LOS ANGELES (AP):
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 US$17.4 million domestically.
That raised the domestic total to US$254.6 million for the vampire tale released by Lionsgate banner Summit Entertainment. The movie added US$48.4 million overseas for an international haul of US$447.8 million and a worldwide sum of US$702.4 million, approaching the franchise record of US$710 million for last year's Breaking Dawn - Part 2.
Sony's James Bond adventure Skyfall was a fraction behind with US$17 million domestically, raising revenue to US$246 million after four weekends.
Adding in about US$600 million overseas, Skyfall already is the top-grossing Bond flick ever, approaching US$900 million worldwide.
Pitt's Killing Them Softly, the weekend's top new release, tanked with just US$7 million domestically, coming in at No. 7 behind a big batch of holdovers.
Stronger than anticipated
The Twilight finale and Skyfall were close enough that domestic rankings could flip-flop when final numbers are released today. 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 US$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 US$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 US$115 million, up 42 per cent from the corresponding weekend last year, when Breaking Dawn - Part 1 led with US$16.5 million.
A Weinstein Co. release, Killing Them Softly averaged just US$2,888 in 2,424 theatres, meagre results compared to the Twilight finale's average of US$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 US$3.4 million, averaging US$2,430 in 1,403 theatres.
Estimated ticket sales for Friday through yesterday at US and Canadian cinemas, according to Hollywood.com.