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“I still want to think that our business is product driven, but we’re about to find out, because we’ve got some major films coming,” said Chris Aronson, head of distribution at 20th Century Fox, the studio behind “The Sitter” and “Alvin and the Chipmunks.” “There’s a lot of good stuff coming, and I think audiences are going to be primed.”

It might be a different story now if one of the upcoming action movies had opened around Thanksgiving, offering Hollywood’s main audience _ young males _ something to see.

At No. 1 the last three weekends was “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn _ Part 1,” whose audience is mainly women. “Breaking Dawn” fell to No. 3 this weekend with $7.9 million, raising its domestic total to $259.5 million.

Behind “Breaking Dawn” has been that rush of family flicks, with nothing fresh out there on the action front in more than a month.

“That has created a major vacuum in the marketplace, not serving that bread-and-butter audience of Hollywood,” Dergarabedian said.

Released by Paramount, Theron’s “Young Adult” opened in eight theaters and took in $320,000, averaging a strong $40,000 a cinema. That compares to a $3,910 average in 3,505 theaters for “New Year's Eve.”

Theron plays a writer going to unnerving extremes to pry an old boyfriend away from his wife.

Focus Features’ Cold War thriller “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy,” based on John le Carre’s novel, also had a big opening in limited release with $300,737 in four theaters, for a $75,184 average.

The film stars Gary Oldman as le Carre’s spymaster George Smiley as he hunts down a Russian mole at the top of British intelligence. The acclaimed film expands to more theaters as Hollywood moves into Academy Awards season.

Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Where available, latest international numbers are also included. Final domestic figures will be released Monday.

1. “New Year's Eve,” $13.7 million ($12.9 million international).

2. “The Sitter,” $10 million.

3. “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn _ Part 1,” $7.9 million.

4. “The Muppets,” $7.1 million ($1.2 million international).

5. “Arthur Christmas,” $6.6 million ($14.3 million international).

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