Given that the weekend after the Thanksgiving holiday is notoriously lame at the box office, studios this year have tossed in the towel not one of them is opening a movie wide. Some have elected to widen a few films already in release and bring back a few Oscar contenders that were originally released earlier in the year. The Weinstein Co. is releasing Coriolanus in one theater in New York and another in Los Angeles for one week to qualify it for an Oscar. (It's scheduled to open on Jan. 20.) And then there's Fox Searchlights Shame , the critically praised movie that was slapped with an NC-17 rating, removing it from view for a large segment of moviegoers. It is due to open in nine theaters. Meanwhile, last week's big winner, The Twilight Saga Breaking Dawn -- Part 1 , is due to compete for the top spot at the box office with The Muppets. Forecasters are split almost evenly over who will win. (During the same weekend last year, Disney's Tangled displaced Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 from the pinnacle.) Many analysts' eyes will be focused on Hugo , which is controversially being rolled out at a leisurely pace, despite its estimated $150-million cost. It adds 500 theaters in its second weekend for a total of 1,840. (It's due to add another 500 next weekend.)

02/12/2011