The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 stayed top for the third consecutive weekend as the runningtotal for Summit’s tween delight climbed to $247.3m.

Combined with the $341m international tally the worldwide figure has reached $558.3m.

The Muppets held firm at number two for Buena Vista and have reached $56.1m after the second weekend, which will be below what studio executives had expected. However the family film should stick around heading into the holidays.

Gk Films/Paramount’s family adventure Hugo – which won best film and director for Martin Scorsese at the National Board Of Review vote last week – climbed two places in its second weekend and ranks third on $25.2m.

Fox Searchlight’s The Descendants scaled two places to rank seventh on an excellent $18m after three weekends and is playing in 574 theatres before the inevitable expansion as the awards season progresses.

The much-maligned caper Tower Heist has proved to be more enduring than observers initially thought. It ranks ninth in its fifth weekend and has grossed $71m through Universal.

My Week With Marilyn in twelfth place grossed $1.2m from 244 for a very encouraging $3.9m after two weekends.

Searchlight debuted Shame on $361,000 from ten venues. The drama earned Michael Fassbender a best actor win at the 14th British Independent Film Awards on Sunday (Dec 4).

The Artist added $206,000 from six through The Weinstein Company and stands at a highly promising $496,000 after two weekends.

Next weekend’s wide release is New Line’s ensemble rom-com New Year’s Eve through Warner Bros.

Estimated Top 10 North America Dec 2-4, 2011
Film (Dist) / Est wkd gross / Est total to date

(1) The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 (Summit) Summit Int’l $16.9m $247.3m

2 (2) The Muppets (Buena Vista) WDSMPI $11.2m $56.1m

3 (5) Hugo (Paramount) PPI/GK Films $7.6m $25.2m

4 (4) Arthur Christmas (Sony) SPRI $7.4m $25.3m

5 (3) Happy Feet Two (Warner Bros) WBPI $6m $51.8m

6 (6) Jack And Jill (Sony) SPRI $5.5m $64.3m

7 (9) The Descendants (Fox Searchlight) Fox Int’l $5.2m $18.1m

8 (7) Immortals (Relativity) Lionsgate/Relativity/Universal $4.4m $75.6m

9 (9) Tower Heist (Universal) UPI $4.1m $70.8m

10 (8) Puss In Boots (DreamWorks Animation/Paramount) PPI $3.1m $139.5m