"Twilight" shines in third box office win over Bond
By Lisa Richwine
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The "Twilight" teen movie vampires sucked more money out of theaters over the weekend, leading James Bond, Brad Pitt and the rest of box office pack with $17.4 million in U.S. and Canadian ticket sales and scoring its third weekly win.
Pitt's new movie, the small-budget gangster film "Killing Them Softly," bombed with filmgoers who panned it with a rare "F" grade on average in polling by audience survey firm CinemaScore. The movie landed in seventh place with $7 million in ticket sales at domestic theaters.
The results were much brighter for "Breaking Dawn - Part 2," the fifth and final film in the "Twilight" vampire and werewolf saga, which has earned $254.6 million at North American (U.S. and Canadian) theaters since its smash debut on November 16.
The top rankings were similar to last week's Thanksgiving holiday weekend.
Bond movie "Skyfall" starring Daniel Craig as superspy 007 grabbed $17 million and held on to second place, according to studio estimates compiled by Reuters. Steven Spielberg's historical drama "Lincoln," featuring a critically acclaimed performance by Daniel Day-Lewis as the 16th U.S. president, kept the No. 3 slot with $13.5 million.
A week ago, "Breaking Dawn - Part 2" and "Skyfall" helped push the five-day Thanksgiving weekend to a box office record. The success of the two films, plus upcoming releases such as fantasy prequel "The Hobbit" and musical "Les Miserables," are likely to power 2012 ticket sales to an all-time high, according to industry forecasts.
As of Sunday, year-to-date sales were running 5.9 percent ahead of the same point in 2011 at $9.9 billion, box office tracker Hollywood.com said.
Critics were kinder than audiences to Pitt's "Killing Them Softly." Seventy-nine percent of reviews collected on the Rotten Tomatoes website applauded the film, which blends a violent but comic gangster story with criticism of politicians' failure to address the economic crisis. Continued...