Lincoln Over-Performs at the Box Office in Expanded Release

Box Office Mojo reports that Lincoln is doing better than expected at the box office on its expansion to 1,175 theaters. Argo is edging slowly towards $100 million, currently at $92 and yes, Twilight Breaking Dawn broke a record for the franchise. All in all, a great season at the multiplex. Flight doing extremely well at $61 million.

Lincoln is especially impressive, given that it’s not dumbed down for maximum profits at the box office but instead is keeping the fire burning through great reviews and strong word of mouth.

Silver Linings Playbook opened in 16 theaters and made $458,000 and Anna Karenina also opened in 16 locations and made $315,000.

On the 21st, Silver Linings Playbook goes wider and Life of Pi opens.

Reader Spotlight: Lincoln Review by Nic V

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Spielberg, Kearns Goodwin at Gettysburg Dedication, Livestream


  1. November 18, 2012

    Current estimates for Lincoln put it at double the previous highest opening weekend for a presidential biopic. None of the forecasters predicted it would open this big.

    However, Breaking Dawn Part 2 has not broken any records for Twilight according to estimates – it looks to have fallen behind New Moon’s opening weekend, and short of most predictions too.

  2. November 18, 2012

    Also, Silver Linings Playbook kind of joined the mix this weekend. it opened in 16 theatres, and didn’t do nearly as well as it had been both hoped and expected to…

  3. DaneM
    November 18, 2012

    Wow, $21 million for Lincoln on well under 2,000 screens is a great haul. Is it going to go into wider release though?

  4. November 18, 2012

    Is that steam coming out of Jeffrey Wells’ ears?

  5. phantom
    November 18, 2012

    Next weekend will be crucial : Les Miserables starts screening and if early word is excellent, we have an exciting race ahead of us. If it isn’t, Lincoln will most certainly win.

    Lincoln will end its run well over 100M in the US, received rave reviews, has a very Academy-friendly genre with a very Academy-friendly team.

    Argo is remarkable film, one that deserves the important nominations, but as far as historical/political films go this year, Lincoln simply can’t be topped. Same goes for unseen Django Unchained also handling the delicate issue of slavery and Zero Dark Thirty, also dealing with a secret service operation based on real events. In the end, I feel that even if the two unseens turn out to be masterpieces, Lincoln will cancel out Django and Argo and ZD30 will cancel each other out in the final stage when they are actually voting for the winner.

    Then there is Les Miserables, in my opinion the only one that could be a threat for Lincoln’s great victory. Next week we’ll know more.

    Also, we are now VERY close to our top5 : Lincoln and Argo are sure things, ZD30 and Les Miserables are unseens with frontrunner potential and the fifth will probably come down to Silver Linings Playbook, Life of Pi, Django Unchained, The Master, The Hobbit. All 5 of those films have excellent shots at landing BP nominations, the question is which one will make the cut in Best Director. I for one think we might even have a surprise there : Juan Antonio Bayona (The Impossible) or Michael Haneke (Amour) .

    Plus, as impossible as their respective BD campaigns look like right now, the 5% rule might help at least 1, maybe 2 fading contenders in BP : Beasts of the Southern Wild, The Dark Knight Rises, Cloud Atlas, Anna Karenina, Moonrise Kingdom, The Avengers, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Quartet.

  6. November 18, 2012

    I don’t know if Twilight making bank is a great week for the cineplex, but, ok. Nice to see Lincoln do well given the competition this week.

  7. Andrew
    November 18, 2012

    This film deserves every penny that it makes.

  8. Jerry
    November 18, 2012

    Lincoln is currently playing at 1,775 theaters and like Flight will continue expanding weekly.

  9. Sarah
    November 18, 2012

    We have a winner and Lincoln will win big.

  10. m1
    November 18, 2012

    This Twilight movie was actually decent. Well, I had fun.

  11. m1
    November 18, 2012

    Oh, I have more to say than just Twilight. I saw Moonrise Kingdom on Friday and I honestly think it’s going to win the Original Screenplay Oscar; I don’t think anything else can beat it out. Does anyone agree?

  12. November 18, 2012

    Phantom >> Not so fast on ZD30. And YOU have GOT to be KIDDING ME with talk of The Hobbit. It aIn’t happening. Beasts and Moonrise have a much, much better chance of both getting in over The Hobbit. We’ll see about ZD30. (And Django.) Amour has a better shot at this point.

  13. Kellylim
    November 18, 2012

    Breaking Dawn didn’t break any domestic records though so I don’t know where you’re getting this from Sasha?

