'Twilight' and 'Skyfall' maintain blockbuster pace
This film image released by Sony Pictures shows Daniel Craig as James Bond, left, and Judi Dench as MI6 head M, in a scene from the film "Skyfall." (AP / Handout)
The Associated Press
Published Sunday, December 2, 2012 1:34PM EST
Last Updated Sunday, December 2, 2012 5:27PM EST
LOS ANGELES -- The "Twilight" finale and "Skyfall continued to dominate the box office on a typically slow post-Thanksgiving holiday weekend that brought big business for holdover films but a poor start for Brad Pitt's new crime story.
Sunday studio estimates put "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn -- Part 2" out front for the third-straight weekend with $17.4 million domestically.
That raised the domestic total to $254.6 million for the vampire tale released by Lionsgate banner Summit Entertainment. The movie added $48.4 million overseas for an international haul of $447.8 million and a worldwide sum of $702.4 million, approaching the franchise record of $710 million for last year's "Breaking Dawn -- Part 2."
Sony's James Bond adventure "Skyfall" was a fraction behind with $17 million domestically, raising revenue to $246 million after four weekends.
"Skyfall" also brought in $34 million overseas to put its international take at $623 million and the worldwide total at $869 million, the best cash haul ever for a Bond flick.
Pitt's "Killing Them Softly," the weekend's top new release, tanked with just $7 million domestically, coming in at No. 7 behind a big batch of holdovers.
The "Twilight" finale and "Skyfall" were close enough that domestic rankings could flip-flop when final numbers are released Monday. Either way, the two movies have led a brisk start to the holiday season that could lift Hollywood to record domestic revenues for the year.
"I keep upping my revenue estimates for the full end-of-year box office because it's just been a lot stronger than anticipated lately," said Paul Dergarabedian, analyst for box-office tracker Hollywood.com.
With domestic business totalling $9.9 billion so far in 2012, receipts are running 6 per cent ahead of last year's and are on track to top the record of $10.6 billion set in 2009, according to Hollywood.com.
After record revenue over Thanksgiving, business eased off, though it still was a stronger-than-usual post-holiday weekend. Domestic revenues totalled $115 million, up 42 per cent from the same weekend last year, when "Breaking Dawn -- Part 1" led with $16.5 million.
A Weinstein Co. release, "Killing Them Softly" averaged just $2,888 in 2,424 theatres, meagre results compared to the "Twilight" finale's average of $4,344 in 4,008 cinemas over its third weekend.
Adapted from George V. Higgins' novel "Cogan's Trade," "Killing Them Softly" stars Pitt as a gang enforcer on the trail of two small-time crooks who held up a mob-protected card game.
The weekend's other new wide release, LD Entertainment's horror tale "The Collection," also flopped at No. 10 with $3.4 million, averaging $2,430 in 1,403 theatres.