If last weekend's post-US Thanksgiving offerings were considered a traditional "dumping ground," then this is what happens when no one takes out the trash. With only Gerard Butler’s soccer-dad-rom-com, Playing for Keeps, to bring people out, Skyfall leapt back into first place on the third lowest overall gross weekend of 2012.
Don't call it a comeback, but Santa is back, baby! Rise of the Guardians almost pulled off the upset with $10.5 million, only $500,000 behind Bond for first place. While Guardians is still generally considered a box office disappointment so far, it's nice to see the kids watching something besides Twilight closer to the holidays.
In limited release, the Bill Murray as President Franklin D. Roosevelt movie that no one asked for (aka Hyde Park on Hudson) opened to lukewarm results in a few major cities. Expect to say "didn't that just come out?" when you're cruising iTunes and on-demand in the near future.
Top 10 (weekend US estimates via Box Office Mojo)
1. Skyfall - $11,000,000
2. Rise of the Guardians - $10,540,000
3. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 - $9,200,000
4. Lincoln - $9,115,000
5. Life of Pi - $8,300,000
6. Playing for Keeps - $6,000,000
7. Wreck-It Ralph - $4,904,000
8. Red Dawn - $4,261,000
9. Flight - $3,130,000
10. Killing Them Softly - $2,748,000
What We Learned
People need to ease up on Gerard Butler
Despite being the only major release this weekend, Playing for Keeps will soon be playing for spare change after eating a foot long bomb sandwich this weekend with a mere $6 Million. This isn't just your typical "meh" romantic comedy—critics actively hated this film, chalking up a putrid 2% on Rotten Tomatoes. TWO PER CENT!? To put this in perspective, The Adventures of Pluto Nash earned 6% on the site, making its score three times better than Keeps. I don't think you have to see the latter dud to know that it's not 2% terrible. What exactly were critics expecting here? It seems like more of a personal vendetta against the actor who's had a tough road after the much-liked 300. You know how Channing Tatum has all the momentum in the world right now? Right roles, right time, right guy. Butler is like that, but the exact opposite. Did he sleep with every girlfriend in Hollywood? Vote for Romney? Send one of those Jerry Maguire manifestos titled Critic Schmitic: The Future of Our Business? I would love to know.
Hollywood needs to know how bored we are
You, me, and everyone we know is going to see The Hobbit this weekend, but is that a good enough reason to not release anything for two weeks prior? Only Playing for Keeps and Killing Them Softly could be considered wide released so far in December. Meanwhile, Hobbit, Django, Zero Dark Thirty, and Les Mis are on deck for a loaded back half of the month. We need to send Hollywood a clear message: Real life is boring and we need your entertainment. I can't help but think that a movie like Tom Cruise's Jack Reacher could’ve cashed-in on a weekend like this, rather than buried in a Dec 21 release that seems set to be Cruisin’ for a box-office Bruisin'. I need something to kill time with while digesting all this holiday food. Otherwise, I might join a gym, and neither of us wants that.
You should probably re-watch Quantum of Solace
Just like in the film itself, where an injured Bond works his way back to agent status, Skyfall returned to the number one spot on the chart in its fifth week of release. The last flick to do this was 2010's How to Train Your Dragon. Just another accomplishment for a film that (along with The Avengers) will go down as one of the major success stories of 2012. Insiders are praising the studio's decision to work hard on the script, hire a seasoned director, and time the release with the franchise’s 50th anniversary, but that seems like Captain Hindsight talking. Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure's Napoleon Bonaparte once said, "History is a set of lies agreed upon," and history has somehow noted that Quantum of Solace was a failure. It wasn't. Oddly titled, perhaps, but the franchise was (and is) still going strong. With more momentum than ever, the next Bond film could feature James in a soccer-dad-rom-com and still pull down at least $200 million.
Opening This Weekend
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey - Can’t seem to find details about this one. Anyone have any info?