  14. Ray Butlers
    November 18, 2012

    I thought Lincoln was extraordinary, one of the finest films I’ve seen all year. I was not only surprised at the large crowds (they put up ropes for the Twilighters, but they could have used them for Lincoln and Flight too), I’ve never seen a theater packed with so many over 40s in my life.

    I suspect that the recent election season which included profound and historical issues to which Lincoln could not help but to allude is the cause of this boom in business. That, plus the best word of mouth of the year.

    Also, the film provides the chance to see three (or more) of the screen’s best and most beloved artists doing the most substantial work of their careers: Day-Lewis, Field, and Jones. I have to admit that all three performances are haunting me a full day later. Field especially makes a difficult, sixty-something woman effortlessly attractive. There is real heat in the relationship; this is the last thing I was expecting from this movie. Jones reveals great depths of caring and morality through a man who uses grumpiness as a weapon and as a mask for the hurt he feels at having to constantly defend the end of slavery.

    I thought the screenplay was Pulitzer Prize level playwriting. The film is nearly all dialogue-driven, but oh what dialogue! There was none of the faux formalism that plagues so many period films. Plus the look of the film was downright gritty and dark, as life was back them. The score was restrained, but undistinguished; a wise move in a film with a strong potential to overstate its every element.

    All of the elements – writing, directing, visuals, performance, editing, pacing – were married in a brisk and invigorating way. I suspect it will be number one next week after word of mouth spreads.

  15. November 18, 2012

    Deadline initially misreported Breaking Dawn’s Part I opening weekend as the franchise record, when in fact it was New Moon ($142,839,137), apparently due to the studio’s mistake. That misinformation seems to have circulated with a great circumference. Not sure why.

  16. Reno
    November 18, 2012

    If Lincoln gets a lot of love from the Academy, we’re going to have few BP nominees, just 5 or 6. 7 tops.

    Silver Linings Playbook
    Les Miserables
    Zero Dark Thirty
    Django Unchained
    The Impossible

  17. Pierre de Plume
    November 18, 2012

    Lincoln is the film to beat. It may not win a boatload of Oscars but it’ll get the biggest one and then some. Ray Butler’s comment (above) about the score sounds reasonable.

  18. November 18, 2012

    For those of you calling Lincoln the winner, have you seen the other contenders?

  19. Mohammed
    November 18, 2012

    I’m rooting for Argo and will til the Oscar is handed, but it warms my heart when intelligent adult films do well financially. It still depresses me that Twilight made this much money. This is a type of awful movie that has a very special place in the back of my mind; A movie frenchice so horrible I’d be willing to disown my child if she saw it. I’d be ashamed of my job as a parent had I had spawned a child who’d thought that it was a worthy use of her time and money. It’s the sort of film that gives female movie-taste a bad name and make Michael Bay look like Stanley Kubrick.

  20. November 18, 2012

    At one point, Breaking Dawn 2 was 82% on RT, now it’s 49% once more and more reviews came in.

  21. @Mohammad
    November 18, 2012

    I agree. The amount of money these Twilight movies make gives female movie goers a bad name. I’m a fan of Twilight (books) but the movies are horrible. The Twilight era has to be the worst time in filmmaking history. Transformers sucks but at least the acting is decent. You cannot say that about the Twilight films. The acting is ridiculously bad, CGI is cheap, the screenplay is bad, the makeup and hair is bad, directing is bad, everything about the movies is bad. I look at The Hunger Games and wonder why this happened to Twilight.

  22. Jake
    November 18, 2012

    This is my favorite Oscar year, because we wont have a clue whos going to win best picture. It will actually be exciting the day of the oscars. And my favorite movie of all time came out this year, but if it doesnt get the Best Pic nod, im not gona stress it like I did last year when Dragon Tattoo was snubbed.

  23. Mike
    November 19, 2012

    Unfortunately Twilight took a bite out of The Perks of Being a Wallflower’s audience. While the legs for that film have been really good I’m saddened it didn’t catch on in a bigger way. It’s truly wonderful and one of the best coming-of-age films in ages. If anyone here hasn’t seen it yet and still has it playing by them they should definitely venture out and see it. It will sadly be overlooked by the Academy but it’s well-worth going to see. I get that it’s easy to dismiss, but if you see it you’re in for a treat, at least IMO. I really, really hope that it can at least get a couple of Golden Globe nominations. Possibly for Best Picture (Musical/Comedy)? Not that it’s much of a comedy, though it does have humorous parts. My fingers will definitely be crossed.

  24. Henrik
    November 19, 2012

    Sasha, you can’t be serious on the recent podcast where you said you can lay the racism on Peter Jackson for not casting black people in LOTR.

    It’s in a fantasy world based very much on old norse mythology where NO BLACK PEOPLE EXISTED! How is it racism?

