As the U.S. celebrated Pilgrims and Native Americans historically breaking bread together, vampires and werewolves continued to dominate the box office. "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2" was #1 a second time. And thanks to the similar holdover might of "Skyfall" and a few newcomers like the outperforming "Red Dawn" remake, the domestic box office broke a Thanksgiving weekend record, though DreamWorks Animation's latest picture disappointed.
The overall box office took in an estimated $290 million from Wednesday through Sunday, easily besting the previous all-time high of $273 million from 2009. The final installment in the "Twilight" series generated another $64 million during the five-day period, driving the "Breaking Dawn - Part 2" domestic total to $227 million (plus another $350 million overseas).
The latest and most financially successful movie in the world's longest-running franchise, James Bond, was #2 with $51 million. "Skyfall" is already far beyond Daniel Craig's (or anyone else's, for that matter) previous turns as 007. The 23rd entry in pop culture's most beloved spy series has made $790 million overall, $221.7 million of it in North America.
Stephen Spielberg's "Lincoln" was #3 with $34.1 million. Starring Daniel Day Lewis as America's 16th president and set during the passage of the 13th Amendment, the Oscar favorite has made $62.2 million for Disney in America thus far.
Box-office forecasters had predicted that "Rise of the Guardians" could have given "Breaking Dawn" a run for its money, but the animated kids' flick disappointed. The holiday-themed movie's $32.6 million five-day debut at #4 was the worst opening for a DreamWorks Animation flick since 2006's unfortunately/appropriately titled "Flushed Away." The film's decent reviews could help it find an audience as the holidays draw nearer. "Wreck-it Ralph," a champion kids' flick when it opened four weeks ago, wasn't far behind over the weekend, landing at #6 and driving Disney Animation's domestic haul to $149.5 million.
Ang Lee's 3-D "Life of Pi" was #5 with $30.1 million against a reported production budget of $120 million. The remake of 1984's "Red Dawn" didn't open as strongly as "Guardians," but it performed much better than expected. The fact that Chris Hemsworth ("The Avengers") and Josh Hutcherson ("The Hunger Games") starred in two of the year's biggest movies, both released since the remake was filmed, undoubtedly helped "Red Dawn" make $22 million against a $65 million budget.
"Hitchcock," starring Sir Anthony Hopkins as the iconic filmmaker, opened in 17 theaters with a so-so per-screen average of $17,000. Marion Cotillard's "Rust and Bone" also opened in limited release. The French film took in $30,196 in two theaters.
Check out everything we've got on "Breaking Dawn - Part 2."