Anyone who follows the box office will look upon this weekend's results and feel strong pangs of deja vu. Isn't this the same thing as las week?! Pretty much, yeah. The vast majority of the top ten stayed in the same position as last weekend thanks to an incredibly weak crop of new releases, making these some of the strangest box office numbers seen in 2012.

FilmWeekendPer Screen
1The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2$17,410,000 (-60.1%)$4,344$254,593,000
2Skyfall$17,000,000 (-52.1)$4,909$246,029,000
3Lincoln$13,509,000 (-47.4)$6,694$83,698,000
4Rise of the Guardians$13,500,000 (-43.2)$3,676$48,947,000
5Life of Pi$12,000,000 (-46.6)
6Wreck-It Ralph$7,020,000 (-57.6)$2,274$158,257,000
7Killing Them Softly$7,000,000$2,888$7,000,000
8Red Dawn$6,550,000 (-54.1)$2,355$31,320,000
9Flight$4,540,000 (-46.3)$1,744$81,527,000
10The Collection$3,409,000$2,430$3,409,000


The top six films at in that list above this sentence are in the same position as last week, with only 'Killing Them Softly' breaking the streak in spot number seven. Despite the star power of Brad Pitt, Andrew Dominik's first film since (the wonderful, amazing, modern classic) 'The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford' landed with a thud, earning only $7 million. You could blame the film's marketing (which painted a nightmarish drama as generic action movie) for this weak opening, but let's face the facts -- Pitt or no, this is an incredibly uncommercial and frequently challenging film that constantly rubs the audience's nose in senseless, horrific violence. This was never going to be a big movie, so let's not pretend that it ever was. It will get its due in a decade as a lost classic.

The other new release of the week actually managed to open worse. 'The Collection' only made $3.4 million and barely made it into the top ten, which means that, theatrically, it's dead on arrival. However, its predecessor, 'The Collector' opened to similar numbers a few years back and it was cheap enough (and sold enough DVDs) to warrant a sequel. Could 'The Collection' make enough to warrant a sequel in the long run? Ask again in a few years.

At the top of the list, 'The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2' and 'Skyfall' continued to duke it out, with the former grossing $17.4 million an the latter $17 million. Like last week, 'Twilight' took a bigger drop but has still outgrossed Bond, but 'Skyfall' seems to have stronger legs. Which of these two will ultimately outgross the other will be the box office battle to watch until 'The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey' opens in two weeks. Right now, there's less than $10 million between their grosses, so this arbitrary war can still go to anyone.

'Lincoln' held onto the third spot, grossing $13 million for a total of $83 million. Steven Spielberg's Oscar favorite will cross the $100 million mark in less than two weeks, making this the first of The Beard's films to be an unqualified critical and commercial success in awhile. Applause for everyone involved.

'Rise of the Guardians' and 'Life of Pi' remained in slots four and five, grossing nearly identical numbers for nearly identical total grosses. The fact that Ang Lee's bizarre tale of finding faith while stranded on a lifeboat with a tiger is matching an animated family movie that's essentially the Holiday Avengers is bad news people with a financial stake in DreamWorks animation.

And in the sixth spot, 'Wreck-It Ralph' kept on chugging along, grossing $7 million for a $158 million total. $200 million is looking like a pipe dream, but this is a strong showing nonetheless. That'll do, Ralph. That'll do.

Outside of the top ten, one of 2012's great success stories finally came to a close. Ben Affleck's 'Argo' crossed the $100 million mark, making it one of the definitive successes of the year. If Warner Bros. is smart, they'll do everything in their power to let him keep making movies for them -- he's three-for-three in a huge way.

Don't expect too many shake-ups next week, folks. Outside of a few new limited releases and an expansion or two, next weekend is dry as a bone when it comes to new releases. The back half of December is about as loaded as it gets ('The Hobbit,' 'Zero Dark Thirty,' 'This is Forty,' 'Les Miserables,' 'Django Unchained') but next week? Expect 'Twilight,' 'Skyfall' and 'Lincoln' to prosper again.

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