BOX OFFICE FORECAST: NOV. 25-27, 2011 [TWILIGHT TO SUCK MORE BLOOD]

[Note: The predictions I’ll give are for the three-day weekend, not the five-day break]

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! ‘Tis the perfect weekend to be watching movies as three films with Rotten Tomatoes ratings of 95% Fresh and above will debut and delight audiences over the extended break, which is very rare! The Muppets, Arthur Christmas, and Hugo are all targeting the family crowd, while last week’s champion The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn is still getting fans to watch it again.

The weekend is almost similar to last year’s Thanksgiving feast. Harry Potter 7 Part 1 remained atop in its second weekend despite crashing above 60%. The film is closely followed by Disney’s Tangled, while another animated movie, Megamind settled at a distant third. Much like Potter,   Breaking Dawn is also heavily frontloaded and is expected to bleed like New Moon. The film usually caters to its huge fanbase rather than the general audience, which means that Summit Entertainment will rely heavily on the film’s followers to get it to first place again. However, despite the disadvantage, don’t be surprised to see Breaking Dawn atop the box office once again.

If Potter is to Twilight, then The Muppets is to Tangled. The latter won the hearts of many last year with its fresh retelling of the classic fairytale. And judging by the early reviews, I guess we can conclude that Jason Segel, Amy Adams and the Muppets will also get the same reception. With its 97% Fresh rating at RT, this reboot is expected to have a solid run box office run – bringing nostalgia to its long-time fans and at the same time enticing new ones.

Last week’s major disappointment, Happy Feet Two, is set to perform far worse than its predecessor in its second weekend. The sequel to the Oscar-winning animated pic won’t be able to pull off what Puss in Boots was able to do a few weeks back. The film will be dragged down by all new releases but will probably end up taking the third spot.

Another animated movie, Arthur Christmas, is vying for fourth place. The film is backed by Aardman Animations, the same company that brought us Wallace and Gromit and Flushed Away. Although lacking buzz, Arthur is still expected to rake in double digits and finish ahead of the last major new release.

I usually just predict the top 7 movies, but I’ll make an exception to give room for Martin Scorsese’s Hugo. This will be his first attempt to make a children’s film, and while it’s being praised by most critics, theatre owners doubt its ability to attract moviegoers. It will open in 1277 theaters, significantly smaller than The Muppets’ 3440 and Arthur Christmas’ 3376. It would be almost impossible for Hugo to get above $10M because of that.

With Scorsese expected to take eighth place, holdovers Puss in Boots, Immortals, and Jack and Jill will get the remaining three spots in the top 7, wherein anyone can outperform each other.

TOP 7 PREDICTIONS

#1 – $40.0M – The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn

#2 – $36.5M – The Muppets

#3 – $18.2M – Happy Feet Two

#4 – $16.3M – Arthur Christmas

#5 – $10.1M – Puss in Boots

#6 – $10.0M – Immortals

#7 – $9.8M – Jack and Jill

#8 – $8.5M – Hugo

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