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Saturday Box Office Preview: Holdovers Keep Grosses on Positive Track

Photo of Tom Brueggemann By Tom Brueggemann | Thompson on Hollywood December 8, 2012 at 6:45PM

Lacking an early release of a Christmas blockbuster, this weekend is traditionally one of the weakest of the year. With only a single (soft) new film in play -- Millennium's Gerard Butler starrer "Playing for Keeps" (released by FilmDistrict) -- the surprise is that for Friday, the top ten actually grossed about equal to last year, with the full weekend likely ahead.
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Marlohe in 'Skyfall'
Marlohe in 'Skyfall'

Lacking an early release of a Christmas blockbuster, this weekend is traditionally one of the weakest of the year. With only a single (soft) new film in play -- Millennium's Gerard Butler starrer "Playing for Keeps" (released by FilmDistrict) -- the surprise is that for Friday, the top ten actually grossed about equal to last year, with the full weekend likely ahead.

Two new younger-audience releases -- "New Years Eve" and "The Sitter" -- both opened last year much better than "Playing," which looks like it won't make the top five for this weekend. The top films instead are now in their third to fifth weeks, with the oldest of the lot, "Skyfall," back to number one.

The drops from last week across the board were less than seasonal norms. "Breaking Dawn - Part 2," though likely displaced from first place, fell less than 50%, while "Part 1" last year was down around 55% from its previous Friday. The adult-oriented/awards contending films fell between a third to less than 40%, with likely better holds for the rest of the weekend, with "The Life of Pi" showing strength by falling the least. The struggling "Rise of the Guardians" actually held better than any of these, off only around a quarter from last Friday.

The continued pull of these films likely took its toll on "Playing for Keeps" even before the reviews did. This is the third straight wide-release dud starring Butler, and is also a major come down for Italian director Gabrielle Muccino, whose earlier "Pursuit of Happyness" and " Seven Pounds" fared much better.

The Top Ten for Friday (grosses in millions):

1. "Skyfall" (Sony) - $3.1

2. "Breaking Dawn Part 2" (Lionsgate) - $2.8

3. "Lincoln" (Buena Vista) - $ 2.6

4. "Rise of the Guardian" (Paramount) - $ 2.3

5. "The Life of Pi" (20th Century-Fox) - $2.3

6. "Playing for Keeps" (FilmDistrict) - $2.1

7. "Red Dawn" (FilmDistrict) - $1.3

8. "Wreck-It Ralph" (Buena Vista) - $1.2

9. "Flight" (Paramount) - $.9

10. "Killing Them Softly" (Weinstein) - $.9

This article is related to: Box Office, Box Office, Box Office, Skyfall, Twilight


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.