'Skyfall,' 'Guardians' duel for box-office win
LOS ANGELES — James Bond is in a box-office photo finish with Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny over what looks to be the last slow weekend of the holidays.
According to studio estimates Sunday, Sony's Bond tale "Skyfall" took in $11 million to move back to No. 1 in its fifth weekend.
That put it narrowly ahead of Paramount's "Rise of the Guardians," the animated adventure of Santa, the Easter Bunny and other mythological heroes that pulled in $10.5 million.
The two movies inched ahead of Summit Entertainment's "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2," which had been tops for three-straight weekends. The "Twilight" finale earned $9.2 million, slipping into a tight race for No. 3 with Disney's "Lincoln," which was close behind with $9.1 million.
The top movies were bunched up so closely that rankings could change once final weekend revenues are released Monday.
The weekend's only new wide release, Gerard Butler's romantic comedy "Playing for Keeps," flopped with $6 million, coming in at No. 6.
"Skyfall" raised its domestic total to $261.6 million and added $20.3 million overseas to bring its international income to $656.6 million. At $918 million worldwide, "Skyfall" has the best cash haul ever for the Bond franchise and surpassed "Spider-Man 3" at $890 million to become Sony's top-grossing hit.
The "Twilight" finale also is a franchise record-breaker, surpassing the $710 million worldwide haul of last year's "Breaking Dawn - Part 1." The finale's domestic total now stands at $268.7 million.
It was another traditionally quiet post-Thanksgiving weekend, with big November releases continuing to dominate in the lull before a pre-Christmas onslaught of movies.
The box office is expected to soar next weekend with the arrival of part one of "The Hobbit," Peter Jackson's "The Lord of the Rings" prelude. After that comes a steady rush of action, comedy and drama through year's end, including Tom Cruise's "Jack Reacher," Quentin Tarantino and Jamie Foxx's "Django Unchained," Seth Rogen's "The Guilt Trip" and Hugh Jackman and Russell Crowe's "Les Miserables."
"The last couple of weeks of the year are some of the strongest every year," said Paul Dergarabedian, an analyst for box-office tracker Hollywood.com. "We are on the cusp of some really huge box office. There's a lot of money still left in the year despite this slow period right now."
Hollywood's domestic revenues have topped $10 billion so far this year, with the industry expected to finish 2012 ahead of the all-time high of $10.6 billion set in 2009.
Trashed savagely by critics, FilmDistrict's "Playing for Keeps" stars Butler as a washed-up soccer star trying to reconnect with his ex-wife (Jessica Biel) and young son. The all-star cast includes Catherine Zeta-Jones and Uma Thurman as soccer moms with the hots for Butler.
In limited release, Bill Murray's Franklin Roosevelt drama "Hyde Park on Hudson" opened solidly with $83,280 in four theaters, averaging a healthy $20,820 a cinema. By comparison, "Playing for Keeps" averaged $2,115 in 2,837 theaters.
Released by Focus Features, "Hyde Park on Hudson" stars Murray as Roosevelt, whose intimate relations with a distant cousin (Laura Linney) become both a source of strength and distraction as the president plays host to the king and queen of England on the eve of World War II.
Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Hollywood.com. Where available, latest international numbers are also included. Final domestic figures will be released Monday.
1. "Skyfall," $11 million ($20.3 million).
2. "Rise of the Guardians," $10.5 million ($26 million international).
3. "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2," $9.2 million.
4. "Lincoln," $9.1 million.
5. "Life of Pi," $8.3 million.
6. "Playing for Keeps," $6 million.
7. "Wreck-It Ralph," $4.9 million ($5.8 million international).
8. "Red Dawn," $4.3 million.
9. "Flight," $3.1 million.
10. "Killing Them Softly," $2.7 million.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- DVD reviews: ‘The Fault in Our Stars,’ ‘Godzilla’ and ‘Think Like a Man Too’
- McCandless Cinemark set to open Sept. 19