Skyfall returned to the top of the box office this weekend with an estimated $11.0 million. The 23rd installment of the James Bond franchise had finished in second place each of the past three weekends behind The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2 before reclaiming first place in its fifth weekend of release this weekend. Skyfall was down a very solid 34 percent from last weekend and has now grossed $261.62 million to date, as it continues to distance itself from the unadjusted grosses of all previous 007 films. Skyfall currently trails the total domestic gross of Breaking Dawn - Part 2 by just $7.11 million in the race for bragging rights between the two blockbusters.
Internationally, Skyfall grossed $20.3 million this weekend. Skyfall has grossed $656.6 million to date internationally and $918.2 million worldwide, making it the highest grossing film ever worldwide for Sony. The studio's previous high mark was the $890.9 million worldwide gross of 2007's Spider-Man 3.
Rise of the Guardians placed in a fairly close second for the frame with an estimated $10.54 million. The 3D computer animated film fell 21 percent from last weekend, which represented this weekend's best hold among wide releases. Good word of mouth and the continuation of the holiday season are both helping the film hold up well. Rise of the Guardians has grossed $61.91 million in 19 days domestically, which is still well below expectations. However, the film continues to perform far stronger internationally, where it grossed $26.0 million from 58 foreign markets this weekend. Rise of the Guardians has now grossed $90.5 million internationally, placing its worldwide total at $152.4 million.
Fellow Thanksgiving weekend release Life of Pi also held up well this weekend. The Ang Lee directed 3D film was down 32 percent from last weekend to pace in fifth with an estimated $8.30 million. Life of Pi has grossed $60.92 million in 19 days, as it remains neck and neck with Rise of the Guardians domestically. Internationally, Life of Pi remained strong this weekend with $23.8 million from just 11 foreign markets. That brings the film's international total to $105.7 million and worldwide haul to $166.6 million. Life of Pi grossed $14.6 million in China alone this weekend and has now grossed $68.3 million to date in China.
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2 and Lincoln find themselves in a close race for third place this weekend. Breaking Dawn - Part 2 currently has the edge with an estimated $9.2 million, while Lincoln is estimated at $9.12 million. Respective domestic grosses stand at $268.73 million for Breaking Dawn - Part 2 and at $97.34 million for Lincoln.
On the international front Breaking Dawn - Part 2 grossed $23.5 million this weekend. The fifth and final installment of the blockbuster fantasy franchise has now grossed $482.4 million internationally and $751.1 million worldwide.
The weekend's one new wide release, Playing for Keeps, debuted in sixth place with a lackluster estimated take of $6.0 million. The romantic comedy from FilmDistrict starring Gerard Butler opened in line with the low pre-release expectations for the film. Playing For Keeps did earn a solid B+ rating on CinemaScore, but it will be tough for the film to hold up well going forward given the high amount of new wide releases entering the marketplace throughout the rest of December. The audience breakdown for Playing for Keeps skewed towards female moviegoers (58 percent) and heavily toward moviegoers 25 and older (74 percent).
While this weekend's combined box office will represent one of the year's slowest frames, it was also the frame that moved the yearly domestic box office total for 2012 over the $10 billion milestone. 2012 now marks the fourth consecutive year that the combined yearly box office has topped the $10 billion mark.
The marketplace will obviously pick back up in a very big way next weekend with the release of Warner's highly anticipated The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey on Friday.