  25. mecid
    November 19, 2012

    which film, Jake?

  26. Tero Heikkinen
    November 19, 2012

    Henrik, which mythology are you referring to? The Finnish epic Kalevala? The elven languages and some of the basic storyline came from that, yes, but Tolkien was inspired by so many things, incl. actual events like WWI. But yes, no black people in any of those, I would imagine.

  27. Nic V
    November 19, 2012

    Well before Lincoln hit the screen there was nearly a half hour of previews. The Life of Pi, reminded me quickly of the Keanu Reeves film Little Budda, which I’m not sure makes me want to see it or not but when Ang Lee and Cameron came on explaining the 3D it kind of got more of my attention. I’m also a very big Ang Lee fan. Next came Silver Linings and honestly the trailer didn’t do much for me but I have to admit that the moment Jennifer Lawrence hit the screen you paid attention. She’s seems to have the Katherine Hepburn/Carole Lombard smart ass girl role down to a science in this piece. Looks like she’s going to be a real contender for Actress and so now I’ll begin to eat a little crow about my saying that her nomination could be solely based on the Hunger Games. Then came the preview for Les Miz. Gotta be honest here. Hooper seems to have been able to merge muscial into historical reality. Meaning that as much as I don’t believe people burst into song at the drop of a hat I could buy into it with what little I saw. I like Musicals I just don’t regard them as very realistic. It’s a sumptuous looking film. But I didn’t see anything that made me think performance nomination except for Hathaway and yes I know it’s a preview. So I’m just saying. Then came Argo and I don’t know why I haven’t seen this yet cause I’m a big fan of Afflecks and this has been on my list. I think Sandy kinda derailed me a lot so I’ll blame it on the Hurricane. I also have seen the trailer for Anna Karenina and I’m sorry but who ever decided to dye Vronsky’s hair so obviously should be taken out and shot. I couldn’t get past the bad dye job. Sadly I love Knightley but this looks just like a revamped Duchess. I’m gonna go see it but it’s not one my “must see or die” list. I was even more dissappointed when I saw the Djano trailer, yet I’m still holding out hope.

    Oh and am damn glad Lincoln is doing so well because then maybe the film world will begin too realize that there is a whole demographic out there hungering for intelligence life in film.

    Oh and one more thing. LOL. The preview that got the best response and the most attention was a comedy with Billy Crystal and Bette Midler. It looks like the best comic relief for the ending to a very serious two months of film.

  28. Pierre de Plume
    November 19, 2012

    Colin, no I haven’t seen all the contenders, and there’s always the possibility I’ll be wrong in the end. But I don’t think so. Les Mis seems like the strongest contender, sight unseen, but I think Lincoln has so much going for it to lose. It’s the right movie at the right time.

  29. DaneM
    November 19, 2012

    Henrik – I’m pretty sure that LOTR cast some black guys as Orcs and Uruk-hai. I didnt see the podcast — was she mad that Lando didn’t have a cameo? ;)

  30. November 19, 2012

    Henrik: “It’s in a fantasy world based very much on old norse mythology where NO BLACK PEOPLE EXISTED! How is it racism?”

    With all due respect, I can’t believe you wrote that sans irony.

    This makes me think of the Cloud Atlas discussion (RE: white face, yellow face, etc). When you are depicting something historic and actually happened, yes, it’s important to cast with racial accuracy, unless you’re going for something entirely different. Otherwise, it takes you out of the moment. It’s important that Halle Berry not be black while playing a 1930s Jew, etc, and be wearing makeup to depict her as white, if you’re telling a straight-forward story.

    I don’t study mythology, so perhaps I am not as passionate about you like you, but, key word being FANTASY, inspiration aside, it seems that rules regarding realism don’t apply. Or, maybe I misunderstood the definition of fantasy and I’m in a minority here. It seems that the LOTR readership is a white majority (especially back in the day) who imagined the characters as white. I’m not sure why Peter Jackson felt it was imperative to cast accordingly.

    Was Jesus white? Or, is that what we have been conditioned to?

  31. November 19, 2012

    Not sure why we’re calling Peter Jackson racist now. Doesn’t Joe Wright have some questions to answer? How about Wes Anderson?

  32. November 19, 2012

    Not sure why we’re calling Peter Jackson racist now.

    Nobody is. From what I remember of our podcast Sunday afternoon, Sasha was not seriously wishing for Hobbitz in the Hood.

    You guys should please try to give us some flexibility to joke around unless you want the Oscar Podcast to be Meet Depress.

  33. NorskeDiv
    November 25, 2012

    Dredd, Twilight, Silent Hill and Taken 2 for Best picture!!!!

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