Box office preview: 'Tangled' to seize the reins from 'Deathly Hallows'

tangledImage Credit: DisneyThe week after Thanksgiving is known for box-office declines comparable to a post-cupcake sugar crash, so it’s going to be pretty dead out there, folks. Only one new movie — the Korean/English-language/filmed in New Zealand/Western/marital-arts epic The Warrior’s Way – is being released wide, while my pick for one of the most brilliantly gutsy movies of the year, Black Swan, is being unveiled in select cities. The box office will likely be dominated by Thanksgiving weekend’s main two courses: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 1 and Tangled. However, the latter should actually overtake Deathly Hallows this weekend, for reasons I’ll explain right now. My predictions:

1. Tangled: $24.5 million

Disney’s fairy-tale musical surprised the entire industry by coming within $300,000 of beating Deathly Hallows last holiday weekend. While family films have historically tumbled the week after Thanksgiving, Tangled has been blessed with extraordinary word-of-mouth. CinemaScore audiences gave the animated movie an “A+” grade, the first time a film’s earned that grade since last year’s The Blind Side. In fact, The Blind Side is a perfect comparison point for Tangled. Last year, The Blind Side dropped 50 percent during the week after Thanksgiving — the smallest slip of any wide release — and overtook The Twilight Saga: New Moon to wind up as No. 1 for the first time. Expect a nearly identical drop for Tangled, giving it a $24.5 million weekend and a cumulative tally of nearly $100 million by Sunday night.

2. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 1: $18 million

Potter, on the other hand, better hold on tight to his Firebolt broomstick, as Deathly Hallows will likely nosedive at least 60 percent this weekend. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, the last Potter film to be released in November, fell 64 percent the week after Thanksgiving. And The Twilight Saga: New Moon also dropped 64 percent during this frame last year. There’s no reason to expect a different result for Deathly Hallows. An $18 million weekend will bring the fantasy film’s total gross to $245 million.

3. Megamind: $6 million

Despite intense competition from Tangled and Deathly Hallows, the DreamWorks Animation comedy has so far displayed superhuman stamina, becoming the movie of choice for boys who are a) too young for Deathly Hallows, and b) too “manly” for Tangled. A drop of 52 percent will put it neck and neck with Unstoppable, but I give Megamind the edge.

4. Unstoppable: $6 million

Like Megamind, this PG-13 runaway-train thriller, starring Denzel Washington, has been decelerating at an impressively gradual speed. During Thanksgiving weekend, the movie fell only 12 percent. The Warrior’s War may cut into its testosterone-fueled audience a bit, but Unstoppable should continue to hold up fairly well. Figure a decline of just under 50 percent.

5. The Warrior’s Way: $5.5 million

The martial arts-Western hybrid, featuring an eclectic cast including South Korean star Jang Dong-gun, Kate Bosworth, and Geoffrey Rush, is opening at 1,622 theaters. The $42 million film should attract hard-core martial arts fans, but everyone else will probably be turned off by the project’s sheer strangeness. Furthermore, the movie isn’t being screened for critics, and production finished way back in early 2008. It’s taken quite a long time for The Warrior’s Way to reach theaters, and whether it’s warranted or not, the R-rated flick will likely vanish in a flash.

6. Burlesque: $5 million

Those who saw Burlesque really liked it — the movie earned an “A-” from CinemaScore audiences. But I’m betting those who went to see the $55 million Cher-Christina Aguilera musical knew exactly what they were getting themselves into, and were going to leave the theater in a cheerful mood no matter what. For comparison’s sake, Rent debuted on Thanksgiving weekend five years ago and then tangoed down a 56 percent hill the following week. Although my broker keeps telling me that past performance doesn’t guarantee future results, in this instance, I’m betting on a similar dive for Burlesque.

In limited release, Darren Aronofsky’s ballet-horror film Black Swan, starring the sure-to-be-nominated-for-an-Oscar Natalie Portman, opens at 18 theaters. The exhilaratingly nutso movie demands to be seen on the big screen, so seek it out if you can. Also, the oft-delayed Jim Carrey romantic comedy I Love You, Phillip Morris starts its journey at six locations.

Comments (65 total) Add your comment
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  • Laura

    Tangled was wonderful, saw it last weekend. Im 22 and just really enjoyed the film. Would recommend it to anyone. (Also did see HP and enjoyed that too, but still…go Tangled!)

    • HD

      I saw Burlesque today and it is so much fun! I didn’t think I’d like it nearly as much as I did. See it and see it on the big screen to appreciate all its over the top awesomeness!

      • Amanda Kiwinerd

        You two sound like real geniuses!

      • Scott M

        that’s alright, Amanda…you sound like a real beeyotch…

      • Laura

        Um, really Amanda? Geez. I was just trying to say I enjoyed the movie and would recommend it. I went in not expecting too much, was taking little girl cousins to see it on Thanksgiving and was surprised at how much I really did like it. If you dont want to see it (or Burlesque, for that matter), dont go. Im not forcing you too. (And thank you Scott M :))

  • Bradd bradd

    The prediction for tangled is spot on. I think HP7 will hold a little better then that– New moon isn’t a fair comparison because it tumbled 50-60% each weekend, and this HP appeals more to adults then HP4 did. I think 20 million is more likely. And Megamind has NOT been holding up well. Every movie holds up well over thanksgiving, hell a chritsmas carol rose 30% its thanksgiving weekend. It’s holding up fine, but praising it as ‘superhuman’ is just silly

  • Toni

    LMAO!!!!! A Harry Potter film will actually gross less than a Twilight film. Who would’ve thunk it!

