Steve’s Box Office Report: November 2011
Top 10 Films for the Month of November:
1. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1- $281,287,133
2. The Muppets – $88,631,237
3. Immortals – $83,504,017
4. Tower Heist – $78,046,570
5. Jack and Jill – $74,158,157
6. Hugo – $73,864,507
7. Happy Feet Two – $64,006,466
8. Arthur Christmas – $46,462,469
9. J. Edgar – $37,306,030
10. A Very Harold and Kumar Christmas – $35,061,031
November Winners: The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 and the Muppets
We continue on through the year of 2011 as we head into the holiday season and there were a lot of unique films released this month that were geared towards different audiences, and it would be interesting to see which ones could break out especially since there was one that was going to be dominant. Sure enough, that one dominant film ends up being one of the winners of the month and there ends up only being one other one which is fairly disappointing for the month of November. The first film that makes it into this film is the penultimate film in the Twilight Saga with Breaking Dawn: Part 1, a film that sees Bella fights for survival during her pregnancy while Jacob struggles with his feelings for Bella. Given that this was just part one and all eyes were going to be on the final film released next year, this film still did very well despite negative reviews as it grossed over $281 million and finished ahead of the first film though still behind the previous two. The other film that makes it into this category is the musical comedy film the Muppets, a film that sees the lovable Muppets team up with Walter, his brother Gary, and Gary’s girlfriend Mary as they fight to save the Muppet Theater from destruction. The film received critical acclaim from critics and would end up finishing with over $88 million which I will delve into later in the recap. While both of these films did very well and end up being winners of the month, the fact that they were the only two that made it into this category is disappointing for a month that looked like it would have more.
November Losers: Hugo, Happy Feet Two and Arthur Christmas
Usually, the month of November has more winners than losers though in this case, we have the opposite as we have more losers than winners which is not a good sign for the month, especially given that the films in this category were geared towards families though one could argue that the Muppets overshadowed all of them. The first film from this month that makes it into this category is the drama film Hugo, a film about a boy who lives above a train station and tries to solve a mystery surrounding his father’s automation and the filmmaker Georges Melies. The film would receive critical acclaim from critics though it would be crushed under the Muppets and Breaking Dawn: Part 1 as it finished with just under $74 million and was one of the bigger bombs of the year. The second film from this month that makes it into this category is the animated film Happy Feet 2, the sequel to the original which sees Mumble and Gloria’s son Erik try to save the penguins from an apocalypse. The film would receive mixed reviews from critics who felt it was a far cry from its predecessor and finished with just over $64 million which I will get into later in the recap. The third and last film from this month that makes it into this category is the animated film Arthur Christmas, a film about Santa’s son Arthur who tries to deliver a special present to a girl that didn’t receive it. The film would also receive critical acclaim from critics though like the other two, it was crushed under the two big films as it made just over $46 million and was another bomb. The fact that the three losers are family films is pretty shocking since the holidays are typically good times for family films to come out, but it just goes to show that not even family films are a guaranteed success during the holiday season.
The Surprise/Story of November 2011: Twilight continues to sparkle as first part of “Breaking Dawn” easily takes top spot of November 2011
When it was announced that the last Harry Potter book “Deathly Hallows” would be split into two parts, there were a lot of people questioning the decision though in the end it paid off as both parts did extremely well. So naturally, it was decided that “Breaking Dawn” would also be split into two parts with the first part released here and the second part released exactly one year from now. Unlike Harry Potter, Twilight is not as loved as it is typically trashed by critics and this was pretty much the same thing, but as usual the fanbase came out in droves and the film managed to make over $281 million which was a solid number for a film that was basically setting up the final one. It would also be the only film from this month that had a great run with no other film making over $100 million, and now all eyes were going to be on Part 2 to see if that film can end the franchise on a high note and help prop November 2012 higher than Part 1 did for this month.
