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Skyfall retakes US top spot as Guardians fails to rise

Skyfall’s back on top in the US after soft weekend at the box office

The weekend prior to the release of The Hobbit was always predicted to be lean – and it met the low expectations. With the top 12 films in the US earning only $73 million together, this was their third lowest grossing weekend of the year. Skyfall managed to reclaim the top spot in the US after being dominated by Twilight for three weeks. The latest James Bond adventure came in with $11 million in the US in its fifth week and $20.3 million overseas. Of course, the Sam Mendes-helmed installment continues to shatter franchise records with a worldwide total haul of $918.2 million now.

International cinemas did not fare much better. The underperforming holiday animated feature Rise of the Guardians topped international charts with just $26 million in 58 territories and came in second at home with $10.5 million. The relatively strong hold is thanks to the seasonal connection, but a worldwide total gross of $152.4 million is still disappointing for this generously budgeted CGI picture.

Novel-adaptation Life of Pi came in second internationally with $23.8 million, boosted by strong performances in China Taiwan, India, and Hong Kong, where it has resonated with audiences the most, likely due to its spiritual and Eastern religious themes. It now boasts a healthy $105.7 million total international gross with many territories still coming down the pike, including the UK where it will be released December 20. In the US, the artistic 3D film ranked fifth for the third week in a row with $8.3 million.

Breaking Dawn Part 2 broke the Twilight franchise record for worldwide total gross, having now earned $751.1 million, surpassing the previous $712.2 million record of Breaking Dawn 1. The final installment of the teen vampire series took the third spot at home and on the international charts with $9.2 million and $23.5 million, respectively.

Lincoln continued to perform admirably, taking $9.1 million for the weekend at home in fourth place and still abstaining from the international contest. It is scheduled for a late January UK release.

Football-themed romantic comedy Playing for Keeps debuted disastrously to just $6 million in the US and ranked sixth. This is the latest in a string of box office mishaps for star Gerard Butler including recently released surfing drama Chasing Mavericks. The struggling picture follows the escapades of an ex-pro footballer who dates the mothers of the kids’ team he coaches, and is scheduled for an early January release in the UK. Thus far, it has been released in only 3 international territories and earned $2.6 million.

Holdover Wreck-It Ralph rounded out the international top 5 with $5.8 million and took seventh place at home with $4.9 million in its sixth week, helped by largely positive reviews and strong word of mouth.

The independent release of the week, Franklin D. Roosevelt drama Hyde Park on Hudson starring Bill Murray as the beloved president, debuted to just $83,300 at four locations and, with far less awards buzz than its high profile presidential counterpart, is unlikely to make very much noise in wider release.

Next weekend should see the masses return to cinemas for the epic 3D event movie The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.

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