CHICAGO – “Drinking Buddies” director Joe Swanberg’s latest release of the same star wattage is “Happy Christmas,” an even lower-fi story than the Olivia Wilde beer comedy, steered even more by the casting that it was able to assemble. However, with this movie Swanberg doesn’t so much worry about having a story that could be confused with a more mainstream romantic comedy if it were to have a bigger budget.
Despite Conflicted Reactions, ‘Twilight’ Smashes Box-Office Expectations With $70.5 Million
CHICAGO – Despite conflicted reactions from critics and “Twilight” fans alike, the vampire romance film exceeded box-office expectations on its opening weekend and scored $70.5 million in domestic sales on a production budget of only $37 million. Estimates from Sunday morning tagged “Twilight” as earning a smashing $20,636 per theater.
Image credit: Summit Entertainment
In addition, the film from director Catherine Hardwicke (“The Nativity Story,” “Lords of Dogtown”) set a record for the largest opening-weekend tally for a film by a female director. The previous record of $41.1 million was held by Mimi Leder for 1998’s “Deep Impact”.
Exit polling showed that opening-weekend “Twilight” moviegoers were dominated by females with 75 percent of ticket buyers of the feminine kind. “Twilight” now ranks as No. 3 on Fandango’s advance-ticket sales list.
Still, the film is currently rating at a 44 percent rotten out of 100 percent at Rotten Tomatoes based on 125 reviews from professional critics.
We learned even before opening “Twilight” weekend that a film sequel has already been given the go. In it, critics and fans alike are calling for a bigger-budget film that can better dazzle in some of the areas where the first one lacked.
For this critic, the special effects department in the first “Twilight” film especially stood out like an unfortunate sore thumb. Also, those who read the first Stephenie Meyer book may have felt like the film didn’t sell the connection between primary characters Bella and Edward as much as the book focused on it.
“Twilight,” which opened on Nov. 21, 2008, stars Kristen Stewart as Bella Swan and Robert Pattinson as Edward Cullen from director Catherine Hardwicke.