You hear that sucking sounds in the nation’s theaters?
That’s the sound of new releases twisting in the wind. Looking at this week’s box office, the first noticeable fact: the week’s lone wide release, Playing For Keeps, sits at No. 6. That would mean it’s bombing big time. In that respect I feel for Gerard Butler who stars in this reviled soccer kid flick that took in a massive $6 million. Why? The guy can’t catch a break in the States. He’s a genuinely talented actor who keeps getting crap roles. Maybe he’s just trying to break through, but jeez does he have garbage luck, much like Aussie Eric Bana, who has the same problem.
But fellow Euro, Daniel Craig? He of the craggily face? He’s on a roll with the latest installment of James Bond, Skyfall. In its fifth week of release Craig and Bond return to the top of the box office chart with an $11 million haul over the Dec. 7 weekend. It’s now the highest grossing film ever in the U.K. and the most successful Bond film on these shores, according to data provided by Paul Dergarabedian, box office analyst for Hollywood.com.
The movie has shown few signs of losing steam. In weeks 2-4, it sat at No. 2 behind The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2, which falls to third place this week with a take of $9.2 million to raise its cumulative gross to more than $268 million in North American theaters.
The surprise of the week may be in the form of Rise of the Guardians, the latest DreamWorks animated film that bowed in a humdrum fashion, but worked its way into the No. 2 slot with a gross of $10.5 million. Given the dearth of family friendly fare available this holiday season, it’s in a prime position for a successful run.
Lincoln doesn’t represent the typical Steven Spielberg blockbuster, but his name and a superb film ensure that it will do well in theaters. It grossed $9.1 million for the weekend and should hit the $100 million mark by the end of next week. Rounding out this weekend’s top five: Ang Lee’s Life of Pi with $8.3 million.
Look for box office numbers to take a huge leap upwards as Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit opens nationwide next week. In the meantime, the studios are still riding high this holiday season as box office revenues rose 7.6 percent over last year at this time. For the year, revenues are tracking 6 percent above last year and attendance is up 5.9 percent.
Here are this week’s Top 10 films according to Paul Dergarabedian of Hollywood.com:
Skyfall (Columbia): $11 million
Rise of the Guardians (DreamWorks): $10.5 million
The Twilight Saga (Summit): $9.2 million
Lincoln (Disney/DreamWorks): $9.1 million
Life of Pi (Fox): $8.3 million
Playing for Keeps (FilmDistrict): $6 million
Wreck-It-Ralph (Disney): $4.9 million
Red Dawn (FilmDistrict): $4.2 million
Flight (Paramount): $3.1 million
Killing them Softly (The Weinstein Co.): $2.7 million