Thor 2 stays #1 at the box office but Best Man Holiday opens strong 30 million debut; Josh Book joins GhostBot Studios; Boomerang to abandon Thanksgiving schedule

Thor stays on top, but the best man scores big! I’m Realistic Fish Head. When we last left Thor, he struck down the box office with 86 million, the most anticipated debut since Thor 1. But this week the god of thunder stayed on top but which movie managed to please audiences Gene?

Gene:

This weekend’s box office race between Disney’s Thor: The Dark World and Universal’s The Best Man Holiday ended up being closer than was widely anticipated, but Thor: The Dark World was still able to lead the way with an estimated $38.45 million. The Marvel superhero sequel starring Chris Hemsworth slid 55 percent from last weekend. While that is a respectable second weekend decline for a superhero sequel, it isn’t a great hold by any means either, especially with the film likely having received a bit of an extra boost this weekend from moviegoers who wanted to catch it before Lionsgate’s The Hunger Games: Catching Fire enters the marketplace next weekend. In comparison, 2011’s Thor fell 47 percent in its second weekend to gross $34.70 million, while last year’s Skyfall fell 53.5 percent to take in $41.10 million.

In the bigger picture, Thor: The Dark World has grossed a healthy $149.97 million through its first ten days of domestic release. That places the film 26 percent ahead of the $119.46 million ten-day start of Thor and 7 percent behind the $160.94 million ten-day take of Skyfall. Those comparisons strongly suggest that Thor: The Dark World is still on course to eventually clear the $200 million domestic milestone.

The Best Man Holiday exceeded expectations this weekend with a strong second place take of $30.6 million. Expectations for the modestly budgeted ensemble comedy sequel had been rising in the days leading up to the film’s release due in part to strong pre-sales. Playing in 2,024 locations; The Best Man Holiday earned a terrific per-location average of $15,115 for the frame. The Best Man Holiday opened just below the $33.64 million start of last year’s Think Like a Man and blew past the $9.03 million debut of 1999’s The Best Man (which stands at $14.37 million when adjusting for ticket price inflation). The Best Man Holiday has already nearly out-grossed the $34.10 million total domestic gross of The Best Man (which stands at $54.25 million when adjusting for inflation), as the fanbase of The Best Man has clearly increased in the years since the film’s theatrical release.

The Best Man Holiday placed in first on Friday with $10.7 million, increased 16 percent on Saturday to take in $12.4 million and is estimated to fall 39.5 percent on Sunday to gross $7.5 million. That gave the film a very solid estimated opening weekend to Friday ratio of 2.86 to 1. That is a good early sign for the film going forward, as is the A+ rating the film received on CinemaScore. The Best Man Holiday will hope to hold up well throughout the holiday season, though the rush out of fans of the original film on opening weekend could still lead to some front-loading.

The audience breakdown for The Best Man Holiday skewed heavily towards female moviegoers (75 percent) and moviegoers 35 and older (63 percent). African American moviegoers made up 87 percent of the film’s audience.

CBS Films’ Last Vegas held up very well this weekend with $8.87 million. The modestly budgeted ensemble comedy fell only 20 percent from last weekend, as the film clearly continues to benefit from strong word of mouth. Last Vegas has grossed $46.96 million through 17 days of release and is very likely to continue holding up well going forward, especially with this Thanksgiving’s new options for adult moviegoers looking softer than usual.

Also holding up nicely this weekend was Relativity’s Free Birds. The 3D computer animated film was down just 25 percent from last weekend with a fourth place take of $8.3 million. Free Birds has grossed $42.22 million through 17 days and should continue to hold up well between now and Thanksgiving.

Paramount’s Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa rounded out the weekend’s top five with $7.67 million. The successful Jackass spin-off starring Johnny Knoxville was down 32 percent and has grossed a stronger than expected $90.20 million in 24 days. That leaves Bad Grandpa just $9.80 million away from reaching the $100 million domestic milestone.

On the limited front, Focus’ Dallas Buyers Club took in $1.78 million from 184 locations. That gave the awards season hopeful starring Matthew McConaughey a per-location average of $9,701 for the frame. Dallas Buyers Club has grossed $3.05 million in 17 days and will expand into additional locations this coming Friday.

In other platform news, Fox’s The Book Thief grossed $425,000 from 29 locations for a per-location average of $14,655. The film’s ten-day total stands at $568,518. Meanwhile, Paramount Vantage’s Nebraska debuted with $140,000 from four locations in New York and Los Angeles. That gave the Alexander Payne directed film a very solid per-location average of $35,000.

Also of note this weekend were the $75,584 start of EchoLight Studios’ The Christmas Candle from 5 locations (for a location average of $15,117) and the $23,000 start of Janus Films’ The Great Beauty (from just one location in New York). The Christmas Candle will expand into limited release next weekend.

To recap, Thor 2 increases his lead, Universal’s Best Man Holiday opens strong in 2nd as the top rated flick for movie goers, Las Vegas and Free Birds in 3rd and 4th continue to hold their positions, Bad Grandpa which was forced by Thor’s thunderous debut and was tightened up by Las Vegas and Free Birds, drops to 5th.

Josh Book, the CGI master behind Bubble Guppies, Tak, Fanboy and Chum Chum, and The Penguins of Madagascar, is moving to San Fran to unleash his computer generated glory. The good part of it is, he’s headed to Ghost Bot Studios. What projects await him there Jim?

