Critics have praised "Hugo" for Scorsese's dazzling use of 3-D. Unlike 3-D fatigue that set in for some other recent movies, whose 3-D business dipped below half of total revenues, "Hugo" audiences have been willing to pay an extra few dollars to see it in three dimensions. About 75 percent of the film's revenue came from 3-D screenings, according to Paramount.
"People are reading the reviews that say, 'You've got to see it in 3-D,' and they're going out and voting with their dollars," said Don Harris, head of distribution at Paramount.
In narrower release, the Marilyn Monroe drama "My Week with Marilyn" opened solidly with a $1.8 million weekend and $2.1 million since opening Wednesday. The Weinstein Co. release stars Michelle Williams as Monroe during her tumultuous time filming Laurence Olivier's "The Prince and the Showgirl."
Playing in 244 theaters, "My Week with Marilyn" had a weekend average of $7,266 a cinema, compared with a $10,330 average in 4,066 locations for "Breaking Dawn."
Another Weinstein release, the black-and-white silent film "The Artist," had a big opening in limited release with a three-day haul of $210,414 in just four New York City and Los Angeles theaters. That gave the film an average of $52,604 a theater.
"The Artist" traces the fall of a silent-film star (Jean Dujardin) and the rise of a new screen sensation (Berenice Bejo) as talking pictures take over in the 1920s and '30s. The acclaimed film gradually expands to nationwide release during the buildup to the Oscar nominations.
Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Hollywood.com. Where available, latest international numbers are also included. Final domestic figures will be released Monday.
1. "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part 1," $42 million ($71.5 million international).
2. "The Muppets," $29.5 million ($1.6 million international).
3. "Happy Feet Two," $13.4 million ($10 million international).
4. "Arthur Christmas," $12.7 million ($11.9 million international).
5. "Hugo," $11.4 million.
6. "Jack and Jill," $10.3 million.
7. "Immortals," $8.8 million ($8 million international).
8. "Puss in Boots," $7.5 million ($9 million international).
9. "Tower Heist," $7.3 million ($7.3 million international).
10. "The Descendants," $7.2 million.
Estimated weekend ticket sales at international theaters (excluding the U.S. and Canada) for films distributed overseas by Hollywood studios, according to Rentrak:
1. "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part 1," $71.5 million.
2. "Arthur Christmas," $11.9 million.
3. "The Adventures of Tintin," $11.5 million.
4. "Happy Feet Two," $10 million.
5. "Puss in Boots," $9 million.
6. "Immortals," $8 million.
7. "Tower Heist," $7.3 million.
8. "In Time," $6 million.
9. "Real Steel," $5.1 million.
10. "Moneyball," $3.3 million.
Universal and Focus are owned by NBC Universal, a unit of Comcast Corp.; Sony, Columbia, Sony Screen Gems and Sony Pictures Classics are units of Sony Corp.; Paramount is owned by Viacom Inc.; Disney, Pixar and Marvel are owned by The Walt Disney Co.; Miramax is owned by Filmyard Holdings LLC; 20th Century Fox and Fox Searchlight are owned by News Corp.; Warner Bros. and New Line are units of Time Warner Inc.; MGM is owned by a group of former creditors including Highland Capital, Anchorage Advisors and Carl Icahn; Lionsgate is owned by Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.; IFC is owned by AMC Networks Inc.; Rogue is owned by Relativity Media LLC.