    • Laura

      No one ever said it would gross less than a Twilight film…it will do far better than a twilight film overall. It doesnt even say that anywhere in the article. It just said it may have a comprable drop.

    • Liz Lemon

      What?? Confused….Deathly Hallows has already earned over 600 million worldwide and it’s only been out for two weeks. It’s got 4 months to go. DH is crossing the billion dollar mark, no doubt.

    • Stephanie

      To answer your question, the person who would not have “thunk” is clearly you if you think Twilight is going to outgross Harry Potter. It’s entertaining really, because there actually is no comparison.

  • Toto

    Burlesque was the most enjoyable film since Chicago. Not the most important or thought provoking, just pure lighthearted fun.

    • Amanda Kiwinerd

      Pablum for the masses.

      • Scott M

        and what do you like, Amanda, aside from sounding like a snooty witch?

  • Shomojo2

    “Unstoppable” was an excellent film. I hadn’t expected it to be that good. I’m not surprised it’s got legs at the box office. Can’t wait for “Black Swan” and “127 Hours” though. Two unmissable films this season.

  • Liz Lemon

    I want to see Tangled, but it’s not a film I’m dying to see in the theaters. Same goes for Megamind. I only see Pixar animated movies in the the theaters.
    If I make it to the movies…not going to lie…I will probably see Deathly Hallows for the 4th time and then hopefully Black Swan! I can’t wait for that one. :D

  • L

    TANGLED was so good! Pure early 90s Disney magic. Right up there with Aladdin and co.

    • Paul

      No it’s not. The music is forgettable and horrible. Never compare that to the 90’s movies. The only one that came close was THE PRINCESS AND THE FROG.

      • Asif Khan

        You obviously haven’t seen the movie

      • Nerwen Aldarion

        That’s you’re opinion but I think TPATF had boring music and an even more boring villain.

      • Woot

        The first ten-twenty five minutes of TPATF were amazing. Then it became pretty generic. If only the whole movie could have lived up to the first act.

      • Voodoo

        Please, I really wanted to like TPATF but it was a hot mess. And the music sucked. Who likes Randy Newman anyway? Haven’t seen Tangled yet, though.

      • Reason

        Sorry to say it, but TPATF did have better music than Tangled. Tangled was a real good film, but the music was clearly not on par to the Ashman/Menkin classics from the early 90’s.

    • steph

      I agree – I felt like I was back in elementary school again watching the yearly Disney movie.

  • jodipo

    I am hoping both Tangled and HP 7.1 do really wellagain this weekend. I would love to see them both over 20 mil

  • Nerwen Aldarion

    Saw Tangled last week (and again on Wednesday) and it was great. Can’t wait to see Tangled overtake Harry Potter after the way some of the fans jumped on me last weekend for daring to say TAngled would give HP some competition (looks like I was right!)

  • WTF?

    Tangled was visually mesmerizing, and the story and characters were all sharp. I’m a closet Mandy Moore fan, and her voicing is perfect for Disney, both in speaking and singing. My two preschool-age daughters haven’t stopped talking about this movie since we saw it last Friday. Two thumbs up!

    • Grace

      I don’t think there’s any reason to hide your Mandy Moore love. She’s hilarious…and I thoroughly enjoyed her Wild Hope cd. She’s actually pretty legit.

      • MEso SOup

        Mandy Moore was the sh*t in Saved!!!!

  • BG 17

    How crazy is it to think that Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows won’t even have recouped its budget yet this weekend if the predictions hold true? And that doesn’t even count the marketing budget. I’m not saying that it’s doing poorly or anything, quite the opposite in fact, I just can’t believe the budgets on current Hollywood blockbusters…

    • Nerwen Aldarion

      What? I’m not even a HP fan but I’ve got to point out that the budget of this film was 250 million and it has made over 600 billion world wide already…

      • Christopher

        Um… 600 Million, but point taken.

      • Laura

        I think you mean 600 million ;) Though 600 billion would be quite the accomplishment.

      • Nerwen Aldarion

        Whoops sorry about the billion, that would be a pretty impressive feat for HP huh? LOL

    • @BG 17

      The budget for Part one is probably about 250 million. The budget for part two probably around 300 million.
      The film has already made over 600 million…it’s already earned back the budget for both parts. You make no sense. Learn your facts please.

      • dday

        The budget was actually 250 million total for part 1 and part 2, since they shot back to back

      • Barbara

        Does anyone know what they spent on marketing?

      • Jose

        I read $155 million, it could be more though.

  • Briana

    I would be okay seeing Tangled again. And maybe Harry Potter for the third time.

  • Natalie

    I assume John Young means “martial arts” not “marital arts” in describing the Warrior’s Way. Maybe not though! :)

  • klee

    Burlesque was a great movie! I actually got dragged to see this with a friend, thinking it was going to be terrible and was pleasantly surprised with how much fun it was. It was just an entertaining, visually captivating, popcorn movie kind of film. Cher and Christina were amazing and I was really surprised at how well Christina did as an actress. I agree with whoever said it up above that this is the best musical since Chicago. It’s a good one.

    • derek

      Nowhere near as good as Chicago, not even close. But I enjoyed it just the same. The story was cliched and ridiculous, but the musical numbers were fun, and Christina Aguilera did a good acting job, even with some of the ridiculous lines she had to say. And of course, she’s scantily clad and gorgeous, which makes up for a lot.

    • Burlesque Fan

      ITA! I love Burlesque! Its just fun, fun, fun.

  • B

    Wait, you say you’re giving Megamind the edge over Unstoppable, but you predicted 6 million for both films.

    • John Young

      I think both films will make about $6 million this weekend. But if I had to choose which one will come out on top, I’d go with Megamind.

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