With two new nationwide releases—Killing Them Softly and The Collection—failing to make any noise at the box office, the post-Thanksgiving weekend lived up its reputation as a dumping ground. As a result, for the third-straight weekend the top two movies were The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 and Skyfall. On the strength of those holdovers, the Top 12 earned $106.4 million, which is up a whopping 45 percent from the same frame last year. Breaking Dawn Part 2 three-peated with $17.4 million (off 60 percent). The fifth and final Twilight movie continues to hang on slightly better than its predecessors, and with a $254.6 million total it's now within $1 million of catching up to New Moon.
This was Lionsgate/Summit's 11th weekend this year with a first place movie (four for Hunger Games, two for The Expendables 2, two for The Possession, three for Twilight). That leads all movie studios for 2012; overall, Lionsgate/Summit has earned $1.22 billion domestically this year, which ranks fourth among all studios. Skyfall was a close second this weekend with $16.6 million, which is down 53 percent from last weekend. So far, the 23rd James Bond adventure has grossed an astounding $245.6 million, and could wind up as high as $290 million by the end of its run. Skyfall's impressive grosses helped get Sony to over $1.7 billion on the year, which is a new record for the studio.
With its holiday tie-in, DreamWorks Animation's Rise of the Guardians dipped a light 44 percent this weekend. Unfortunately, it only added $13.4 million for a new total of $48.8 million, and a $100 million total still looks like a long shot.
In third place, Lincoln eased 48 percent to $13.4 million. It has now earned $83.6 million, which is ahead of director Steven Spielberg's 2011 movies The Adventures of Tintin ($77.6 million) and War Horse ($79.9 million). Life of Pi rounded out the Top Five with $12.2 million (down 46 percent). So far, the well-reviewed book adaptation has grossed $48.5 million, and it's likely this movie's ultimate fate will be determined overseas (where it's performing quite well so far).
In seventh place, Killing Them Softly bombed with just $6.8 million, which is one of Brad Pitt's worst openings ever. Still, it is nearly $3 million more than Pitt and director Andrew Dominik's last collaboration, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, made in its entire run ($3.9 million). The movie received a terrible "F" CinemaScore, and should fade from theaters very quickly in the next few weeks. The Collection took 10th place with an estimated $3.41 million from 1,403 locations. That's a bit less than its predecessor, The Collector, made in its opening weekend in 2009 ($3.57 million). Silver Linings Playbook remained in fewer than 400 theaters this weekend, but still managed to only dip 30 percent to $3.1 million. Through 17 days in limited release, the David O. Russell romantic comedy has earned $10.7 million. Anna Karenina expanded to 384 locations and grossed $2.25 million. The movie has now earned $4.1 million, and a nationwide expansion would appear to be on the horizon.
In its eighth weekend in theaters, Argo passed $100 million at the domestic box office. That makes it star Ben Affleck's first $100 million movie since 2003's Daredevil. Also, it's the first of the major awards contenders to reach that mark, though Lincoln is on pace to eclipse Argo's tally in the coming weeks.