As December turns to January, and prestige season yields to the traditional studio dumping ground, the box office tends to sink in kind, with holiday movies fading and new releases too obviously dire to make much of an impact. This decline turns out to be more serious than usual this year, since the Thanksgiving-Christmas crop was one of the weakest in recent history and the dregs of early January are providing no relief. The long-delayed, budget-conscious Nicolas Cage vehicle Season Of The Witch—included in our most anticipated entertainments list from last year, albeit with the proviso that it might stink—was the strongest challenger, but its $10.7 million opening was only good enough for third place, trailing both Little Fockers ($13.8 million) and True Grit ($15 million) in their third weeks. (The Coen Brothers’ oater zipped past the $100 million mark, which is a first for them. Hooray to America for getting on board.) The Gwyneth Paltrow country music drama Country Strong expanded to semi-wide release to semi-decent receipts, getting back $7.3 million of its $15 million budget.
No action in limited release, other than the continued success of breakout indies like Black Swan, The King’s Speech, and Blue Valentine. The latter had the highest per screen average of the week, with $18,000 per screen on 40 screens.
For more detailed numbers, visit Box Office Mojo.