Following a record haul over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, the North American box office quieted down a bit this weekend as The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 behind Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson, 007’s return in Skyfall, and Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln all stayed in the exact same spots they occupied a week ago. Newcomers Killing Them Softly with Brad Pitt and sequel The Collection were met with audience apathy in the form of dismal grosses. While this weekend’s top ten was down 48% from last weekend, it was considerably higher than it was one year ago at this time with a strong 45% increase.
Still sinking its fangs into 4,008 theaters, Breaking Dawn Part 2 dropped another 60% to earn an estimated $17.4 million in week three. To date, the concluding chapter to the vampire franchise has earned a bloody good $254.6 million and should come close to earning between $290-295 million in domestic sales. As of Thursday, the overseas grosses on Breaking Dawn Part 2 have earned Summit Entertainment an additional $365 million.
James Bond continued to make a killing at the box office on 3,463 screens as Skyfall added another $17 million (down 52% from last weekend) to its domestic total, which now stands at $246 million. Depending on how well the film holds up over the next few weeks, 007 could finish his latest dash at box office glory with a massive haul near the $290 million mark, which would be a huge $122 million more than Quantum of Solace earned back in 2008. The Sam Mendes-directed entry continues to earn big bucks in foreign markets as well. As of Thursday, the movie earned a great $571 million. Should Australia, China and Japan show 007 the same type of love the rest of the world has, a billion dollar global haul will be well within reason.
It was another great weekend for Disney and Fox’s Lincoln, which held up strongly in its post-holiday frame. The Steven Spielberg blockbuster remained on 2,018 screens and lost only 47% of its holiday audience, a sure sign that people are getting the word out that the movie is well worth their time and money. Honest Abe earned an estimated $13.5 million in its fourth round and brought its total to $83.7 million. With the awards season beginning to ramp up, Lincoln should have no problem reaching a final domestic gross north of $120 million.
After debuting to disappointing numbers last weekend, Dreamworks’ Rise of the Guardians held up reasonably well in its second round after a slow weekend start on Friday. Off only 43%, the animated feature earned $13.5 million from 3,672 theaters and has earned $48.9 million to date. Fox’s 3D epic Life of Pi also held its ground by earning $12 million in its second weekend. Off 46% from its debut gross, Pi has earned $48.3 million thus far and could also be looking at a final domestic total near the $75-80 million mark.
Two films made their debuts this weekend and neither made any sort of impact on the box office. The Weinstein Company’s Killing Them Softly opened in seventh place and managed to eke out a weak $7 million from 2,424 theaters. Critics liked the new crime thriller starring Brad Pitt, Richard Jenkins and James Gandolfini (79% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes), but audiences hated it. They gave the film a deadly “F” rating via CinemaScore. The opening represents the worst opening for a Brad Pitt live-action film in eighteen years.
The news wasn’t much better for LD Entertainment’s The Collection, a film that couldn’t even make its way into the top ten in its opening weekend. The sequel to the 2009 box office bomb The Collector could only manage $3.1 million from 1,403 screens and should be hitting store shelves on DVD and Blu-ray by the time I finish writing this article.
The remainder of the top ten was as follows:
6. Wreck-It Ralph (Disney) $7 million (-57% from last weekend); $158.3 million
8. Red Dawn (2012) (FilmDistrict) $6.6 million (-54%); $31 million
9. Flight (Paramount) $4.5 million (-46%); $81.5 million
10. Silver Linings Playbook (Weinstein) $3.2 million (-23%); $10.8 million
Just outside the top ten, Warner’s Argo passed the $100 million mark on Saturday.
Next weekend, the comedy Playing For Keeps is the only movie opening in wide release. Breaking Dawn Part 2 could win its fourth consecutive weekend as a result.
– Shawn Fitzgerald