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'Twilight,' 'Skyfall' remain top picks for fans

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Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

By The Associated Press
Sunday, Dec. 2, 2012, 4:35 p.m.
 

LOS ANGELES — The "Twilight" finale and "Skyfall" continued to dominate the box office on a typically slow post-Thanksgiving 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 totaling $9.9 billion so far in 2012, receipts are running 6 percent 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 totaled $115 million, up 42 percent 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 theaters, meager 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 theaters.

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. "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2," $17.4 million ($48.4 million international)

2. "Skyfall," $17 million ($34 million international).

3. "Lincoln," $13.51 million.

4. "Rise of the Guardians," $13.5 million ($40 million international).

5. "Life of Pi," $12 million ($21.5 million international).

6. "Wreck-It Ralph," $7.02 million ($1.5 million international).

7. "Killing Them Softly," $7 million ($700,000 international).

8. "Red Dawn," $6.6 million ($500,000 international).

9. "Flight," $4.5 million.

10. "The Collection," $3.4 million.

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