New Year’s Box Office – LITTLE FOCKERS Edges Out TRUE GRIT For Number One with $26.3 Million

     January 2, 2011


Though it’s a brand new year, we’ll be left cleaning up after 2010 for weeks to come.  After falling to second place on New Year’s Eve, Little Fockers managed to edge past True Grit to retain the box office crown for a second weekend in a row. All hail the king. Overall, 2010 will end up only slightly behind 2009’s record with over $10 billion in profits – due largely to early successes like Avatar and Alice and Wonderland, of course.  Nothing in the ass-end of the past year is even coming close to those titles in terms of dollars or attendance.

Title Weekend Total
1 Little Fockers $26,300,000 $103.2
2 True Grit $24,500,000 $86.8
3 Tron Legacy $18,300,000 $130.8
4 Yogi Bear $13,000,000 $66.1
5 Narnia 3 $10,500,000 $87.1
6 Tangled $10,008,000 $168
7 The Fighter $10,000,000 $46.3
8 Gulliver’s Travels $9,100,000 $27.2
9 Black Swan $8,500,000 $47.4
10 The King’s Speech $7,600,000 $22.8

Despite its terrible word of mouth, Little Fockers managed to take in an estimated $26.3 million this weekend, pushing it past the $100 million mark after 12 days. That low first place figure means that this weekend will end up down 26% from 2009 when Avatar, Sherlock Holmes and Alvin and the Chipmunks the Squeakquel were riding out their holiday frames.  Little Fockers has also lagged behind Meet the Fockers since its debut.  After 12 days the 2004 hit had racked up $162.4 million in domestic grosses; that $20 million added to the budget to get the latest Focker to the screen was not exactly money well spent, in other words.

true_grit_movie_image_jeff_bridges_hailee_steinfeld_hi-resMuch gladder tidings are due the weekend’s number two film, True Grit. First we have the fact that the PG-13 drama managed to push the Fockers aside on Friday to become the last number one film of 2010.  Then we have the fact that, with its new estimated cume topping $86 million, True Grit has become the most financially successful release of the Coen Brother’s career. It has already topped the $74 million of the Oscar-winning No Country for Old Men and passing $100 million in the next week should pose no challenge.  It won’t get to be the most successful Western of All-Time but it will get damn close. And as today’s numbers are only estimates there is also a chance that True Grit will end up even higher when final figures are released on Monday.

After its debut two weeks there wasn’t a lot to say about Warner Brothers’ 3D toon Yogi Bear. As one of the worst reviewed films of 2010 (an achievement in itself) Yogi seemed destined to ride out the remainder of the year somewhere near the bottom of the top ten. But then a funny thing happened: the kid from Jellystone proved he had some legs after all. Not only has the film stayed in the top five for the last three weekends, Yogi Bear has also managed an increase of 55% over its Christmas grosses.  It’s still no Alvin and the Chipmunks but with a new estimated domestic gross of $66.1 million, it isn’t a total embarrassment for the year’s number one studio either.

Disney says that 2010 gave them their second highest domestic cume ever thanks, largely, to 2010’s second-biggest film (2009’s Avatar was first, naturally) Toy Story 3.  But though not a lot of people saw it coming, Tangled played a part in Disney’s 2010 success as well. The Rapunzel redux also saw a boost over last weekend, bringing its domestic estimate to $168 million.  When overseas grosses are added in they push Tangled past its giant $260 million production budget – supposedly the second biggest in movie history.

Overseas figures have also been the saving grace of Voyage of the Dawn Treader. Though the third Narnia film saw a slight increase this week over its Christmas grosses it will still have a hard time sailing past $100 million here in the US, but with 70% of its worldwide grosses coming from foreign markets, Fox may just see their ship round the $300 million mark in the next week.

the_king's_speech_movie_posterGulliver’s Travels is encountering rougher seas.  Here in the US the Jack Black comedy is still trailing the 2004 box office record of Fat Albert.  Gulliver’s dreams of finding its holiday legs domestically are all but gone.  Overseas, however, Fox still hopes to make something happen.  Gulliver has yet to launch in many territories so it is not inconceivable that worldwide audiences could push the film above $100 million.  On a more positive note, Tron Legacy looks like it will pass $200 worldwide when foreign grosses are released on Monday.

The Weinstein Co’s The King’s Speech joined Fox Searchlight’s Black Swan in the top ten this week. The latter climber 35% over its Christmas frame while the former, in its first appearance in the top ten, climbed 70% to bring its domestic cume up to an impressive $22.8 million while keeping its theatre count steady at 700 locations.

Next weekend we get the first new blood of 2011: the PG-13 Season of the Witch starring Nicolas Cage opens in 2,500 locations… no comment. Then there’s Gwyneth Paltrow in the country music drama Country Strong.  I’m not sure if you’ve heard but, apparently, Paltrow can actually sing! The PR firm handling the film has been a little cagey about touting her vocal chops so I wouldn’t be surprised if you’d missed the news. I’m not sure if that will translate into box office success – unless the movie itself proves more substantial than an episode of Glee.


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