8 December 2012 3:45 PM, PST | Thompson on Hollywood | See recent Thompson on Hollywood news »

Lacking an early release of a Christmas blockbuster, this weekend is traditionally one of the weakest of the year. With only a single (soft) new film in play -- Millennium's Gerard Butler starrer "Playing for Keeps" (released by FilmDistrict) -- the surprise is that for Friday, the top ten actually grossed about equal to last year, with the full weekend likely ahead. Two new younger-audience releases -- "New Years Eve" and "The Sitter" -- both opened last year much better than "Playing," which looks like it won't make the top five for this weekend. The top films instead are now in their third to fifth weeks, with the oldest of the lot, "Skyfall," back to number one. The drops from last week across the board were less than seasonal norms. "Breaking Dawn - Part 2," though likely displaced from first place, fell less than 50%, while "Part 1" last year was down around 55% from its previous. »

- Tom Brueggemann

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