The post-Thanksgiving weekend is usually fairly slow business and this three-day frame was no exception. “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2” ruled the roost for a third consecutive week, pulling in numbers to suggest that through five movies, this series had leveled-off domestically into consistent “Are you kidding?” box office tallies. ‘Twilight’ has come to a close as a story, but as a brand, it’s hard to believe Lionsgate is going to call it quits, particularly as this entry is set to become the biggest in the franchise worldwide. With Lionsgate/Summit crossing a cool billion both stateside and overseas, it’s going to be hard to turn down a film series capable of goosing those numbers.
James Bond remains right on those vamps’ tails, as “Skyfall” posts solid drops, breaking records within its genre. Having long since become the biggest Bond entry, “Skyfall” entered rarefied air as being the highest grossing film in what can be considered the “spy” genre. The next touchstone for “Skyfall” is a cool billion dollars worldwide, is a possibility but will require good legs through a tough frame, particularly with “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” coming up. It’s Bond — this series hasn’t had a flop since the Timothy Dalton years, and the Craig films have had a ridiculous upwards curve. It doesn’t change much as this series has always been business as usual, but it’s likely the pedigree of talent behind and in front of the camera will likely skew A-List more than before.
“Lincoln” completes this trio of heavy moneymakers as it speeds towards $100 million domestic with small-ish drops. What’s especially notable is that “Lincoln” is only on barely over 2,000 screens, which means there are whole swaths of theaters not carrying Steven Spielberg’s latest. The film’s near-three hour runtime also complicates the film’s potential earning power, but it’s a shortcoming that has not come into play, as the presidential drama is registering stats much stronger than Spielberg’s last two, “War Horse” and “The Adventures Of Tintin: Secret Of The Unicorn.” With critic groups about to name Daniel Day-Lewis Best Actor In The History Of Ever, the film could easily play until the holidays.
Entering last weekend, “Rise Of The Guardians” looked like the sure-thing blockbuster and “Life Of Pi” the questionable risk. But after two weekends, both films are surprisingly in a dead heat, with ‘Guardians’ the distinct disappointment, and ‘Pi’ the critical favorite underdog, despite both films similarly costing well over $100 million. ‘Guardians’ is something of a black eye for DreamWorks Animation, even if these films manage to eke out a profit through tie-ins, TV and cable deals — there’s always demand for holiday-themed product. ‘Pi’ has the stronger word-of-mouth, though, and even greater international appeal. By next week, the distance between them could grow considerably.
An ’F’ Cinemascore rating greeted the arrival of “Killing Them Softly.” The Weinstein Company tried to sell the film’s talky combination of politics and criminal sleaze into a standard actioner but, despite strong reviews, audiences weren’t buying. Not to mention that conundrum of a title, which only makes viewers think of a pop song with no relation to the subject matter. More to the point, with a paltry $7 million worldwide, this is the worst Brad Pitt wide release live action action opening in 18 years. Only 1994’s forgotten “The Favor” fared worse (albeit on less screens).
“Wreck-It Ralph” looks to be losing a bit of steam as it heads into the stretch run, and the picture’s not likely to tally $200 million domestic. The total is something of a disappointment, though this picture certainly found a significant audience, one that Disney can count on for future support of this character in other media. “Red Dawn” isn’t necessarily setting the industry on fire, though a $40-$50 million total for a cheap genre leftover from years ago isn’t something to sneeze at.
Adult audiences continue to take “Flight,” as the picture has performed strongly for Paramount. Its final tally should likely finish just short of nine figures, an impressive gross for an alcoholism drama that would only play in arthouses were it not for Denzel Washington’s star power. “Silver Linings Playbook” continues to lead pictures in limited release, once again leading the per screen average against “Hitchcock” and “Anna Karenina.” Right outside the top ten, 1,403 theaters opted to show “The Collection” instead of a blank screen, and they were rewarded with a $2.7 million gross because the theater is a nice place to help get away from the cold.
1. The Twilight Saga: Breakin’ 2 (Lionsgate) – $17.4 million ($254.6 mil.)
2. Skyfellas (Sony) – $17 million ($246 mil.)
3. Lincoln (Disney/DreamWorks) – $13.5 million ($83.7 mil.)
4. Rise Of The Cardigans (DreamWorks) – $13.5 million ($48.9 mil.)
5. Life Of Custard Pi (Fox) – $12 million ($48.4 mil.)
6. Killing Them Softly (The Weinstein Company) – $7 million
7. Wreck-It Ralph (Disney) – $7 million ($158.2 mil.)
8. Red Dawn (FilmDistrict) – $6.5 million ($31.3 mil.)
9. Flight (Paramount) – $4.5 million ($81.5 mil.)
10. Silver Linings Playbook (The Weinstein Company) – $3.3 million ($10.9 mil.)