Moviegoers apparently didn't get the message that they were supposed to lift the box office to a new Thanksgiving Day record over the weekend. To be sure, they turned out in force, but not in the numbers that pundits had forecast. As everyone had expected, the second week of The Twilight Saga Breaking Dawn -- Part 1 wound up at the top of the box office heap with $61.8 million for the five days, according to final figures from Summit Entertainment, but that was 7 percent lower than the $66.3 million that The Twilight Saga New Moon earned in 2007. The Muppets opened with $41.5 million, not bad for the revival of a franchise that had been dormant for more than a decade, but a far cry from Disney's Tangled , which opened in second place last year with $48.8 million. Warner Bros. Happy Feet Two came in a distant third with $13.4 million, falling 14 percent. Two other family films followed, Sony's Arthur Christmas , with $12.1 million, and Paramount's Hugo with $11.4 million. Several films in limited release showed a lot of muscle. Indeed, George Clooney's The Descendents muscled into the top ten list (it placed ninth) with $7.3 million for the weekend despite playing in only 244 theaters. It averaged $18,835 per theater vs. $10,252 for Breaking Dawn. But the black-and-white silent movie The Artist topped that result as it took in $204,878 in four theaters, or an average of $51,220 per theater. Also opening strongly was My Week with Marilyn , which landed in 12th place with $1.75 million from 244 theaters, or $7,174 per theater.
The top ten films over the weekend, according to final figures compiled by Box Office Mojo (figures in parentheses represent total gross to date) 1. The Twilight Saga Breaking Dawn Part 1 , Summit Entertainment, $41,683,574, 2 Wks. ($220,832,009); 2. The Muppets, Disney, $29,239,026, 1 Wk. ($41,516,691 -- from Thursday); 3. Happy Feet Two, Warner Bros., $13,397,346, 2 Wks. ($43,755,357); 4. Arthur Christmas , Sony, $12,068,931, 1 Wk. ($16,301,131 -- from Wednesday); 5. Hugo, Paramount, $11,364,505, 1 Wk. ($15,402,042 -- from Wednesday); 6. Jack and Jill, Sony, $10,000,142, 3 Wks. ($57,120,112); 7. Immortals, Relativity Media, $8,875,905, 3 Wks. ($68,706,981); 8. Puss in Boots, Paramount/DreamWorks Animation, $7,511,036, 5 Wks. ($135,430,092); 9. The Descendants, Fox Searchlight, $7,345,720, 2 Wks. ($10,886,952); 10. Tower Heist, Universal, $7,174,615, 4 Wks. ($65,198,780).