|1||Little Fockers||$26,300,000 (-14.7%)||$7,400||$103,191,000|
|2||True Grit||$24,500,000 (-1.4%)||$7,947||$86,765,000|
|3||Tron Legacy||$18,306,000 (-4.4%)||$5,440||$130,854,000|
|4||Yogi Bear||$13,000,000 (+65.9%)||$3,698||$66,130,000|
|5||The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader||$10,500,000 (+10.8%)||$3,562||$87,141,000|
|7||The Fighter||$10,000,000 (+31.5%)||$3,946||$46,389,000|
|8||Gulliver’s Travels||$9,100,000 (+44.3%)||$2,946||$27,229,000|
|9||Black Swan||$8,450,000 (+35.1%)||$5,441||$47,370,000|
|10||The King’s Speech||$7,649,000 (+70.1%)||$10,927||$22,807,000|
This just in: the new year, which means there’s only 364 more shopping days until the Mayan apocalypse. (save now!)
The top ten for this weekend made 137.7 Million, which is more than the top two films from the same time frame last year. If we are to compare, it would take instead the top three films of last year in this time frame to do more business. So I guess that’s progress. (The top three films from this weekend did 139.8 Million). The best way to describe a holiday weekend like this is to compare it to the moment of zero gravity that comes from a roller-coaster when it hits its peak height right before the drop. There is a feeling of weightlessness, and the numbers reflect either very slight drops or a big boost. That’s because this is a holiday weekend and there’s no new films out. But, that said, let’s get to it.
The film that suffered the highest drop this weekend was Little Fockers. It wasn’t a great tumble, but it showed that audiences have soured on this franchise, but not soured enough to make it a flop. When gravity kicks in next weekend, it’s likely this will be off a good 40-60%. There are two movies next weekend, a dump (Season of the Witch) and an expansion (Country Strong), and both of which might have some traction just by being new. Fockers may match the first film’s $166 Million domestic total, but anything more than that would require box office steroids.
True Grit was thought to be able to pull off the #1, and it did top Fockers‘ gross on Friday. We may yet see the film pull out to the top come actuals tomorrow (last weekend Fockers was inflated by a million, and almost everything else in the top ten was overestimated by a million). Regardless of the final finish line, True Grit is going to top $100 Million by or before the end of next weekend, and is already the most successful Coen Brothers movie of all time. It passed No Country for Old Men’s $74 Million domestic take on Saturday, and that was their best picture winner. If – like many of the picture in release right now – awards start coming in, this could hold steady for most of the month.
Tron Legacy also didn’t tumble as bad as Fockers, but the film has been out longer. At this point $200 seems out of the question, unless the Imax screens keep it going, but it’s going to lose a lot of those to Green Hornet in two weeks. Tron should be around or under ten million next weekend, which means somewhere (at best) in the $180 range. International still appears weak, though those numbers may improve. As I said with a number of the highest grossing films of the year, a $180 total would look awesome if this film didn’t cost $150 and have a marketing budget of around $100 Million dollars. The thing that will more likely determine the film’s worth are the toy and video game sales. If the television show mysteriously disappears that will say it all. So, I guess making a sequel to a 28 year old film isn’t a sure fire. You hear that Thing prequel? You got a bumpy road ahead.
Yogi Bear has a $80 total on lock. If the international numbers are equal, the film will be a minor success, as the DVD sales on something like this are going to be stronger than for – say – The Fighter. Even bad kids films have a shelf life. What this is likely to lead to is a DTV spin-off, or that would be the worst of it. Speaking of, Dawn Treader is still out, and should make over $100 domestic. With the film doing double that business internationally this will be profitable and may yet lead to another – though this feels like a “got away with it” more than any sort of success. Tangled got a bump but $200 Million is out of reach. Disney will probably have to chose between Tangled and Tron for 3-D screens in two weeks, and by then Tangled might be holding at a more steady pace. Gulliver’s Travels may yet make it to $40 domestic. Which is a flop and the perfect end to Fox’s worst year in forever.
The Fighter, Black Swan and The King’s Speech round out the top ten. All are jockeying for Oscar position. The King’s Speech had the strongest weekend: it cracked the top ten on 700 screens. The drumbeat is building, and this is an audience picture. The bottom line: Don’t underestimate the Weinsteins. With a quoted $15 Million dollar budget – regardless of academy wins, lose or draw – the film is going to make money. Black Swan is also still performing strong, but at this point it may not expand any further, so the numbers probably won’t get much better even if a lot of the titles above it this week are going to drop heavy next week. It’s possible a $7-$8 Million dollar gross could crack the top five next week. But The King’s Speech is in a better place to expand and conquer. The Fighter has the best numbers of the three, and held okay. Right now the film is in a good spot for a best supporting actor win, and should turn a profit domestically. I’m sure there’s a hope the picture could go with a long play and get to $100, but the math will these three pictures is the same. It’s all about the steady drumbeat of awards season, though all seem to have at least one category they’re a favorite in.
Next week brings the first weekend of drek in a couple months. But we may see some strong January performances this year, as The Dilemma and Green Hornet could do over $100 Million. But mostly in theory.