"Twilight" and "Skyfall" were neck-and-neck for the top spot at the box office over the weekend, with "Breaking Dawn - Part 2" edging out the biggest James Bond movie of all time for #1 by less than half a million bucks, according to studio estimates.
The final installment in the "The Twilight Saga" took in $17.4 million, making Summit Entertainment's lucrative hit champ for a third consecutive weekend. "Breaking Dawn - Part 2" has now earned over $254 million domestically. "Skyfall" was just behind with $17 million, giving the latest entry in the world's longest-running franchise a $246 million total.
Brad Pitt's "Killing Them Softly" disappointed, with the crime drama opening at #7 with $7 million, which was nearly double the entire theatrical gross of Pitt's previous collaboration with director Andrew Dominik, "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford." Audiences gave the movie a CinemaScore of "F," the first such grade since "The Devil Inside."
Low-budget horror sequel "The Collection," the weekend's other new major release, barely cracked the top 10 with just $3.4 million. Back in 2009, "The Collector" opened with $3.57 million for Freestyle Releasing.
Despite the top three being the same as the previous two weekends (Oscar favorite "Lincoln" made another $13.5 million), the overall box-office was up an incredibly strong 46 percent versus the same period last year. This came on the heels of a record-breaking Thanksgiving weekend, which was boosted, of course, by the last chapter for Edward, Bella and Jacob.
As Box Office Mojo pointed out, this was the 11th #1 weekend of 2012 for Lionsgate/Summit Entertainment, whose streak of hits included "The Hunger Games," "The Expendables 2" and "The Possession," in addition to "Breaking Dawn - Part 2."
DreamWorks probably isn't too excited about the performance of "Rise of the Guardians." The holiday-themed kids flick made $13.5 million during its second weekend for a $48.9 million total against an estimated production budget of $150 million.
Ben Affleck crossed the $100 million mark for the first time since "Daredevil" with "Argo," which has made $101 million. Affleck directed, co-wrote and starred in the hostage drama, which, like "Lincoln," has had awards-watchers buzzing.
Check out everything we've got on "Breaking Dawn - Part 2."