It was report-card time for Brad Pitt. And the star student flunked.
Pitt's new, Oscar-aspiring mob movie, Killing Them Softly, died in its debut with an estimated $7 million Friday-Sunday, and, maybe worse, an F grade from opening-weekend audiences, per the polling company CinemaScore.
Breaking Dawn Part 2 and Skyfall repeated atop the leftover-laden weekend box office.
Killing Them Softly averaged a soft $2,888 at its 2,400 or so theaters, tying for sixth place in the standings with the five-week-old Wreck-It Ralph.
The film, pushed back from its original fall release date ostensibly to position itself better for awards season, defied low expectations by coming in even lower than expected. It is Pitt's smallest-debuting, live-action wide release in nearly 20 years, since the 1994 comedy The Favor, in which the pre-A-list actor costarred.
The eye-popping F was another rarity. Only a handful of films have ever failed the CinemaScore test, including George Clooney's Solaris, so at least Pitt is in good company. (Also, Killing Them Softly was a Hollywood-cheap movie, reportedly costing only $15 million, so there's that, too. Oh, and, for what it's worth, it did well with critics.)
The Twilight vampires and James Bond, meanwhile, dueled to a virtual tie. Breaking Dawn Part 2 has the edge for now, $17.4 million to $17 million. If the lead holds, it'll mark the movie's third straight weekend box-office win.
The film is also ahead of Skyfall on the domestic ledger, with a $254.6 million overall take versus Bond's $246 million. 007, meanwhile, is ahead on the international front, having grossed $869 million worldwide versus Breaking Dawn Part 2's $702.4 million.
Elsewhere, Oscar frontrunners continued to thrive: Ben Affleck's Argo broke $100 million domestically; Steven Spielbergs Lincoln looked like it was headed for the same milestone, with $83.7 million now in the domestic bank; Ang Lee's The Life of Pi held strong; and, Bradley Cooper's and Jennifer Lawrence's Silver Linings Playbook slipped from the Top 10, but scored a still-fantastic $3.3 million Friday-Sunday from only 371 theaters.
Elsewhere, the weekend's other major new release, The Collection, lived up to its legacy. The horror sequel opened just as meekly as 2009's The Collector, grossing $3.4 million from 1,403 theaters.
Here's the rundown of the weekend's top movies, per Friday-Sunday domestic estimates as reported by the studios and Exhibitor Relations:
1. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2, $17.4 million
2. Skyfall, $17 million
3. Rise of the Guardians, $13.5 million (tie)
3. Lincoln, $13.5 million (tie)
5. Life of Pi, $12 million
6. Killing Them Softly, $7 million (tie)
6. Wreck-It Ralph, $7 million (tie)
8. Red Dawn, $6.6 million
9. Flight, $4.5 million
10. The Collection, $3.4 million