out of the box office

By Tim O'Brien     Nov 15, 2012 in Entertainment
UPDATE 11.17.12: As Saturday rolls on, it looks like the estimate tracking number for the weekend is closer to the $130-136 million range, below the whopping figure from earlier.
On that note, after Friday, the take is $71 million. Full report coming on Sunday (go here).
UPDATE 11.16.12: It didn't break a record but the latest "Twilight" film grabbed $30.4 million at the midnight showings. Some think it may track $150 million as the weekend wraps. However, some places had 10 p.m. showings, too.
All eyes have quickly turned away from "Skyfall" and on to "Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 2" as it will bite the box office in a big way this weekend.
It gets an early jump, too, as it vaults to those prized midnight showings. It will be huge there as well. So, as James Bond continues to impress with its numbers here and overseas, a battle on the surface is brewing, but in the end, probably not. What it really means is that the studios will benefit as "Skyfall," will still be big at No. 2, if it ends up there.
The good thing for the box office is the vampire saga will appeal to the younger crowd while Bond the older, so it's a win-win for movie-goers. Then throw in a historical drama and you have the makings of a solid weekend.
1. "Breaking Dawn Part 2" - 4,070 theaters
2. "Lincoln" - 1,775 theaters
3. "Anna Karenina" - 16 theaters
4. "Silver Linings Playbook" - 15 theaters
As "Lincoln" expands and continues its buzz, it cannot possibly compete with those two, can it? Let's face it, it expands, but in far few theaters while "Breaking Dawn Part 2" enters the over 4,000 theater crowd and "Skyfall" is still in over 3,500. The latest Bond flick is now over $100 million, domestically. It will be another interesting per screen tracking for "Lincoln" this weekend as it was when it opened small. Now, if it can match that number ($81,810 per screen), look out, but that is not likely.
* Count is subject to change. Note, at the beginning of business today (Nov. 15), the count for "Breaking Dawn Part 2" was 4,000 and "Lincoln" was 1,500, so they changed. Word was, after the success of "Lincoln" in the per screen last weekend, it sparked interest in getting it to more theaters. That has happened.
Award notes
The one film that will be vaulted into the Oscar talk is "Silver Linings Playbook." These kind of films are what award voters look for when they get their ballots. It is a romantic comedy with all the quirks, solid performances and great cast. That cast includes Bradley Cooper, Robert DeNiro, Jennifer Lawrence, Julia Stiles and Chris Tucker. It is also under the Weinstein Company (as in Harvey), and that means award campaigning will be huge. Just look at "The Master," as to how that became a contender earlier this year, simply because of the performances, as it lacks a solid story. But, it has Weinstein.
And timing is everything here as "Silver Linings Playbook" will have it going for it while that other Weinstein film, "The Master" has fallen away. But, because of the performances, "The Master" will get back in the game. Now, while many films get the award season campaigns, most are just trivial. But, Weinstein has perfected it and others follow his lead ever since "Shakespeare in Love" beat out "Saving Private Ryan."
Films that need a solid campaign are super hero and action films. But, even before it was officially released. "The Dark Knight Rises" was being pitched for a best picture Oscar nomination, but then the shooting happened. That can help it, too, as it can serve as a healing piece. However, it is surely one of the best films of the year. Meanwhile, there was even buzz for "Skyfall," and yes, a campaign will be launched to, as one will be for "Breaking Dawn Part 2." When a film gets solid reviews across the board, they always gets tossed into the possible category because emotions take over. How about "Avengers"? Not a lot of buzz for the highest-grossing film of the year, and the third highest ever, but a campaign will be there.
In other words, the phrase, "For Your Consideration" will be seen in the trades and heard all over as award season picks up steam. It has to because it is the business of show, and part of the overall marketing plan.
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