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Weekend Wrap-Up: Dawn Still Breaking Bank

December 3rd, 2012

It was a close race for top spot as The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 2 just held off Skyfall by less than $1 million. Unfortunately, the best new release, Killing Them Softly, failed to match low expectations, while The Collection barely managed a spot in the top ten. The overall box office fell 45% to $114 million. However, as sharp as that decline was, it was still 41% higher than the same weekend last year and December begins with 2012 ahead of 2011 by 5.9% at $9.91 billion to $9.36 billion.

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 2 matched predictions nearly perfectly with $17.42 million over the weekend. Not only was this enough to earn the threepeat, it pushed its running tally to $254.60 million after three weeks of release. Since there are so few wide releases coming out in December, and a few of them look really weak, there is a chance this film will still be in the top ten in January. If so, it could reach $300 million before the end of its run.

Skyfall was right behind with $16.56 million over the weekend for a total of $245,59 million after four weeks of release. If the film continues to have better holds than Breaking Dawn, Part 2 has and Playing for Keeps is as bad as a lot of people think it will be, then it has a real shot at returning to first place next weekend.

Rise of the Guardians just managed third place with $13.39 million over the weekend for a total of $48.84 million after two. Its hold was better than expected, but it is a matter of "too little, too late". It will only finish with about half of what it cost to make, so it will need a much stronger international run to break even any time soon.

Lincoln fell faster than anticipated down to fourth place with $13.38 million over the weekend for a total of $83.57 million after four. It should still have an easy time reaching $100 million, but further expansion is less likely. The same caveat applies here as with all Awards Season hopefuls. If it wins big on Oscar night, it will likely see its theater count balloon as a result.

Life of Pi remained in fifth place with $12.15 million over the weekend for a total of $48.51 million after two. It was an expensive movie to make, so it is going to need bigger international numbers to break even. Fortunately, it has a good shot at doing so.

Killing Them Softly only managed seventh place with $6.81 million, which is arguably Brad Pitt's worst wide release opening ever. You have to go back so far to find a wide release with a lower opening that inflation becomes a major factor. It did earn good reviews, but its per theater average was below $3,000, so I don't think most theater owners will want to keep it around long enough for its word-of-mouth to matter.

The Collection just beat out Silver Linings Playbook for tenth place at $3.10 million to $3.09 million. The film's reviews were merely mixed, which is a lot better than most were expecting, but its legs will likely be very short. The genre historically has short legs and theater owners won't be willing to hold onto this film for very long.

Red Dawn was the only sophomore film to not reach the top five. It fell 54% to $6.50 million over the weekend for a total of $31.27 million after two. It should overtake the original at the box office, but given inflation, it would have almost needed to open with more than the 1984 film earned in total to be considered a bigger hit than its predecessor was.

One last note, Argo reached the $100 million milestone over the weekend, doing so during its 51st day of release. It was the 24th film released this year to get to that milestone, but it won't be the last.


Filed under: Weekend Box Office, Lincoln, Red Dawn, Life of Pi, Rise of the Guardians, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 2, Skyfall, Playing for Keeps, Argo, Silver Linings Playbook, The Collection, Killing Them Softly, Brad Pitt