BOX OFFICE: ‘Grit’ and ‘Fockers’ Square Off

The Christmas weekend saw a lot of movie-goers heading out of the house to hit the cinemas, but not enough to top last year. The 2010 Christmas weekend earned about 60% what the 2009 Christmas weekend was and that is largely because of the lack of a film like Avatar and blizzards that kept people indoors throughout the Northeast region of the country. Nevertheless, the total for the top 12 still managed to increase from last weekend by 11% and films like The King’s Speech, Somewhere, and The Illusionist did quite well in their limited releases.

Box Office Estimates
December 24-26, 2010

1) Little Fockers (3,536 theatres)
ESTIMATE: $34.02 million

Robert De Niro, Ben Stiller, and the rest of the cast phoned in a performance for a pay check and they can rest assured that they will be getting paid. I expect a quick drop off due to less than positive reviews and audience reaction, but it will have no problem breaking $100 million and earning back its budget.

2) True Grit (3,047 theatres)
ESTIMATE: $25.6 million

This is the second-largest opening weekend for a post-1979 Western and the largest opening weekend for a Coen brothers movie ever. It’s also one of Jeff Bridges’ most successful films. This film has done well with critics and fantastic with audiences and it is likely to stay near the top for several weekends. I wouldn’t be surprised if it manages to surpass Little Fockers to usurp the number one spot at the Box Office next weekend.

3) Tron Legacy (3,451 theatres)
ESTIMATE: $20.1 million

With a 54% drop this is the biggest loser of any film in the top ten this weekend. It’s probably not making the kind of money that Disney had hoped that it would, but it’s certainly not flopping either. They are going to market it like crazy throughout its run and into its Blu-Ray release, which will probably have several staggered releases a la Avatar, attempting to milk every penny out of it.

4) The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (3,350 theatres)
ESTIMATE: $10.8 million

With only a 12% drop, this family film did considerably well this weekend at the Box Office. It’s still not making near the money that Disney must have hoped, but it’s shown remarkable staying power and will likely continue to do so for at least one or two more weekends.

5) Yogi Bear (3,515 theatres)
ESTIMATE: $8.8 million

Due to its massive number of theatres this film managed to have the second lowest per theatre average of any film in the top ten, but still managed to make the top five. As soon as its theatre count declines with further releases it will drop very quickly.

6) The Fighter (2,511 theatres)
ESTIMATE: $8.5 million

This is quickly moving in to become the fifth-highest grossing Best Picture nominee, behind Inception, The Social Network, True Grit, and Toy Story 3 and it is doing very well for the caliber of film it is. If it isn’t already a guaranteed nominee from all of the precursor attention it has been getting, these Box Office numbers will only increase its Oscar likelihood.

7) Gulliver’s Travels (2,546 theatres)
ESTIMATE: $7.2 million

I don’t know if anybody out there saw the marketing for this film and DIDN’T immediately predict Box Office disaster. It was too silly to attract any adult audiences and didn’t have any stars that were well-known to children and families. Expect it to drop out of the top ten next weekend.

8) Black Swan (1,466 theatres)
ESTIMATE: $6.6 million

It added enough theatres to have more than 1,000 and it still continues to do well in the per theatre average. It probably won’t remain in the top ten for a third weekend, but it has already made plenty enough to earn back its modest budget and to prove itself an audience favorite with Academy voters.

9) Tangled (2,582 theatres)
ESTIMATE: $6.52 million

This is the longest lasting film in the top ten currently in its 5th weekend. It’s also the highest grossing film in the top ten with over $140 million currently in gross.

10) The Tourist (2,756 theatres)
ESTIMATE: $5.7 million

With Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie, I’m sure Sony was hoping for more than a $41 million cumulative gross, but with the terrible reviews it has been getting and mixed audience reaction, it shouldn’t be disappointed with these numbers.

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