Good news today for Deadline readers! Our new film editor, Anita Busch, takes over the weekend box office report. Which means my month long stint as a semi-professional box office pundit has mercifully come to an end. While my straight ahead analysis might have let down some readers — I could tell by the comments that some craved snark the way Chris Walken wanted more cowbell — I found it instructive to observe the rhythms of weekend moviegoing, and to be the recipient of all the spinning that goes on among distributors. It was exciting to watch The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and Frozen break Thanksgiving holiday weekend records. I am certain Anita also won’t be interested in snark for snark’s sake. But she sure knows box office, distribution and marketing much better than I do, and she will focus on the correlation of grosses to production budgets and P&A spends to paint an accurate, unbiased picture of how these films are really doing. Let’s face it, winning the weekend with a twentysomething gross isn’t high-five worthy if the production budget is north of $100 million and $50 million more spent on P&A.
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