Despite a lot of competition and a death-defying 70% drop in attendance from its monster debut, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 still cruised into first place over the weekend, adding $42 million to a gross that’s ballooned to over $220 million. Given a wealth of appealing, family-friendly options—The Muppets, Arthur Christmas, and Hugo, all warmly received—American audiences chose “Football In The Groin” once again, fleeing from their Thanksgiving tables and leaping into the arms of a sparkly vampire. Still, co-writer/star Jason Segel’s attempt to revive his beloved Muppets for another generation proved mostly a success, with The Muppets bringing in a healthy $29.5 million over the weekend and $42 million over the five-day frame, enough to plant “The Rainbow Connection” and “Mahna Mahna” in the fertile minds of future nostalgists. News was more ambiguous—if not quite bad—for Arthur Christmas and Hugo, which battled for scraps at fourth ($12.7 million weekend, $17 million 5-day) and fifth ($11.35 million weekend, $15.4 million 5-day), respectively. Hugo actually exceeded The Muppets’ per-screen average slightly ($8,888 to $8,576), but opened on far fewer screens, suggesting that when the film goes wider on December 9th, it may have some legs.
There were many more success stories in limited release, with The Descendants continuing to bring in huge numbers ($16,628 per screen) in its second week, despite expanding from 29 screens to 433. Perhaps its stiffest Oscar competition—yet to be released, anyway—the French silent movie The Artist also performed strongly in its debut, winning a world-beating $52,000 per screen on four screens. Add to that fine totals for My Week With Marilyn ($7,266 per screen on 244 screens) and David Cronenberg’s A Dangerous Method ($45,500 per screen on four screens), and it would appear that alterna-families like to go the movies on Thanksgiving weekend, too. They’re just like us!
For more detailed numbers, visit Box Office Mojo.