‘Twilight’ Leads Box Office for 3rd Weekend at $17.4 Million

For the third weekend in a row, “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2”, the finale of the teen vampire movies led U.S and Canadian ticket sales for a third weekend, outselling holdovers “Skyfall” and “Lincoln”.

The movie, which is the last in the series from Lions Gate Entertainment (LGF) collected $17.4million, said Hollywood.com Box-Office in an email. All in all, “Twilight” has taken in $254.6 million in domestic sales.

“Twilight” and other returning films exploited a post-Thanksgiving lull in big releases to remain atop the box-office standings. “Skyfall”, the latest Bond film from Sony Corp and Metro-Goldwyn Mayer Inc. followed in second place with $17million while “Lincoln”, Steven Spielberg’s Oscar contender, earned $13.51million. Their sales were buoyed by the fact that each reached a distinct audience niche.

“There will be no major releases this week or next, so we shall continue to see some of the top films we are seeing in the marketplace continue to play well until we get some new product”, said an industry analyst in a telephone interview. “The next most anticipated film is ‘The Hobbit’. Given how well the other films in that series have performed globally, the next instalment is heavily anticipated.”

The holiday release schedule picks up with “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” from Time Warner and MGM on Dec 14, Sony’s “Zero Dark Thirty” on Dec 19 and “Les Miserables” from Universal Pictures, a Comcast Company on Christmas Day.

Predictions by Paul Dergarebadian, the president of Hollywood.com’s box office unit put the U.S. box office at possibly surpassing $10.8 billion this year, which shall be a new record. Last year’s sales totalled $10.2 billion. So far, revenue this year has risen by 6 per cent to $9.90 billion.

“More than ever, we are going to see revenue in the theatrical window that is bigger than it ever was,” Rob Friedman, co-chairman of Lions Gate’s motion picture group, said on Nov 28 while speaking at a panel at the University of South California’s film school in Los Angeles.

The “Twilight” film series have raked in $1.3 billion to date in domestic theatres, ranking it in eight place all time among film franchises, according to Box Office Mojo.

Among other returning titles, second place’s “Skyfall” has grossed $850million to date in worldwide takes, making it the best-performing film in the long-running secret agent series, according to Box Office Mojo.

“Lincoln”, Spielberg’s examination of the 16th U.S President’s political campaign to end slavery, was produced by Dreamworks Studios, owned by Spielberg himself and distributed by Walt Disney Co.

“It is unlikely that ‘Lincoln’ will go to No 1,” says an analyst. “It lacks the mass appeal that some other films do, but it is really well reviewed and benefiting from word of mouth”.

The Herald NG

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