This weekend was quiet at the box office; the deep breath before the plunge. The string of holiday movies start to roll out next weekend, beginning with the latest over-cast super-ensemble romantic comedy New Year's Eve. But this week, with no new major releases, movie audiences took the weekend off.

Thanks to the lack of competition those sparkly vampires and angsty werewolves of The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 held on to the top spot for a third week in a row. The almost $17 million it added to its total pushed it up to $247 million in overall domestic sales and past Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides to become the fourth highest grossing film of the year. Next week look for it to push past The Hangover Part II for third place.

The one new movie in theaters this weekend was the much discussed Shame which debuted in just ten venues but managed a decent $361,000 haul.

As the end of the year approaches, the box office's annual total continues to sag below numbers from three years ago. Increasing ticket prices in the midst of a struggling economy are finally catching up to the industry with a bleak out look for next year.

For the full weekend top ten totals, take a look at the chart below:

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 $16,900,000 Total: $247,300,000 LW: 1 WR: 3
THTRS: 4,046
The Muppets $11,200,000 Total: $56,137,000 LW: 2 WR: 2
THTRS: 3,440
Hugo $7,625,000 Total: $25,188,000 LW: 5 WR: 2
THTRS: 1,840
Arthur Christmas $7,350,000 Total: $25,292,000 LW: 4 WR: 2
THTRS: 3,376
Happy Feet Two $6,000,000 Total: $51,785,000 LW: 3 WR: 3
THTRS: 3,536
Jack and Jill $5,500,000 Total: $64,308,000 LW: 6 WR: 4
THTRS: 3,049
The Descendants $5,200,000 Total: $18,087,000 LW: 9 WR: 3
THTRS: 574
Immortals $4,394,000 Total: $75,588,000 LW: 7 WR: 4
THTRS: 2,627
Tower Heist $4,100,000 Total: $70,800,000 LW: 10 WR: 5
THTRS: 2,404
Puss in Boots $3,050,000 Total: $139,522,000 LW: 8 WR: 6
THTRS: 2,750

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