The annual post-turkey blues kicked in as spending at the North American box office dropped by half compared to the record Thanksgiving frame with the top movies still in command. The only major new offering was Brad Pitt’s mob pic Killing Them Softly which died on impact failing to attract much business.
For the third weekend in a row, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 ruled the box office. The final chapter of the vampire soap opera took in an estimated $17.4M representing a drop of 60%. That was exactly the same fall that the last installment suffered this very weekend a year ago. With $254.6M to date, Part 2 is running 3% ahead of Part 1. Overseas, it grossed $48.4M this weekend boosting the international total to $447.8M and the worldwide haul to $702.4M.
Moviegoers kept coming out for James Bond as Skyfall grossed an estimated $17M in its fourth weekend declining by 52%. Sony has amassed $246M from North America to date. Once again in third place was Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln with an estimated $13.5M as it continues to cash in on Oscar buzz. Off 47%, the Disney release has collected $83.7M to date, an impressive figure for a historical drama. It will join the century club soon.
Following its disappointing opening, the DreamWorks Animation pic Rise of the Guardians dropped by an encouraging 43% in its second weekend to an estimated $13.5M boosting the 12-day cume to $48.9M. Kidpics often fall by 60% or so coming off of the turkey frame while Christmas movies hold up much better. Given Rise’s semi-holiday theme, the decline was quite respectable. But the toon still hopes to show better legs in the weeks ahead in order to reach the heights of most recent 3D animated offerings from the DreamWorks stable.
Ang Lee’s 3D adventure Life of Pi held up well dropping 47% to an estimated $12M giving Fox $48.4M after 12 days. Tumbling 58% from the holiday, Disney’s hit toon Wreck-It Ralph followed with an estimated $7M. The video game flick has grossed a sturdy $158.3M thus far.
Brad Pitt anchored his worst debut in nearly two decades with the gangster pic Killing Them Softly which was dead on arrival in sixth place grossing just $7M, according to estimates. Looking at the popular actor’s past live-action films that opened nationwide on the first weekend, it was his worst debut since 1994. If that weren’t bad enough, Killing got slaughtered by audiences polled by CinemaScore who gave The Weinstein Co. release a pathetic F grade. The horror pic The Devil Inside scored the same grade on the first weekend of the year and collapsed by 76% in its sophomore frame. Averaging just $2,888 from 2,424 theaters, Softly received fairly good reviews from critics but paying moviegoers were utterly disappointed.
The remake Red Dawn followed with an estimated $6.6M, off 54%, putting FilmDistrict’s MGM production at $31.3M. Denzel Washington’s popular drama Flight collected another $4.5M, according to estimates, and has taken in $81.5M for Paramount thus far.
The horror pic The Collection bowed in the number ten spot with an estimated $3.4M from 1,403 locations for a weak $2,430 average for LD Entertainment.
Below the top ten, Oscar hopefuls expanded their releases aiming for wider audiences and kudos cred. The period piece Anna Karenina widened from 66 to 384 locations in its third weekend and grossed an estimated $2.2M for a decent $5,807 average. The Focus title has made $4.1M. Fox Searchlight’s Hitchcock went from 17 to 50 locations and grossed an estimated $406,000. Averaging a sturdy $8,120, the Anthony Hopkins-Helen Mirren drama upped its sum to $784,000.
The Indian crime drama Talaash scored a strong opening in limited release with an estimated $2M from 172 locations for a promising $11,529 average for Reliance Entertainment.
The top ten films grossed an estimated $101.9M which was up 45% from last year when The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 held steady at number one with $16.5M; and up 36% from 2010 when Tangled took over the top spot with $21.6M.
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