Box office tallies. You hate them. All they do is cause movie fans to become armchair studio gurus and justify the continued production of horrible big-budget movies with inflated opening weekend grosses. But what if we could rejigger the whole formula so that we had a much better idea of what makes a film "successful"? WE CAN! At PopcornBiz we've come up with a proprietary new formula that makes the weekend box office numbers only a small fraction of how we statistically grade movies.
It was a huge weekend for new movies this week, with the four entrants ("The Muppets," "Hugo," "Arthur Christmas," and "My Week With Marilyn") all getting some of the year's best reviews. Alas, it will shock you to learn that it's not always a blessing for critics to love your movie, as you'll see from the final box office (chart via Box Office Mojo).
1. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 - $42.0M
2. The Muppets - $29.5M
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3. Happy Feet Two - $13.4M
4. Arthur Christmas - $12.7M
5. Hugo - $11.4M
6. Jack and Jill - $10.3M
7. Immortals - $8.8M
8. Puss In Boots - $7.5M
9. Tower Heist - $7.3
10. The Descendants - $7.2M
"The Muppets" nearly earned back its modest budget, and should have long life as the go-to family film for the season. But "Hugo" and "Arthur," both of which cost north of $100 million, have their work cut out for them. Did you know that "Hugo" cost $170 million? HOLY SMOKES, that's a lot of French robots.
Once again, "Breaking Dawn" lorded over the box office this weekend with an iron fist and an earnest, open-mouthed stare. But because we don't like "Twilight" here at the PBCS standings, we've specifically engineered our formula to factor out things like "grossing over $220 million since opening day" and "making goth chicks squeal with delight." WATCH!
1. The Descendants - 1,104
2. My Week With Marilyn - 452
3. The Muppets - 181
4. Hugo - 179
5. Tower Heist - 47
6. Puss In Boots - 38
7. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 - 33
8. A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas - 26
9. J. Edgar - 25
10. Immortals - 22
Laugh at our little formula all you like, but George Clooney's Oscar contender saw business increase over 500% after expanding theaters this weekend. Meanwhile, "Arthur Christmas" got a pathetic 4, keeping it out of the rankings altogether. Please note that the rankings didn't include two new limited releases: silent movie sensation "The Artist" and David Cronenberg's "A Dangerous Method," both of which averaged over $45,000 a theater while playing on just four screens each. Our clearly biased metrics will surely reward them if they cross our newly installed $1 million barrier.