Expectations weren't high for Brad Pitt's small, polarizing indie Killing Them Softly, but with one of the biggest A-Listers in Hollywood in the lead, many guessed the film could at least sink its teeth into reigning champ Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2 at this weekend's box office. Not the case, as the latter once again trumped its contenders in the notoriously quiet post-Thanksgiving week at the movies.
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 2 from Summit Entertainment (a Lionsgate company) took home the top prize with $17.4 million, but Sony’s Skyfall with continued strong word-of-mouth and the potential for a smaller weekend over weekend percentage drop could also make a strong bid for number one. The two films have nearly identical North American totals to date with each at around $254.6 million and $246 million, respectively.
Also making a mark is Disney’s acclaimed historical drama Lincoln from director Steven Spielberg, which has performed impressively in the mid-week derby and had a solid weekend with $13.5 million. The weekend brings the Daniel Day-Lewis starring biopic to $83.7 million in North America.
Right behind Lincoln is Paramount’s Rise of the Guardians from Dreamworks animation, which was singled out for a fairly weak Thanksgiving weekend debut. While still underperforming, things looked a little brighter this weekend when the film grossed $13.5 million (still just shy of Lincoln, see below for exact numbers). Featuring classic and iconic childhood characters Jack Frost (Chris Pine), Santa Claus (Alec Baldwin), The Tooth Fairy (Isla Fisher), The Easter Bunny (Hugh Jackman) the film benefited from its holiday theme and less competition from Wreck-It Ralph which has been in the marketplace for over 4 weeks.
20th Century Fox’s Life of Pi directed by Ang Lee (Brokeback Mountain, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) continued to build an audience after a somewhat soft debut over Thanksgiving as word-of-mouth continues to build. A weekend gross of $12 million range will bring its N. American total over $48.3 million.
Weinstein Co.’s Killing Them Softly reunites Pitt and James Gandolfini (who appeared together in 2001’s The Mexican) and costars Ray Liotta in an uber-violent R-rated crime drama set among the world of contract killers and card sharks. An opening shot of $7 million, will gives it a debut in the seventh spot this weekend.
Also opening is the horror entry The Collection from LD Entertainment. Opening in 1,403 theaters, the film had little chance to scare up too much business, earning $3.409 million by the end of the three-day weekend.
Notably, Ben Affleck’s widely acclaimed dramatic thriller Argo has crossed the $100 million mark at the domestic box office, it was announced today by Dan Fellman, Warner Bros. Pictures President of Domestic Distribution. One of the best reviewed films of the year, Argo has earned an estimated $101 million, domestically, to date.
Here's the box office breakdown for the weekend of Nov. 30
1. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2 — $17,400,000 million (Cumulative: $254,600,000)
2. Skyfall — $17,000,000 (Cumulative: $246,029,000)
3. Lincoln — $13,509,000 (Cumulative: $83,698,000)
4.Rise of the Guardians — $13,500,000 (Cumulative: $48,947,000)
5. Life of Pi — $12,000,000 (Cumulative: $48,361,141)
[Photo Credit: The Weinstein Company]