After receiving a rare F CinemaScore from moviegoers, Brad Pitt's independent crime drama Killing Them Softly opened nationwide to a soft $7 million from 2,424 theaters, coming in No. 7.
Directed by Andrew Dominik, the violent crime drama becomes only the eighth movie ever to receive the failing grade. Killing Them Softly and George Clooney's Solaris are the only nonhorror titles among the bunch.
Pitt's Plan B production company produced the $15 million Killing Them Softly, based on George V. Higgins' 1974 book Cogan's Trade, with Inferno Entertainment and Megan Ellison's Annapurna Pictures, which put up some of the financing. The Weinstein Co. is distributing domestically.
The movie stars Pitt as professional enforcer Jackie Cogan, who is charged with investigating a robbery at a mob-protected poker game. It also stars Ray Liotta, James Gandolfini and Sam Shepard.
"It is a daring and bold movie and deserved a wide release," Weinstein Co.'s head of distribution Erik Lomis said.
The weekend after Thanksgiving generally is dominated by holdovers, and this year was no exception as Twilight: Breaking Dawn -- Part 2, Skyfall and Steven Spielberg's Lincoln continued to top the box office.
Summit Entertainment's Breaking Dawn 2 jumped the $700 million mark globally over the weekend, grossing $17.4 million domestically for a total $254.6 million and $48.4 million internationally for a total $447.8 million. The worldwide cume is now $702.4 million.
MGM and Sony's Skyfall continued to impress, grossed $17 million in its fourth weekend for a North American cume of $246 million. Overseas, it earned another $34 million for an international cume of $623 million and worldwide total of $869 million.
Lincoln, from DreamWorks and Disney, grossed $13.5 million for a domestic total of $83.7 million. The historical drama, starring Daniel Day Lewis as the storied president, continues to be a hit with adults.
DreamWorks Animation and Paramount's 3D toon Rise of the Guardians came in No. 4, falling 43 percent in its second weekend to $13.5 million for a domestic total of $48.9 million. The holiday-themed pic got off to a disappointing start over Thanksgiving, but DWA and Paramount are hopeful it will play throughout Christmas, saying it is pacing in step with 2004's The Polar Express.
Overseas, Rise of the Guardians grossed $40 million in 46 territories, placing No. 1 in 20 of those markets. The toon now grossed $57 million internationally for a worldwide total of $105.9 million.
Ang Lee's Thanksgiving entry Life of Pi came in No. 5, falling 47 percent in its second weekend to $12 million for a domestic total of $48.4 million. Internationally, Life of Pi is doing enormous business in China, where it earned $11 million in its second weekend. The movie also is doing strong business in several other Asian countries and now has grossed $61.1 million at the foreign box office for a global total of $109.5 million.
The weekend's only other new release was LD Entertainment's horror sequel The Collection, which opened to a disappointing $3.4 million, placing No. 10.
Still playing in north of 1,000 theaters, Ben Affleck's Argo made headlines over the weekend as it grossed $2 million to jump the $100 million mark domestically. The Warner Bros. movie has now grossed $101 million domestically.
At the specialty box office, David O. Russell's Silver Linings Playbook dropped less than other films post-Thanksgiving, declining 27 percent to $3.3 million from 371 theaters to come in No. 11. The Weinstein Co. movie's cume is $11 million.
Focus Features' Anna Karenina, reteaming director Joe Wright with Keira Knightley, came in No. 12 as it expanded to 384 locations, earning $2.2 million for a cume of $4.1 million. The film is being fueled by art house audiences.
The Metropolitan Opera saw big crowds turn out Saturday for the live theatrical presentation of Mozart's final opera, La Clemenza di Tito. Streamed into 800 theaters across North America, the broadcast grossed a strong $1.6 million for The Met: Live in HD program, placing 14th overall. Overseas, 80,000 people watched the opera on 680 screens in 27 countries.
Fox Searchlight's awards contender Hitchcock upped its theater count to 50 in its second weekend, grossing $405,537 for a location average of $8,111 and cume of $784,419.
Rust and Bone, from Sony Pictures Classics, stayed at two theaters in its second weekend, grossing $25,823 for a location average of $12,912 and cume of $53,233.