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Weekend Box Office: Holiday Jeer

Welcome back! We’re wondering what you did over the holidays, because if you’re like the rest of America, you weren’t spending much time at the movies. A lackluster November and early December for Hollywood box office was supposed to be relieved by Christmas business, but the industry just kept on circling the drain, as one would-be blockbuster after another either underperformed or didn’t perform at all. Over a weekend where no new films opened, the rankings held relatively steady, but the winner was a relative loser: Little Fockers, the follow-up to the highest grossing comedy of all time (a lot of people saw Meet The Fockers—yeah, we’re mystified too), took first place with $26.3 million in its second week, which was enough to push it over the $100 million mark. But relative to expectation, the film has been weak, as the public quickly intuited that it’s a godawful cash-in. Tron: Legacy, Yogi Bear, The Chronic-what-cles Of Narnia, and Gulliver’s Travels were much bigger fiascos, especially the latter two, which found Americans in no mood for the lamely fantastical. The surprising bright spot on major release slate? The Coens’ True Grit, which just barely missed beating Fockers in its second week with $24.5 million, and at one-third of the cost. (It’s amusing to consider the math there: Placed side by side, you’d never guess the Coen Brothers movie cost less than Little Fockers, which looks like it was shot on grandpa’s camcorder.)

Lots of positive developments in limited release, however, as various Oscar contenders held up in expansion. Black Swan and The King’s Speech have both been in circulation for over a month, but they finished ninth and tenth, respectively, with the former nearing the $50 million mark (on a frugal $13 million budget) and latter holding an impressive $11,000 per screen average on 700 screens. Christmas openers Blue Valentine and Another Year also looked strong, with the Ryan Gosling-Michelle Williams weepie taking $45,000 per screen on four screens and the Mike Leigh ensemble piece earning $20,000 per screen on six screens.

For more detailed numbers, visit Box Office Mojo.

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