Top Five (Full list)
1. "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1" $62,321,838 ($221,300,000)
2. "The Muppets" $42,000,000 ($42,000,000)
3. "Happy Feet Two" $18,369,613 ($43,773,000)
4. "Arthur Christmas" $17,000,000 ($17,000,000)
5. "Hugo" $15,380,000 ($15,380,000)
First Place. "Breaking Dawn Part 1" didn't end up with the biggest opening weekend of the whole series, but it's still destroying everything in its path. Here's a staggering statistic, via Scott Mendelson: This "Twilight" sequel scared up more in its first 10 days than ... "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part I." If "Breaking Dawn Part 2" beats "Deathly Hallows Part II," we'll be officially depressed.
YOU FLOPPED. Sure, we covered this last week, but come on: How in the world did "Happy Feet Two" cost $135 million? It's not gonna come close to that, maybe not half that. "Arthur Christmas" was a disappointment as well, though it might have just been caught up in the high number of family films out this weekend ... and of course those freaking Muppets.
Impressive Bridesmaid. Ah, yes, "The Muppets." Rest assured, you've got plenty of Muppet movies coming. Not only did the Jason Segel fan fiction project earn an impressive $42 million over the five-day holiday weekend, it earned a CinemaScore of "A." So you can expect its numbers to stay high for a while. Plus, it only cost $45 million to make -- "The Muppets" costs a third of "Happy Feet Two?" Wha? -- and there's no worry about the stars' salaries increasing for future installments. Enjoy this moment of unmitigated happy Muppet news. When the sixth installment, "Muppet: Impossible 5" comes out in 2021, and everyone's tired of the Muppets, remember this giddy time. Also: That "Hugo" number is nothin' to be ashamed of.
Tiny Dancer. It's always strange that some movies in the Oscar race are considered to be "peaking too early." The marathon-not-a-race thing is a metaphor; movies do not actually grow tired. Anyway, "The Descendants" continues to rock it out on the indie circuit, sneaking into the top 10 on just 433 screens. The other Oscar contenders? "The Artist" and "A Dangerous Method" did fine -- if not spectacular -- but "My Week With Marilyn" was decidedly less impressive.
Next Week's Contestants. If you're not an indie movie person ... well, you have another week to see all the movies you didn't get to this weekend. Zero new movies are opening wide this Friday, though the NC-17-rated "Shame" hits nine screens. But so many movies came out over Thanksgiving weekend that you should probably take some time to go see them this week, once you get out of the Wal-Mart line.