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This Week In Movies By Pete Hammond – “Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1”

By Pete Hammond Of COURSE the big news in movies this week is all Twilight, Twilight , Twilight which, with nearly $140 million performed at the top of expectations. So this Part one of the grand finale, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 brought out the females in droves but will Hollywood get the message? This segment of the audience is woefully underserved and when they are it is usually with substandard romcom crap. But they have proven time and time again that when there is something they really want to see they will turn out in force. On the other hand the young male contingent that Hollywood traditionally caters to has been spotty at best in returning the loyalty and increasingly stays away. So thanks to the ladies this week for giving Hollywood a giant boxoffice boost and some real hope for a happy holiday season at the ticket window.

With Thanksgiving looming it is expected Breaking Dawn will continue to draw as its audience has frequently shown ‘once is not enough’ when it comes to following the soap opera that author Stephanie Meyer has wrought. But the real battle royal is going to be for the family bucks. There is an unprecendented traffic jam of 3D family fare and non-3D family fare hitting the multi-plexes in one big swoosh starting Wednesday. Already Puss In Boots is holding strong and is well over $100 million so that is going to remain a major factor as it is joined by the 2D The Muppets from Disney as well as Martin Scorsese’s first 3D family effort , Hugo and Sony and Aardman’s holiday themed ‘toon, Arthur Christmas , also in 3D. Is there enough kid business out there to support all of these films? It would be a shame if they end up cannibalizing each other because all of them are really good fun and in a less-crowded corridor for the same family dollars would all be able to find a sizable audience. My guess is Muppets will prevail. It’s a total delight, does not rely on hiked 3D ticket prices, and also has a Toy Story ‘Toon attached to it as an added attraction. The one that could be in the most trouble is the brilliant Hugo which might actually have more adult appeal than the others, and with its early cinema history lesson in the film’s second half might be just too “personal” of a film from Scorsese to really break through to your average tot. It would be a tragedy if this masterpiece can’t find an audience that will truly appreciate it. It is one of the best made films in many years and the use of 3D is revolutionary, perhaps the best use of the revived form EVER. Even James Cameron in a recent Q&A with Scorsese admitted he had never seen such an effective display of 3D , and that includes his own behemoth, Avatar.

On the opposite end of the scale this holiday weekend there are three strong adult appeal limited releases to watch for and root for. They include George Clooney’s Hawaiian-set The Descendants from director Alexander Payne. It already opened last weekend to gangbuster business in a handful of theatres and looks to be the must-see adult film of the fall. They also include two winners dealing with the film industry, the black and white silent, The Artist which has been an enormously popular staple on the film fest circuit since last may’s Cannes and My Week With Marilyn featuring a luminous portrayal by Michelle Williams of Marilyn Monroe as she struggled through the making of 1957’s The Prince and the Showgirl.

With the boxoffice bucks from the Twilight Saga and the promising new fare for kids and adults this is one holiday season that could turn out to be very bright indeed. Have a happy one. This Week In Movies will return later in 2012. See you then.

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About Pete Hammond

Pete Hammond is a writer, producer, movie critic and film expert whose commentary on the entertainment industry has appeared in numerous publications and on air interviews including The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, USA Today, Entertainment Weekly, New York Magazine, OK Magazine, NBC Nightly News With Tom Brokaw, Evening News With Brian Williams on MSNBC, the CBC, BBC, Bravo, E!, AMC, Canada AM and the KTLA Morning Show.

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