Box office gets “Focked,” but shows more “Grit”

As expected, the “Little Fockers” took over the box office on Christmas weekend, but it was “True Grit” that made an impressive box-office showing with $25 million, more than any Western ever, and the five-day total from Wednesday made it the Coen brothers’ most successful film opening.

“Little Fockers” made little compared to “Meet the Fockers”: $45.1 million to $70.5 million back over the same five days in 2004. With scathing reviews, it’s no surprise that the franchise waned. But regardless, Christmas weekend was drastically worse this year than last, 48 percent worse in fact.

  1. Little Fockers – $30.8 M (weekend) … $45 M (gross)
  2. True Grit – $24.8 M … $36 M
  3. Tron: Legacy – $19.1 M -… $87.3 M
  4. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader – $9.4 M … $62.6 M
  5. Yogi Bear – $7.8 M … $35.8 M
  6. The Fighter – $7.6 M … $27.6 M
  7. Tangled – $6.4 M  … $143.6 M
  8. Gulliver’s Travels – $6.3 M … $6.3 M
  9. Black Swan – $6.2 M … $28.6 M
  10. The Tourist – $5.4 M … $40.8 M

The success of “True Grit” suggests that Westerns could see a resurgence with the right filmmakers and reputable stars. Most audiences were male and over 25, suggesting nostalgia played a role in appealing to audiences.

“Gulliver’s Travels” opened Saturday, so without a Friday number, it’s no surprise the film finished in the lower half of the top ten, but $6.2 M in its first two days is bad numbers. “The Chronicles of Narnia” stayed in the top ten losing just a quarter of its take last weekend, which should have never happened with “Gulliver’s” and “Tron” both available, but families stuck mostly with Aslan and Co.

Also in the lower half, Oscar contenders “Black Swan” and “The Fighter” had strong returns. “The King’s Speech,” which expanded to 700 theaters, came up just short of the top ten with $4.5 million.

Otherwise, Christmas weekend was wildly disappointing, but considering the new films on tap, it’s not so surprising.


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