I’m writing this post late on Sunday night. Besides my laziness and procrastination (the twin devils of writing, as far as I’m concerned), this weekend’s box office tally was something of a nail-biter. Yesterday, it looked like the Coen brothers’ brilliant, breathtakingly beautiful ‘True Grit’ (which I saw for a second time this weekend, with a general audience that more-or-less seemed to feel it), would usurp big budget comedy ‘Little Fockers’ for the top spot. Could it be? Could the masses be taken in by a thoughtful, gorgeous oater instead of watching Ben Stiller deal with Robert De Niro’s erection? Well, no. But it seemed like it could, for at least a bit. And that was almost more exciting.
‘Little Fockers‘ did, sadly, take the crown with another $26.3 million. That’s down only 15% in ticket sales from last week, which is pretty impressive considering that nobody seems to actually like this thing. (I haven’t talked to one person who saw it.) It’s already passed the $100 million mark. That’s good for Universal, since that was the production cost of this mega-expensive comedy (before marketing).
This means that ‘True Grit‘ took the #2 slot, with $24.5 million. Even more impressive is that it was down only 5% and has already become the Coen brothers’ highest-grossing movie so far, easily trumping the $74 million total for ‘No Country for Old Men‘. When I watched it again, I had this in mind and thought that it was pretty strange. ‘True Grit’ doesn’t have nearly the kind of critical support that ‘No Country’ had (because, well, ‘No Country for Old Men’ is a better, more interesting film). But ‘True Grit’ has Jeff Bridges coming off an Oscar win. And instead of the “spiritual Western” that ‘No Country’ was, it’s a much more straightforward yarn. People seem to be responding well; the movie felt as emotionally resonant and exciting the second time around as it was the first time. Good going, America! Keep it up! Maybe next weekend it’ll be Number One!
Once again, I’m not really sure if ‘Tron: Legacy‘ is going to be viewed as a hit or a near-miss. It added another $18.3 million to its overall haul (which now stands at $130.9 million). Someone with more keen box office-reading skills needs to take a look at this and figure out what exactly is going on with ‘Tron: Legacy’. $130 million seems good to me, but the movie hasn’t even cleared its production budget, let alone its marketing costs and whatever else Disney threw at it. I went to a Disney wine-and-dine thing this fall and somebody had to pay for those glowing Tron drinks.
There’s not much else to report on the box office. I’m still kind of boggled that ‘Tangled‘ keeps kicking ass (#6, another $10 million, worldwide total already $314.5). Quentin Tarantino recently put it on his Top 10 Movies of 2010 list. Did I miss something? Maybe I need to see it again. I mean, I’m happy that a handsomely animated film that doesn’t rely on pop culture-infused quips is doing well, but it’s nothing compared to last year’s jaw-dropping ‘The Princess and the Frog‘. Huh.
Before I leave you with the Top 10, I have a confession to make: Over the holidays, I was pretty bored, and went to see… ‘Gulliver’s Travels‘ (which hung tough in the Top 10 at #8 with another $9.1). IT WAS TERRIBLE. Almost unbelievably so. Stay away from this thing at all costs. And please forget that I admitted to having seen it on my own time…
Oh! ‘The King’s Speech‘ broke into the Top 10 (at #10 with $7.6 million). I thought the movie was okay, but I wasn’t crazy about it like some (i.e. older people) are. I talked to a friend of mine tonight who’s in his 60s, and he said it was the best movie he’d seen in years. Really? This? Did he not understand ‘The Social Network‘?
The Top 10:
01 ‘Little Fockers’ (Universal) – $26.3 million
02 ‘True Grit’ (Paramount) – $24.5 million
03 ‘Tron Legacy’ (Disney) – $18.3 million
04 ‘Yogi Bear’ (Warner Bros) – $13 million
05 ‘Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader’ (Fox) – $10.5 million
06 ‘Tangled’ (Disney) – $10 million
07 ‘The Fighter’ (Paramount) – $10 million
08 ‘Gulliver’s Travels’ (Fox) – $9.1 million
09 ‘Black Swan’ (Fox) – $8.4 million
10 ‘The King’s Speech’ (Weinstein Co) – $7.6 million