“Breaking Dawn” Stays on Top on Slow Weekend

It's the first "Twilight" movie to be No. 1 three straight weeks

The hype has passed, but though Bella, Edward and Jacob are nearing the end of their box office dominance, they still easily drew in more moviegoers than anyone else on one of Hollywood’s slowest weekends of the year.

"The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part 1" took in another $16.9 million from Friday through Sunday, making it the first movie from the “Twilight” juggernaut to stay atop the box office three weeks in a row, EW.com reports. But aside from that, it was a distinction-less weekend in theaters.

The “post-Thanksgiving hangover” and no major new releases added up to just $78 million to $82 million in ticket sales overall, making this weekend either the worst or second-worst of 2011 when the final numbers are tabulated, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

“Breaking Dawn” pushed its domestic total to $247.3 million, though its revenue dropped 60 percent from last weekend.

“The Muppets” declined by a similar amount – 62 percent – grossing $11.2 million in the second weekend of Kermit & Co.’s return to the big screen after a 12-year absence. With a domestic total of $56.1 million, the movie has more than made back its $45 million budget, but EW surmises that “nostalgic adults” rather than families spurred its strong opening, so a bigger decline could be in the offing.

Sales of Martin Scorsese’s “Hugo” went down by about a third to $7.6 million, but it moved up the charts to No. 3 as it expanded to another 500 theaters.

“Arthur Christmas” ($7.4 million) and “Happy Feet Two” ($6 million) rounded out the top five.

The weekend’s most impressive performances came from smaller releases. “The Descendants” continues to do well, moving up to No. 7 with $5.2 million and $18.1 million overall in its third week. It will expand further on Friday.

And “Shame” – which has garnered rave reviews for Michael Fassbender’s portrayal of a New York sex addict – made the most per location despite its NC-17 rating, opening with $361,000 in 10 theaters.

Selected Reading: EW, Hollywood Reporter, AP

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