Playing For Keeps Not Even In The Game- Week 6 | Skyfall | The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2 | Wreck-It Ralph

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Playing For Keeps Not Even In The Game- Week 6

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2
Wreck-It Ralph
Life of Pi
Rise of the Guardians
Playing for Keeps
In a turn of events that would surprise only the most ardent soccer fan with extreme blinders on, if you make a film about the sport that doesn't involve an Indian wedding, Keira Knightley, and prominently feature the name "Beckham" in the title, most people aren't going to notice.

Such was the fate that awaited Playing For Keeps which earned a red card after totaling a mere $5.8 million opening. Since I base almost all of my "poor openings" on the Olsen Twins big-screen release of New York Minute in 2004, it's pretty sad to say that even that film's measly $5.9 million bests this effort. It must've been the Eugene Levy factor.

Gerald Bulter's career has been extremely topsy-turvy since he was announced as the "next big thing" after his "star-making" turn in 300, yet mostly on the turvy side. In some ways he's become like the anti-Matthew McConaughey making numerous romantic comedies. The "anti" part only being that none of Butler's turns turn into hits. Looking over Butler's choices since 300, he's either had multiple agents or a singular agent on multiple medications: P.S. I Love You, Law Abiding Citizen, The Bounty Hunter, Gamer, The Ugly Truth, the surfing movie Chasing Mavericks, and the whatever it is that was Nim's Island. How this guy ended up top-billed over more familiar names such as Jessica Biel, Uma Thurman, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Dennis Quaid tells you more about how well those actors are doing than how well he's doing.

After an already forgotten weekend after Thanksgiving last week, did Hollywood really need to abandon a second weekend in the season? Studios have already cleared out next weekend for The Hobbit, leaving eight more films with delusions of grandeur to all open within six days of Christmas. Couldn't one of those have jumped out to this weekend and given itself some breathing room? Maybe they're all just playing chicken. Films released over the actual holidays aren't expected to have huge initial grosses. They're simply expected to stay strong as an option for that busy film-going period. It's not until after New Year's where people notice if a film worked or not. Releasing around Xmas gives studios a bigger window to either pad their numbers or hope people forgot it even came out by the time folks come back to work.

In the absence of real competition, Skyfall reclaimed the #1 spot at the box-office with $10.8 million leading to a staggering $261.4 million gross. This film is sure to top the previous installment's gross by over a $100 million. Daniel Craig may lack the presence to market a movie when he's not 007 (which is actually par for the course for Bond actors), but he's nailing the 21st Century re-invention of the character. Now if we can only get him in a blue tuxedo and to perform the occasional judo chop, we'd really be getting somewhere!

Rise of the Guardians held on to whatever there was to hold on to for the family market with $10.4 million. The film could continue to perform throughout the Xmas season as its the sole "kiddie film" to actually feature Santa Claus, though the long-term prospects still pale to Wreck-It Ralph. Ralph's $164.4 total is a very extended play from Gaurdian's $61.8 million.

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2 has truly been a saga as this epic tale about girl meets boy, girl meets other boy, girl really never gives the first guy the time of day even though he keeps bugging her to say this is the last time he's going to ask her to love him... at least until the next time he's on screen, and girl finally marries the boy she wants only to get knocked-up during the honeymoon has finally run its course. Entrancing another $9.2 million this weekend, the grand total of $268.7 million is almost $7 million ahead of Skyfall. However, given the weeks ahead and many adult patrons of films over the holidays, there's a still a solid chance Skyfall could crash land Breaking Dawn's party. It's not that great a party though. Pretty lifeless.

Lincoln and Life of Pi again mirrored each other in the $8 million range for weekend grosses. Given Lincoln's $37 million edge over Pi's $60.9 total, there's little chance this Pi has a shot at the president.

The Top Five If Today Was Martin Luther King Jr. Observance:
#1. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part Two - $268.7 million
#2. Skyfall - $261.4 million
#3. Wreck-It Ralph - $164.4 million
#4. Lincoln - $97.1 million
#5. Flight - $86.2 million

by Matt Neuenburg on 12/10/2012

Movies Mentioned in this Post: Flight, Life of Pi, Lincoln, Playing for Keeps, Rise of the Guardians, Skyfall, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2, Wreck-It Ralph
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