Have you heard this one? Bella Swan, James Bond, and Abraham Lincoln walk into a bar.
The bartender asks, "What are the three of you doing here?"
Bella, being the whimpering little twit that she is, can barely answer. James Bond refuses to divulge any information until he's served one of his famous "shaken not stirred" martinis. It's all down to Honest Abe to confess the truth:
"We're here for the money," he says. "So, so much money."
Crappy joke? Nope -- it's pretty much exactly what happened in movie theaters all across the country over Thanksgiving weekend. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part Two, Skyfall, and Lincoln combined to bring in $290 million over Thanksgiving weekend, setting a new record.
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The previous box office record for Thanksgiving weekend (which is technically a five-day stretch beginning the Wednesday before the holiday) was $273 million, set in 2009. Fox News reports that box office totals are a full 25 percent above where they were last year -- not exactly surprising, with such gems as The Muppets and Arthur Christmas showing back then.
Based on this year's intake, Hollywood analysts are predicting an even more grossly extravagant revenue stream than usual for end-of-year films -- perhaps even breaking $11 billion this year for the first time ever.
The only question now seems to be how to bring a bigger portion of that cash to Miami. Seems like a pretty good time to get into the movie-studio-building business in South Florida, huh, Trump?