There weren’t a lot of movie choices for the jaded and cynical this weekend, what with the feel good holiday movies jing-jing-jingling our wallets empty. The good news, however, is that — according to early estimates — The Muppets is set to make around $40 million over the four-day weekend. Hopefully word-of-mouth can help it out over not just this weekend, but throughout the holiday season ($200 million and a sequel would be welcome, as long as Jason Segel and Nicholas Stoller are involved). That $40 million, however, will not be enough to unseat the number one film at the box office for the second weekend in a row, Twilight Breaking Dawn Part I, which is doing exactly what it’s designed to do: Separate teenage girls from their allowances. It’s only track for around $55 million this weekend and, by Monday, should hit the $180 million mark or so.
Numbers three through seven are jumbled, in the low to mid-teens. The big disappointment here is Martin Scorcese’s Hugo, the kids movie from the director of Goodfellas. Despite great reviews, the film will likely end the weekend with around $14 million, less than holdover Happy Feet Two, likely to end up with around $17.5 million and $30 million overall, a flop so big that the Australian animation company behind it will be forced to lay off 600 employees. Arthur Christmas looks poised to top Hugo as well, with around $16 million (Agent Bedhead will have that review up tomorrow). Jack and Jill will add another $14 million, and Immortals will add another $13 million, both in their third weekends.
Finally, The Descendants, in limited release, looks to have another nice weekend with over $7 million on less than 400 theaters. My Week with Marilyn (review Monday) and A Dangerous Method (review this afternoon) also opened in limited release this weekend.