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Turkeys as Far as the Eye Can See

By William Goss | Box Office Round-Ups | November 29, 2009 |


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When families gathered around at Thanksgiving to decide which movie they'd go see together, most appeared to flip a coin. Heads, the one where the Native American boy turns into an oversized werewolf; tails, the one where the Christian woman turns into a loud-mouthed savior. That surely explains why OMG New Moon held on to the top spot with $66 million over the past five days (sucker's already cracked $200m domestic), while The Blind Side rode its coattails in second place with $57.5 million (sucker's already cracked $100m domestic). I can't say I'm that surprised -- football for the guys, sentiment for the gals, comedy and drama for all ages; it's the definition of a broad-appeal feel-good hit. And speaking of broad appeal, while Ms. Bullock isn't all that bad in it, I find talk of her getting a nod for Best Actress this year a bit disconcerting, if only because it might be a bit feasible with such a weak field of contenders.

Third place went to the destructo-tastic 2012 with $25.6 million, while fourth place went to the Dustin-breaking Old Dogs with $24 million (which I feared would do a lot better, since Wild Hogs opened to nearly $40 million on a non-holiday weekend -- at least I can be thankful for not having to sit through that goddamn trailer anymore). With more distinctly cheerful ads in play, A Christmas Carol held on in fifth with $22.5 million, and the blood-soaked Ninja Assassin managed a sixth-place finish with a decent $21 million.

Planet 51 took seventh with $13.9 million, and depending on where you get your box office stats, either Precious: For People Looking for Something Stronger Than The Blind Side took eighth place with $9.5 million and Fantastic Mr. Fox took ninth with the same, or vice versa. (Seeing the fantastic Mr. Fox again yesterday had me sitting with an audience of restless tots and amused adults; all I'm saying is, go see it while it's still around.) (Oh, and Pajiba's own review will be up Monday.)

In tenth place with a scaled-back release was John Hillcoat's long-delayed adaptation of The Road, which took in $2 million from roughly a hundred screens in thirty markets. That may not be enough to justify further expansion, as the Weinsteins seem more keen on putting all their Oscar hopes on Nine now. I guess they should've known that an audience looking to see other people push shopping carts and question their humanity would just get up for Black Friday instead.



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