This (Long) Weekend’s Winners: Over Thanksgiving, tried and true fairy tales like the penultimate Harry Potter and Disney’s Rapunzel retread Tangled kicked the stuffing out of turkeys like Burlesque, Faster, and Love and Other Drugs. Harry’s five-day haul? A tryptophan-tastic $76.3 million; Tangled, meanwhile, combed out just shy of $70 million over the same five days.
This (Long) Weekend’s Losers: Screen Gems’ Burlesque — at $55 million, the studio’s most expensive film ever — was also its first film without a built-in audience: As a result, instead of the $25 million forecasted, it barely swung $17 million, an anemic number that, unfortunately, left both Fox’s Love and Other Drugs ($14 million) and CBS Films’ Faster ($12.2 million) panting with envy.
How It All Went Down: That Tangled “only” made $69 million might be seen as reflection of growing public weariness with premium ticket pricing — only 56 percent of its gross came from 3-D screens — but it also shows how much better Disney Animation is faring under now-not-so-new Pixar Animation honcho Ed Catmull: Even without the 3-D boost, this was Disney Animation’s best outing in half a decade. And it was owed, no doubt, to the repositioning of the Brothers Grimm chestnut as something appealing to young boys (our hero: A badass bandit whom chicks can’t resist!) while still keeping Tangled a practically aerobic exercise in wish fulfillment for young girls. (If only Burlesque could claim the same biodiversity: Its audience was nearly 70 percent women, with 54 percent of them 25 or older.)
Meanwhile, most film critics had an allergic reaction to Love and Other Drugs, and so discriminating grown-ups added this one to their Netflix queues, while teens looking to see Jake and Annie rub fuzzies were likely kept at bay by its R rating. (Though, strangely, not the 7-year-girl old taken to an 11 a.m. showing by both of her pervy parents at a “Mommy Movie” screening in “anything-goes” Los Feliz; fear not, our 4-month-old son slept through any Hathaway nude scenes — or at least pretended to.)
Finally, in specialty film, audiences seemed willing to accept the whitewashing of history that is The King’s Speech: Despite opening in just four theaters on Friday, Tom Hooper’s historical fiction broke the 2010 record for highest per-theater average: $87,448. Seeing as Speech is Oscar bait in extremis, this blogger feels morally compelled to note that while the film largely glosses over the Nazi-sympathizing past of the tongue-tied monarch (Colin Firth) and deals with his relationship to an Aussie-born speech therapist (Geoffrey Rush), when it came to actively working to stymie Jews fleeing Hitler’s Germany, George actually communicated quite eloquently.
Your Top Ten (five-day totals):
1. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 ($76.3 million)
2. Tangled ($69 million)
3. Megamind ($17.6 million)
4. Burlesque ($17.2 million)
5. Unstoppable ($16.2 million)
6. Love and Other Drugs ($14 million)
7. Faster ($12.2 million)
8. Due Date ($10.4 million)
9. The Next Three Days ($6.6 million)
10. Morning Glory ($5.5 million)