Jim Fish (via The Sacramento Bee)- San Francisco Bay Area independent animation studio Ghostbot, Inc. announces today that Josh Book joins the studio as its CG Creative Director. Known for unique style and memorable characters, the team at Ghostbot has branched out to increase their capabilities to 3D/CG.

Under Book’s tenure, the CG pipeline at Nickelodeon became one of the most efficient global CG production pipelines for animation. Book oversaw all in-house CG series and development work including the Emmy award-winning TV series DreamWorks “The Penguins of Madagascar,” “Tak and the Power of Juju,” “Fanboy and Chum Chum,” and “Bubble Guppies.”

“The San Francisco/Bay Area is a hotbed of animation talent, including huge studios like PDI/DreamWorks, LucasFilm Animation, and Disney/Pixar,” states Alan Lau, co-founder of Ghostbot. “Now with the addition of Josh, we are one step closer to realizing our goal of producing our own intellectual property for all media whether in film, television, games, web or merchandise.”  Lau goes on to state, “by capitalizing on the strengths of our 2D abilities coupled with Josh’s knowledge of CG, we are positioning ourselves to be the next big animation studio out of the San Francisco Area.”

Ghostbot, Inc. will merge their unique design sense with Book’s vision and experience to create a new, experimental use of CG. “Ghostbot is a super-talented artist driven studio with a love of animation and cartoons equal to my own,” Book said. “They’ve got a great reputation for quality and are one of the premiere animation studios in the San Francisco Bay Area. We want to tell great animated stories, and develop new and unique looks that aren’t typically seen in CG.”

It’s been 3 years since Boomerang took part of their Thanksgiving tradition. This year, sources at entertainment central are saying the network will no longer show any Thanksgiving specials anymore. What gives Dan?

Dan Barry (via Nick and More)- On the Thanksgiving of 2010, Boomerang viewers were treated to the cartoon movie “The Thanksgiving That Almost Wasn’t”. By 2011, the cartoon adaptation of Dr. Seuss’s “Horton Hears a Who!” joined the special. And by 2012, Boomerang created a new tradition, or so it would seem. From 9:00 AM ET to 9:00 PM people could tune in on Thanksgiving to see Boomerang’s beloved classics, from Huckleberry Hound to Quick Draw McGraw, each broadcasting in separated hour-and-a-half marathons. But what will Boomerang’s programming highlights for Turkey Day be this year? According to multiple online schedule sources, this holiday’s schedule not feature anything to be rather thankful for. Instead, Boomerang will be airing their normal November lineup (covered in our Boomerang article here), with not a single special or movie in sight. This information is subject to change, depending on if the scheduling is incorrect.

As of this moment. the overall schedule for Thanksgiving (Thursday, November 28) is below in ET:

6:00 AM The Adventures of Captain Planet
6:30 AM Tom & Jerry
7:00 AM Tom & Jerry Kids
7:30 AM Hero: 108
8:00 AM Casper’s Scare School
8:30 AM Casper’s Scare School
9:00 AM The Garfield Show
9:30 AM The Garfield Show
10:00 AM The Smurfs
10:30 AM The Smurfs
11:00 AM Snorks
11:30 AM Snorks
12:00 PM Dexter’s Laboratory
12:30 PM Dexter’s Laboratory
1:00 PM The Powerpuff Girls
1:30 PM The Powerpuff Girls
2:00 PM Krypto the Superdog
2:30 PM Krypto the Superdog
3:00 PM Teen Titans
3:30 PM Teen Titans
4:00 PM Pokémon
4:30 PM Pokémon
5:00 PM Ben 10 (Original)
5:30 PM Ben 10: Omniverse
6:00 PM Scooby-Doo, Where Are You?
6:30 PM Scooby-Doo, Where Are You?
7:00 PM Looney Tunes
8:00 PM The New Scooby-Doo Movies
9:00 PM Tom & Jerry
10:00 PM Teen Titans
10:30 PM Teen Titans
11:00 PM The Powerpuff Girls
11:30 PM The Powerpuff Girls
12:00 AM Dexter’s Laboratory
12:30 AM Dexter’s Laboratory
1:00 AM Johnny Bravo
1:30 AM Johnny Bravo
2:00 AM The Secret Squirrel Show
2:30 AM The Secret Squirrel Show
3:00 AM MGM
4:00 AM The Flintstones
4:30 AM The Flintstones
5:00 AM Yogi Bear
5:30 AM Flintstone Kids

Unless this schedule changes, it’ll mark the first time that Boomerang will be unable to get a head start on the holiday season.

Checking the Penguins tally, 2,451 fans sign in as Team Skipper completes another Saturday morning sweep which according to TV Guide, the team has 1 more trip to make before Black Friday arrives.

Thanksgiving Toon Week is only a week away as Nicktoons delivers favorite episodes of Avatar: The Last Airbender, The Legend of Korra, TUFF Puppy, SpongeBob, TNMT and more, just for the fans. Be sure to thank us next Monday. And as the holiday season approaches, don’t miss the Hub Network’s Christmas schedule filled with holiday movies and specials all December long! This is Realistic Fish Head saying, get ready for some holiday fun next week!

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