Christmas comes early for ‘New Moon’ and ‘Blind Side’ at the box office

11.29.09 8 years ago

Christmas may be less than a month away, but Sandra Bullock, Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner, Summit Entertainment and Warner Bros. got their presents early.  After the five-day holiday weekend wraps up, “The Twilight Saga: New Moon” and “The Blind Side” are turning into two of the biggest hits of the year.

As expected, besides one strange anomaly on Thanksgiving day, “New Moon” has continued to dominate grosses since opening on Nov. 20.  With another $42 million this weekend, “New Moon” now has a massive cume of $230 million.  And yes, reaching the $300 million mark is not out of the question with few big releases hit theaters until “Invictus” and “Did You Hear About The Morgans?” open on Dec. 11.

While “New Moon” is certainly over performing to even Summit’s estimates, the real surprise this month is the stunning take of Sandra Bullock’s melodrama “The Blind Side.”  The Alcon/Warner Bros. release made another $40.1 million over the 3-day weekend for a new total of $100.3 million.  $175-200 million is not out of the question for the word-of-mouth hit.  More intriguingly though, can it sneak into the Oscar race?  We’ll see.

Third place went to Roland Emmerich’s “2012” which destroyed $18.6 million for a new total of $138.7 million.  Not much else to say about that, except it’s not the domestic blockbuster Sony Pictures was hoping for but should land a final tally close to Emmerich’s “The Day After Tomorrow.”

Among new releases, “Old Dogs” has grossed $24 million since opening on Wednesday.  That has to be disappointing for Disney considering there were no other new comedies in the marketplace.  Yet another reason former studio chief Dick Cook was let go.

Another underachiever this holiday frame was Warner Bros. “Ninja Assassin.”  The Wachowski produced action flick has found only $21 million since its mid week debut.  The studio will have to hope leading man Rain’s popularity in Asia can make up for the domestic shortfall.

Even more sad is the performance of Wes Anderson’s critically acclaimed “Fantastic Mr. Fox.”   Expanding to over 2,000 screens on Wednesday, the stop motion animated tale did miniscule numbers not able to draw in family audiences.  It’s new cume is just $10.1 million.

In limited release, The Weinstein Company debuted Viggo Mortensen’s “The Road” on 111 screens for a pretty good $2 million over five days.  The drama is expected to expand throughout awards season.

Most impressive was the limited debut of Walt Disney’s “The Princess and the Frog.”  Playing only in the Ziegfeld Theater in New York and a new renovated studio theater on the Walt Disney Studios lot in Burbank, the hand drawn animated tale did an astounding $1.1 million over five days.  Yes, tickets were $50 each (egad), but almost ever show sold out which is no easy feat.  The true ending of this fairy tale will be revealed when “Frog” opens nationwide on Dec. 11.

Here are the weekend box office estimates according to Box Office Mojo.  Final results are released on Monday.

1. “The Twilight Saga: New Moon,”  $44 million, $230.6 million to date.

2. “The Blind Side,” $22 million, $100.3 million to date.

3. “2012,” $18 million, $138.7 million to date.

4. “Old Dogs,”  $16.8 million, $24 million to date.

5. “A Christmas Carol,” $16 million, $105 million to date.

6. “Ninja Assassin,” $13.1 million, $21 million to date.

7. “Planet 51,” $10.2 million, $28 million to date.

8. “Precious: Based on Push a Novel by Sapphire,” $7 million, $32.4 million to date.

9. “The Fantastic Mr. Fox,” $7 million, $10 million to date.

10. “The Men Who Stare At Goats,” $1.5 million, $30 million to date.

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