Overachiever of November 2011: The Muppets
1999 was the last time that the Muppets were on the big screen with “Muppets in Space” and since then, they have mainly been limited to minor appearances and they would also be acquired by Disney when they were scooping up as much property as they could. Now just over a decade later, the Muppets finally return to the big screen for a new generation while also looking to bring back many long time fans of the puppets. Coming out as counterprogramming to Breaking Dawn: Part 1, the film would be the go-to film for families amongst many other films released this month that were geared to bringing in families. The film would be critically acclaimed and many felt it was one of the better Muppet films in that it played up the nostalgia while establishing a new feel, and the film would end up making over $88 million which put it ahead of all the previous Muppet films and the franchise now feels reborn as it will be interesting to see if we get any more films after this.
Underachiever of November 2011: Happy Feet Two
In 2006, Happy Feet came out and was a major success by coming close to $200 million and becoming one of the top films of that holiday season, and now five years later we finally get the sequel though it ends up being nowhere as successful as the first one. Obviously, things are different now than in 2006 when Happy Feet was the only major film for families while Happy Feet Two had to deal with numerous family films, and the long gap between the two years did seem to hurt it a bit as they seemed to wait too long to pull the trigger on the sequel and not striking while the iron was hot back in 2006. Coupled with the mixed to negative reviews from critics who felt it was not a faithful sequel to the original and the film ended up falling flat with just over $64 million and as a result, this film ends up being named the underachiever of the month.
November 2011 Awards Watch: The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1, the Muppets, Jack and Jill, Hugo, Arthur Christmas, and J. Edgar
Like we usually do, we start seeing most of the award contenders start to come out around this time with the majority of them usually coming out in December, but occasionally November also has a good number of films make it into this category and this month is one of those cases. The first film from this month that makes it into this category is the Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 as it was nominated for 8 Golden Raspberry Awards (Worst Picture, Worst Actor, Worst Actress, Worst Director, Worst Prequel, Remake, Ripoff, or Sequel, Worst Screen Couple, Worst Screenplay, and Worst Screen Ensemble) though amazingly it wouldn’t win any of them as one film was considered worse. The next film from this month that makes it into this category is the Muppets which would win one Academy Award (Best Original Song) and it was a good win for the film even if it was a minor one. The next film from this month that makes it into this category is the comedy film Jack and Jill, a film about an advertising executive who must deal with his twin sister visiting. The film would receive harsh reviews from critics who considered it one of the worst of all time and it would end up making just over $74 million, and it would win a record 12 Golden Raspberry Awards (Worst Picture, Worst Actor, Worst Actress, Worst Supporting Actor, Worst Supporting Actress, Worst Screen Couple, Worst Prequel, Remake, Ripoff, or Sequel, Worst Director, Worst Screenplay, and Worst Screen Ensemble) which was quite amazing to see. The next film from this month that makes it into this category is Hugo which would win 5 Academy Awards (Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing, Best Art Direction, Best Cinematography, and Best Visual Effects) while being nominated for 6 more (Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Original Score, Best Costume Design, and Best Film Editing). It would also win one Golden Globe Award (Best Director) while being nominated for two more (Best Picture – Drama and Best Original Score) which solidifies its standing as one of the best reviewed films of the year. The next film from this month that makes it into this category is Arthur Christmas which was nominated for one Golden Globe Award (Best Animated Film) though it was a good nod for the film to get the nomination. The final film from this month that makes it into this category is the biographical film J. Edgar, based on the life and career of J. Edgar Hoover and the creation of the F.B.I. The film would receive mixed reviews from critics and finished with just over $37 million, and it would receive one Golden Globe nomination (Best Actor – Drama) which it wouldn’t win though it was a win to get a nomination. It was interesting that this month had a film that did very well in the Academy Awards and one that in essence swept the Golden Raspberry Awards for that year, and we will see if that ends up happening again.
Overall Thoughts of November 2011:
Overall, the month of November 2011 ended up being a slight above average month which was a bit of a disappointment given that the month could done much more to prop the box office back up after two down months. Coming off a pretty successful summer, the fall has seen the box office on a bit of a downswing and usually things start to pick back up around the holidays, but this month ended up underwhelming a bit as only one film did extremely well while the other films were all about in the same range of each other with nothing else breaking away from the pack. 2011 has been an interesting year to this point as we have had some high points and low points, and as we head into the last month of the year we will see if the year can end on a high note. As for the month of November 2011, it was a fine month that landed about in the middle of the pack for the year.
Final Grade: C+