The box office suffers one more slow weekend of already-released franchises before the remaining juggernaut, last minute Oscar-race films come out in the next few weeks. In fact, according to Box Office Mojo, this weekend is the third-lowest grossing weekend overall for 2012, with $73 million total for the top 12 films.
It’s rare for films to make their way back to the number one spot after debuting, but the 23rd James Bond film, Skyfall, took nice advantage of the lacking new releases to do just that. Bond and Dreamworks’ Rise of the Guardians both outfoxed the vampires and werewolves of The Twilight Saga for the top two spots, earning $11 million and $10.5 million respectively.
Twilight’s Breaking Dawn Part 2 earned another $9.2 million this weekend, taking third place and bringing its overall total to $268 million, just surpassing the franchise’s second film, New Moon, for their 24-day totals, according to Box Office Mojo.
Disney’s historical drama Lincoln fell into fourth place with $9.1 million, earning a $97.3 million overall gross in its fifth week, gearing up to pass Argo for the highest grossing top-Oscar contender this season. Ang Lee’s Life of Pi again holds the number five spot with $8.3 million, as it added 18% more theatres for its third week. It is now playing in 2,946 theatres, as compared to Twilight’s 3,646.
Poor Gerard Butler had another disappointing opening weekend, as his new film Playing for Keeps did not play well and probably won’t keep, taking sixth place with only $6 million. Perhaps that’s not too surprising given its astounding 2 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes, despite a fairly solid B+ from Cinema Score. This is Butler’s second bomb in two months, as his previous flop Chasing Mavericks still hasn’t surpassed this opening weekend’s gross for Keeps.
Closing out the top ten this weekend is Disney’s Wreck-It Ralph with $4.9 million, Red Dawn with $4.2 million, Paramount’s Flight, with 3.1 million, and the Brad Pitt disappointment Killing Them Softly with $2.7 million in its second week.
The new independent film, Hyde Park on Hudson, which initially seemed on track for accolades and Oscar buzz, underperformed both with critics (receiving a 40 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes) and at the box office. While only playing in 4 theatres this first 3 days, according to Box Office Mojo, the film made only $83,300 for the weekend, though presumably they will significantly increase the number of theatres showing it in the coming weeks.
I spent my entire Saturday in a mostly full theater-watching the complete Lord of the Rings Trilogy extended edition (some 13 hours of brilliant filmmaking), in preparation for next weekend’s major release The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. It’ll be exciting to see how that fares next week.