There weren’t a whole lot of interesting movies for people to rush out to see this holiday weekend. Sure, there were some prestige pictures, but those were mostly relegated to the art houses. And the big Hollywood fare wasn’t exactly inspired in any way. Still, a few movies made a bunch of money, and a bunch of movies made a few dollars.
If you couldn’t tell by the title of this post, ‘Little Fockers‘, the THIRD (!) film in the ‘Meet the Parents‘ franchise from Universal Pictures, came in at #1 with $34 million for the weekend and $48.3 million since Wednesday. Making the movie – which again stars Robert De Niro and Ben Stiller – was, as they say in the industry, a fucking nightmare. Keep in mind that Dustin Hoffman, who has been all over the print and television ad campaign, only shot his scenes in the week that the studio had designated for pick-ups. He cost a butt-load to get back, and got a piece of the back end too. So this is probably just as expensive a comedy as ‘How Do You Know’, the James L. Brooks flop (which didn’t even chart in the top 10 this week, FYI).
Edging out ‘Tron: Legacy’ for the #2 spot was ‘True Grit‘, which earned $25.6 million over the weekend and $36.8 million since it opened on Wednesday. I was crazy about this straightforward adaptation of Charles Portis’s novel (imagine me screaming “It’s not a remake!” like Arnold in ‘Kindergarten Cop’) and am very happy that people actually showed up for it. Those expecting some kind of crazy deconstruction of the Western genre courtesy of the Coen Brothers are best advised to re-watch ‘No Country for Old Men‘. This is pretty meat-and-potatoes stuff, but it’s brought to the screen gorgeously and with an obscene amount of wit.
The other big studio debut this weekend was ‘Gulliver’s Travels‘, which opened on 1,000 3-D screens across the country and yet still only placed #7. I mean, it was just released on Saturday, but still… There was a huge amount of marketing muscle behind this thing, which looks atrocious and is supposedly tracking abysmally. Good riddance.
‘Black Swan‘ finally went wide this week in almost 1,500 theaters and charted at #8. With $29 million so far, it’s already director Darren Aronofsky’s highest grossing movie to date. (It sailed past the total domestic gross for ‘The Wrestler‘ this weekend.) This also seems like the only movie anybody’s talking about. Probably because it’s totally brilliant. I’m kind of tickled pink to think that a ballet movie is getting this kind of attention. That’s about as perverse as anything in the actual movie. Delicious.
Remember when I said that ‘Megamind‘ was proof that ‘How to Train Your Dragon‘ was a fluke in terms of DreamWorks Animation quality? Well, it looks like people agree. This week, Disney’s ‘Tangled‘ has already earned more money than ‘Megamind’ did in its brief theatrical run. Probably because it’s a much, much, much better movie.
In other Disney box office news, the “Is it a hit or is it a flop?” debate continues on the expensive and incredibly weird ‘Tron: Legacy‘. It racked up another $20.1 million. That’s down 54% from last weekend, but the movie has made nearly $90 million so far. This isn’t exactly blockbuster material, but it’ll probably make its money back. It’s just not the smash-it-out-of-the-park success that something like ‘Pirates of the Caribbean‘ was. Will Disney move forward with its multitude of spin-offs, animated series, sequels, and theme park rides? Maybe next weekend’s box office can provide more solid ideas.
The Top 10
01 ‘Little Fockers’ (Universal) – $34 million
02 ‘True Grit’ (Paramount) – $25.6 million
03 ‘Tron Legacy’ (Disney) – $20.1 million
04 ‘Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader’ (Fox) – $10.8 million
05 ‘The Fighter’ (Relativity/Paramount) – $8.5 million
06 ‘ Yogi Bear’ (Warner Bros) – $8.2 million
07 ‘Gulliver’s Travels’ (Fox) – $7.2 million
08 ‘Black Swan’ (Fox) – $6.6 million
09 ‘Tangled’ (Disney) – $6.5 million
10 ‘The Tourist’ (Sony) – $5.7 million