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Box Office: ‘Playing For Keeps’ Misses The Goal As ‘Skyfall’ Returns To #1

Box Office: 'Playing For Keeps' Misses The Goal As 'Skyfall' Returns To #1

The weekend after Thanksgiving is usually a down time, but studios ordinarily have a big bopper out during this timeframe. But this opening frame for December was fairly quiet, giving “Skyfall” a chance to take the top spot one more time before this month’s blockbusters hit theaters. The picture has been a monster, now becoming Sony‘s top grossing picture of all time, with $1 billion worldwide in its sights. The franchise may be 50 years old, but 007 has never been more popular.

Meanwhile, though “Rise of the Guardians” managed to works its way into the number two slot, the film is estimated to lose DreamWorks Animation $50 million due to a poor performance domestically and abroad. The picture should gain a certain level of traction given the holiday theme, but it lacked the massive opening necessary to capitalize. As such, solid week-to-week performances likely won’t help this picture unless we’re still in double digits by January. $100 million is still a possibility, which is something DreamWorks might aim for if they can keep it on 3D screens in the coming weeks, but “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” will likely eat those up next weekend.

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2” is still a thing, and some fairweather viewers are still shrugging and buying tickets for the werewolf/vampire/poor taste mashup. It continued its somewhat mirthless march to a possible $300 million total, and will likely surpass the worldwide take of the last film in the series to be the biggest ‘Twilight’ yet. Light a candle, said no one. Meanwhile, “Lincoln” motors along as a prestige choice for certain audiences, and it will cross $100 million by midweek. As end-of-the-year awards are announced, “Lincoln” could conceivably continue to play, and possibly even expand — it’s in less theaters than anything in the top ten, barely above 2,000.

Life of Pi” is holding steady, but after that solid opening, the hope was a bit of holiday-season course correction from word of mouth. As that hasn’t arrived, the Ang Lee drama holds only a slim hope of reaching $100 million. Early returns suggest the film is killing it in foreign territories, specifically in Asia, but a hefty domestic number would appeal to the dimmer Oscar voters putting the film on their ballots. Expect Fox to put some extra marketing muscle behind the film to turn it into one of the holiday season’s more viable family attractions.

The lone wide release this weekend is FilmDistrict‘s “Playing For Keeps,” a soccer dramedy that seemingly no one wanted to see. In its first three days, this film will surpass the entire domestic gross of Gerard Butler‘s last starring role, “Chasing Mavericks.” Of course, approximately three people saw that film (and two were related to Butler) so that doesn’t mean much. This is a dismal showing for Butler, a would-be leading man who has essayed three straight tanks going back to last fall’s disastrous “Machine Gun Preacher.” The next test of Butler’s stardom, or what’s left of it, is next April’s “Olympus Has Fallen,” but it already has the stink of being a cheapie knock-off of Channing Tatum‘s much starrier “White House Down.” Butler will need a serious career re-think.

Wreck-It Ralph” is completing its solid theatrical performance, though internationally it hasn’t exactly set the world on fire. Most animated fare holds faily well during the holiday season, so ‘Ralph’ might have a little extra juice left. “Red Dawn” and “Flight” close out the top ten, though “Flight” will likely stick around a bit longer, particularly if awards season heat steams around the picture. No such luck for “Killing Them Softly,” which audiences soundly rejected last weekend, and it was pulverized by a F grade CinemaScore. In its second frame, the film collapsed nearly 60%, and should escape theaters relatively soon. Just outside the top ten was “Silver Linings Playbook,” which stayed at 371 locations and pocketed an estimated $2.2 million.

1. Skyfall (Sony) – $11 million ($261.6 mil.)
2. Rise Of The DreamWorks Tax Write-Offs (Paramount/DreamWorks) – $10.5 million ($61.9 mil.)
3. The Twilight Saga: Break That Dawn 2 (Lionsgate) – $9.2 million ($268.7 mil.)
4. Abraham Lincoln: Golden Globe Hunter (Disney) – $9.1 million ($97.3 mil.)
5. Life Of Pi-ron Man (Fox) – $8.3 million ($60.9 mil.)
6. Playing For Keeps (FilmDistrict) – $6 million
7. Wreck-It Rufio (Disney) – $4.9 million ($164.4 mil.)
8. Yellow Scare (FilmDistrict) – $4.2 million ($37.2 mil.)
9. The Magical Pilot! (Paramount) – $3.1 million ($86.2 mil.) 
10. Killing Them Softly (TWC) – $2.7 million ($11.7 mil.)

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