STUDIOS BENEFIT FROM BLACK FRIDAY
Black Friday this year not only provided a bonanza for retailers but, what with cineplexes anchoring most shopping malls, for movie exhibitors and studios as well. Ordinarily, ticket sales on Friday are 25-35 percent lower than on Saturday. But on the Friday of this Thanksgiving Day holiday, they actually were about 5 percent higher. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part 2 earned about $500,000 more on Friday than on Saturday. Skyfall earned about $150,000 more. The strong Black Friday box office helped push total domestic ticket sales to $290.8 million, topping the previous record of $273 million set in 2009. Topping the list was the aforementioned Twilight finale with $64.4 million for the five-day period. Coming in second was the 23rd James Bond movie with $50.5 million. Both films exceeded analysts’ forecasts. But so too did Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln, which managed to take in $34.8 million despite playing in only 2,018 theaters, versus 4,070 for the Twilight movie and 3,526 for Skyfall. It wound up with the highest per-theater gross of any movie in wide release. Indeed, the only film to perform at the low end of expectations was DreamWorks Animation’s Rise of the Guardians, which opened in fourth place with $32.3 million, with about half the per-theater revenue as Lincoln.