The box office results for the weekend of December 9th-11th has two newbies leading a very mediocre top ten. Meanwhile, studios are now focused on making their final push for a strong holiday season at cinemas, as they prep their award contenders for release over the next couple weeks. Here are the studio estimates:

1. New Year’s Eve ($13.7 million)

2. The Sitter ($10 million)

3. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 ($7.9 million)

4. The Muppets ($7 million)

5. Arthur Christmas ($6.6 million)

6. Hugo ($6.1 million)

7. The Descendants ($4.3 million)

8. Happy Feet Two ($3.7 million)

9. Jack and Jill ($3.2 million)

10. Immortals ($2.4 million)


One of the worst reviewed movies of the year – by both the lovely critics and audiences – is probably not going to benefit from a themed holiday run. “New Year’s Eve” had a production budget of $56 million and will need to gather over $100 million at the box office to see any profits for Warner Bros./New Line. This is already on Flop Alert. It’s only saving grace is a strong DVD and On-Demand run; that is, if anyone still remembers this in 2012. Comparatively, the carbon-copy “Valentine’s Day” opened at $56 million earlier in 2010. Apparently no one can afford, or wants, to dip into their Christmas budget on a formulaic product.

“The Sitter” is also off to a rough start, but the budget here was just $25 million for the Jonah Hill R-rated piece. If 20th Century Fox can come close to breaking even on this in theaters, perhaps an over-achieving home video run could salvage some of the costs for this under-promoted flick.

Sleeper Hit: “Immortals.” As of today, the epic action-piece has conquered the international box office, bringing its worldwide total to just over $181 million. Considering this product rang up a $75 million production bill, Relativity Media has a surprising winner to help cap off a roller-coaster 2011 for the studio.

And while “Immortals” has spent 5 weeks in the top ten, same can be said for Adam Sandler’s “Jack and Jill.” While that sounds impressive, the comedy (allegedly) sits at $68 million stateside and is getting limited help from international markets at the moment.

Just in case anyone was curious, “Paranormal Activity 3’s” worldwide total crossed the $200 million mark ($201). The third installment is the highest grossing in the franchise, though it could not dethrone the first flick’s domestic total of $107.9 million. Part 3 sits at $103.5 on the domestic front. It’s budget was a mere $5 million.

This Friday has the tentpoles invading just in time for Christmas. “Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows” and “Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked” will score high profits for their respective studios. “Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol” sneaks on a limited release in about 400 theaters prior to its wide release the following week. And Paramount will spread its “Young Adult” to theaters across the country as well, in hopes of garnering voter’s attention. Reviews will be right here my fellow Shockers.

By Joe Belcastro

New Years Eve
Prime example of a weak party.

By Joe Belcastro

Joe Belcastro is an established movie critic in Tampa, Florida. As a member of the Florida Film Critics Circle, most of his time is spent reviewing upcoming movies. He also covers news pertaining to the film industry, on both a local and national level as well as conducting interviews. To contact Joe Belcastro regarding a story or with general questions about his services, please e-mail him and/or follow him on Twiiter @TheWritingDemon.

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