Top Movies This Weekend: Silver Linings Playbook and Life of Pi

Two flicks directed by Valley locals — Silver Linings Playbook and Life of Pi — vie for top spots at the box office



Chances are you feel heavy after this weekend’s Thanksgiving feast (and your wallet feels lighter after all that shopping). In addition to shelling out for Turkey Day groceries and falling prey to the Black Friday/Small Business Saturday/Cyber Monday corridor, many of you sprung for movie tickets for your families, too. This was actually the highest grossing Thanksgiving weekend for the movie business ever, with multiplexes raking in $288 million overall.

So, did any locals bring home a slice of that sweet box office pie?

life of pi

The top spots went to The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 ($43 million), Skyfall ($36 million), Lincoln ($25 million), and the animated Rise of the Guardians ($24 million).

Look a little deeper into that top 10, though, and you’ll find the homegrown talent. Life of Pi, directed by Larchmont’s Ang Lee, hit the No. 5 spot, and Mamaroneck native David O. Russell and his Silver Linings Playbook nabbed No. 9.

Though Playbook has a slight edge to Pi when it comes to critic reviews, in terms of box office, these numbers might seem like a big win for Lee. And it is. After all, his movie made $22 million, meaning he actually got people to go to see a starless film about a guy trapped on a lifeboat with a Bengal tiger. (What, no explosions?)

silver linings playbookSilver Linings Playbook

Photograph © 2012 The Weinstein Company Inc. All rights reserved

But, even though Lee’s movie made more — Silver Linings Playbook only brought in $5 million — it was available on more screens. Life of Pi was shown on nearly 3,000 screens, while Silver Linings Playbook only made it to 367. That gives Pi a per-screen average of around $7,600, while Playbook’s is more like $12,600.

Then again, Playbook had the advantage of some recognizable actors, including perennial favorite Robert DeNiro, former People Sexiest Man Alive Bradley Cooper, and current “It-girl” Jennifer Lawrence. So comparing the two box-office hauls is like apples and oranges. Let’s just call them both winners.

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Marisa LaScala

Marisa LaScala
Elmsford, NY


Associate Editor Marisa LaScala joined Westchester magazine in 2003, and ever since she's blown every paycheck at the Greenburgh Multiplex. She also staunchly defends Richard Kelly, doesn't mind spoiling the endings of trashy movies you're curious about but don't want to pay to see, wishes the Hold Steady would come back and rock out Westchester, misses Arrested Development more than anyone can imagine, and still watches cartoons and Saturday Night Live. You can find more of her cultural criticism at www.popmatters.com, where she is a staff writer.

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