The box office results for the first weekend of 2011 is just like the last weekend in 2010. True Grit continues to show its endurance while the critically panned Fockers holds steady at the top. Here are the studio estimates:
1. Little Fockers ($26.3 million)
2. True Grit (2010) ($24.5 million)
3. TRON: Legacy ($18.3 million)
4. Yogi Bear ($13 million)
5. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader ($10.5 million)
6. Tangled ($10 million)
7. The Fighter ($10 million)
8. Gulliver’s Travels ($9.1 million)
9. Black Swan ($8.4 million)
10. The King’s Speech ($7.7 million)
Without any new releases threatening the holdovers, Little Fockers barely edged out True Grit to hold on to the top spot. Fockers has benefited from the holiday weekend sandwich and has raised its total to $103 million domestically. The third installment in the comedic giant isn’t going to post amazing revenues as its predecessors have, but it should be able to set the stage for a nice profitable DVD and On Demand run. If Fockers can get in the ballpark of $150 million at the theater, the aforementioned DVD/On Demand should have Universal using the black ink on the balance sheet. Something they didn’t do a lot of in 2010.
True Grit is officially the Coen Bros. best theatrical showing to date. Now up to $87 million domestically, the $38 million production budget is of no concern to Paramount. Reviews have been stellar and the award buzz is definitely drawing more people than expected to the theaters. In fact, Grit may have increased from last weekend when the actual numbers come out on Monday night. An anomaly that is very uncommon with wide releases.
Tron: Legacy has quietly inched its way up to $130 million domestically. Although the production budget Disney spent to create this CGI product was about $170 million, the international totals have provided a nice assist. Even with all the negative reviews, Disney may find success with this unnecessary sequel after all.
Tangled currently has the longest run in the top ten with 6 weeks. Domestically, the Disney 3D animation is now up to $168 million. Since opening in foreign markets, the worldwide total is very close to eclipsing the $300 million mark. Perhaps that $260 million production budget will not be the death blow many (including me) predicted.
Flop Alert: Gulliver’s Travels. This journey was over before it started. Even with the benefit of 3D ticket pricing, this flick has barely reached the $30 million mark in two weeks. And that’s with the fam-friendly holiday crowd. The production budget was priced at $112 million. 20th Century Fox usually nails this genre, but obviously this one’s a clunker. Sleeper Hit: The Fighter. Not sure if this can be a sleeper since it has been receiving praise for over a month now. However, grossing $45 million off a modest production budget of $25 million is noteworthy. And I needed something to put here.
Only one new wide release is on tap for the opening weekend of 2011. Season of the Witch will have Nicholas Cage going medieval on audiences. Playing the alternate card will be the expanding Country Strong, which goes wide on Friday. Reviews will be right here kids.
By Joe Belcastro