Weekend Box Office: ‘New Year’s Eve’ Drops the Ball

This weekend featured the worst collective box office total in over three years. The cumulative estimated tally was only $78 million. The last time the totals were this low was the first week of September, 2008, during which ‘Bangkok Dangerous’ took first place with $7.7 million, ‘Tropic Thunder‘ was in the second spot in its fourth week, and ‘The Dark Knight‘ was in third in its eighth week. Although this weekend wasn’t quite that bad, it’s still a long way from great.

New Year’s Eve‘ walked away with the top spot, but has absolutely nothing to brag about with a weak $13.7 million opening. That’s considerably low compared to the $56.3 million opening of last year’s ‘Valentine’s Day‘ and more than $16 million shy of studio predictions. Even chock full of familiar pop culture-friendly faces like Zac Efron, Ashton Kutcher, Lea Michele and Katherine Heigl, ‘New Year’s Eve’ failed to grab the attention of the young moviegoers who typically fuel these movies. With a 7% Rotten Tomatoes rating, mark this one up as a win for the critics – something we don’t get often enough.

Expected to make $12.9 million, ‘The Sitter‘ only earned $10 million. Jonah Hill took a shot at leading the film, which is basically an R-rated remake of ‘Adventures in Babysitting’ that’s incapable of conjuring any laughs. Looking at the box office numbers for this one, I don’t see this being a frequent occurrence. Perhaps the new and physically-improved Skinny Jonah will have better success, but I doubt it. In his next flick, a bad-looking R-rated remake of ’21 Jump Street’, Skinny Jonah stars alongside Channing Tatum. Who stars with Channing Tatum? Bad and/or sinking actors. Examples: Amanda Seyfried, Jamie Bell, Kevin James and Marlon Wayans. As a lead, Jonah Hill perfectly fits in with this list. He has the potential to be a great side-man, but can’t carry a film to save his life.

On just eight screens in the U.S., ‘Young Adult‘ walked away with $320,000 and a startling $40,000 per-screen average. The only film with a better per-screen opening was ‘Tinker Taylor Soldier Spy‘ with an astounding $75,250. On only four screens, ‘Tinker’ was right behind ‘Young Adult’ with $301,000 total. Tilda Swinton and John C. Reilly’s drama ‘We Need to Talk About Kevin‘ opened with $24,000 on only one screen. While not quite as impressive as ‘Young Adult’ or ‘Tinker’, this is still a fantastic opening. ‘Young Adult’ expands wide(r) next weekend and ‘Tinker’ is receiving a slow platform release. It’s unclear how ‘Kevin’ will spread across the nation.

With ‘Alvin and the Chipmunks’ (eww), ‘Sherlock Holmes’ and the new ‘Mission: Impossible’ hitting theaters next weekend, the box office ought to explode. Did you see anything this weekend? What will you flock to next weekend?

Top 10:

1. ‘New Year’s Eve’ (Warner Bros./New Line) – $13,705,000

2. ‘The Sitter’ (Fox) – $10,000,000

3. ‘The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1’ (Summit) – $7,900,000

4. ‘The Muppets’ (Buena Vista) – $7,073,000

5. ‘Arthur Christmas’ (Sony) – $6,600,000

6. ‘Hugo’ (Paramount) – $6,125,000

7. ‘The Descendants’ (Fox Searchlight) – $4,835,000

8. ‘Happy Feet Two’ (Warner Bros.) – $3,750,000

9. ‘Jack and Jill’ (Sony) – $3,200,000

10. ‘Immortals’ (Relativity) – $2,442,000


  1. JM

    The buzz on Mission: Impossible 4 is that Brad Bird has used the tools of spacial geography to kick ungodly amount of ass.

    Will it make more box office than John Woo’s MI2?

    Will it spank The Incredibles?

    • Luke Hickman

      My guess is that MI4 will perform just like MI3. Decent, but not fantastic. I don’t see it breaking any franchise records – but who knows. I’ve never been great with B.O. predictions. But I’ll tell you this – I can’t wait to see it on IMAX this week!

    • Luke Hickman

      That one’s easy – MI4 because the damned prologue isn’t showing in Salt Lake City! I don’t understand how the DK prologue could show EVERYWHERE with IMAX prints of I Am Legend, but the DKR prologue won’t. I’m pretty pissed about this. Since when did Nolan’s Batman stuff become “exclusive?”

  2. Luke, you know I always agree with you, but … Jamie Bell’s neither a bad nor a sinking actor. The kid’s quite talented! “Billy Elliot”, “Tintin”, “Wake Me Up When September Ends” (etc) are all solid.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *