James Bond pic Skyfall and other holdovers continued to rule on Friday as Gerard Butler's new soccer-themed romantic comedy debuted to a disappointing $2.1 million.
Playing for Keeps, also starring Jessica Biel, Uma Thurman, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Dennis Quaid, came in No. 6. Despite a B+ CinemaScore, the movie is expected to open to only$6 million for the weekend, marking another box-office flop for Butler after recent surfing drama Chasing Mavericks.
FilmDistrict acquired U.S. distribution rights to Playing for Keeps in 2011. Directed by Gabriele Muccino (The Pursuit of Happyness), the story follows the travails of a washed-up soccer star who hopes to redeem himself by coaching his son's soccer team but falls prey to desirable single moms.
Butler, whose next film is the White House action pic Olympus Has Fallen, has a mixed record at the box office since 300 made him a Hollywood star, grossing $456.1 million worldwide in spring 2007. His highest-grossing film since is The Ugly Truth ($205.2 million). Last year, Coriolanus and Machine Gun Preacher both fell flat at the domestic box office.
Friday's big headline belonged to MGM and Sony's Skyfall, which edged past Twilight: Breaking Dawn -- Part 2 to come in No. 1 with $3.1 million. It is rare for a film to return to the No. 1 position in its fifth weekend of play.
Skyfall now has grossed $235.7 million domestically and has a strong shot at winning the weekend. The one wild card: DreamWorks Animation and Paramount's Rise of the Guardians. The 3D toon came in No. 4 on Friday with $2.3 million, but it is expected to move up the chart.
Guardians has struggled to date, with a domestic cume of roughly $54 million. DWA and Paramount believe the holiday-themed movie can improve its standing by having strong legs throughout the year-end holidays.
Placing No. 2 on Friday was Summit's Breaking Dawn 2, which took in $2.8 million for a projected $9 million weekend. The final title in the vampire franchise should finish Sunday with a domestic total of $268.5 million.
Steven Spielberg's Lincoln remains a hit among adults, grossing $2.6 million on Friday and jumping the $90 million mark.
Life of Pi all but tied with Lincoln, grossing $2.26 for a cume of $54.9 million.
This weekend and last mark the lull before the Christmas crush begins with the Dec. 14 release of Peter Jackson's The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.