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November 30, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

More and more, it seems, ticket sales at this time of year would appear to hinge on activity at shopping malls, where many theaters are located as “anchor” tenants. Black Friday brings out the big crowds, many of whom head to the cineplex at the end of their shopping day; ergo record sales in the malls last weekend translated to record sales at the box office. Conversely, the week after Thanksgiving is traditionally a slow period for stores. As Forbes magazine notes in its current issue, shopping then generally shifts to the Internet as consumers chase “value offerings.” Christmas is also nearly a month away, “the longest possible period in the retail calendar,” as Forbes notes. The second weekend after Thanksgiving is correspondingly slow at the box office — often without a new movie on the marquee. This weekend, the Weinstein Co. bucks that tradition by releasing the Brad Pitt starrer Killing Them Softly. The major studios, however, are steering clear of the weekend, which hasn’t seen a film open above $13 million since 2003. None of the box-office pundits are predicting that Killing will make a killing this weekend, despite Pitt’s name on the marquee. Not only does it have the usual sluggish attendance at this time of year going against it, it also faces two of the biggest hits of the year, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part 2 and Skyfall, each of which is expected to earn around $15-20 million. And, two other things: Killing is R-rated, and it has received only so-so reviews. One other film is braving the black weekend, the horror film The Collection, which many analysts figure will be lucky to earn $2-3 million.