Weekend Report: 'Fockers' Frowned Upon, 'Grit' Glows Over New Year's
by Brandon Gray
January 3, 2011
The story of New Year's weekend was the same as Christmas weekend: what's supposed to be one of the most bustling times of the year was shattered by a largely poor slate of movies. Little Fockers was the low-flying top draw, but True Grit (2010) continued to be a beacon. Overall business was off around 27 percent from the same weekend last year, when Avatar dominated, and attendance was off significantly from the last time New Year's weekend landed on Dec. 31-Jan. 2, back in 2004-2005.
When is passing $100 million in just 12 days not so hot? When the preceding movie did it in eight days and had nearly double the attendance. Such was the case with Little Fockers, which dipped 16 percent to $25.8 million over the weekend for a $102.6 million tally in 12 days. Predecessor Meet the Fockers, which played on the same days and dates six years ago, generated $41.7 million over New Year's weekend, held better and had collected $162.5 million in total (the equivalent of over $200 million adjusted for ticket price inflation).
Tron Legacy repeated in third with $18.8 million, down two percent for a $131.3 million score in 17 days. After blazing past the first Tron's estimated attendance, it's about to eclipse the final haul of The Last Airbender.
Family or kids movies often receive the biggest bumps on New Year's weekend, so don't take Yogi Bear's 57 percent jump as a reversal of fortune. The talking-animal comedy maintained its average ways, grossing $12.4 million for a $65.8 million tally in 17 days. The older Tangled was more impressive with its $9.8 million sixth weekend, raising its total to $167.8 million in 40 days.
In addition to True Grit, several dramas continued to post solid numbers, but cumulatively they couldn't stave off the box office doldrums caused by a lack of mainstream successes at the top of the chart. The Fighter logged $10 million, up 32 percent for a $46.4 million tally. Black Swan attracted $8.9 million, increasing 42 percent for a $47.8 million haul. The King's Speech leapt 73 percent (due, in part, to being nationwide for two of the three days last weekend) to $7.8 million, improving its total to $22.9 million.