Starting on Christmas, Hollywood expects a big week of movie-going with schools out through New Year's Day and many adults taking time off. So Paramount and other studios are counting on strong business for films that started slowly this weekend.
will end up in a very good place. The movie will be profitable for Paramount," said Don Harris, the studio's head of distribution. "The first time I saw the movie I saw dollar signs. It certainly wasn't intended to be compared to a
Likewise, Warner Bros. is looking for steady crowds for
over the next week, despite the debut of two huge newcomers -- the musical
and the action movie
-- on Christmas Day.
"We haven't reached the key holiday play time yet," said Dan Fellman, head of distribution for Warner. "It explodes on Tuesday and goes right through the end of the year."
In limited release, Kathryn Bigelow's Osama bin Laden manhunt saga
Zero Dark Thirty
played to packed houses with $410,000 in just five theaters, averaging a huge $82,000 a cinema.
That compares to a $4,654 average in 3,352 theaters for
and a $4,130 average in 2,913 cinemas for
This Is 40
'The Guilt Trip
averaged $2,217 in 2,431 locations, and
averaged $1,925 in 2,618 cinemas. Playing just one matinee and one evening show a day at 840 theaters,
Cirque du Soleil
Since opening Wednesday,
Zero Dark Thirty
has taken in $639,000. Distributor
plans to expand the acclaimed film to nationwide release Jan. 11, amid film honors and nominations leading up to the Feb. 24 Academy Awards.
Opening in 15 theaters from
, Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor's tsunami-survival drama
took in $138,750 for an average of $9,250.
A fourth new release from Paramount,
creator David Chase's 1960s rock 'n' roll tale
Not Fade Away
, debuted with $19,000 in three theaters, averaging $6,333.
got a head-start on its domestic release with a $4.2 million debut in Japan.