This has been a high-pedigree holiday season for family film goers -- a contribution from Martin Scorsese, two from Steven Spielberg, another from Cameron Crowe.
So it must be a bit deflating for these gentleman to see their movie get punked (munked?) by "Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakuel."
"Alvin" did $12 million over the weekend, besting the debuts of Spielberg's "The Adventures of Tintin" ($9.7 million) and "War Horse" ($7.5 million). "Alvin" has made $49 million in two weeks, already better than Scorsese's "Hugo." Crowe's "We Bought a Zoo" opened at $9 million.
A couple of things: ""Alvin" is skewing younger, and is clearly the choice among kiddies. Spielberg and Scorsese have brought their adult audiences with them. Even the animated "Tintin" has a large over-25 audience. And Variety reports that "War Horse" has emerged as a date movie -- couples form the bulk of its audience. Also, "War Horse" did not open until Sunday.
Still, "Alvin" had a better per-screen average ($3,300) that any of the other "family" films, which is a bit of a surprise.
Overall, holiday box office was up 8 percent over the previous year -- no wonder, this was a very good, diverse slate of movies. "Mission Impossible" won the weekend, "Sherlock Holmes" held up well, "The GIrl in the Dragon Tattoo" opened strongly, and "The Artist" and "Tinker Tailor Solder Spy" did great business in limited release.