Friday Report: Quiet Debuts for 'New Year's Eve,' 'Sitter'

by Ray Subers
New Year's Eve

December 10, 2011

There probably weren't too many bottles of champagne popped over New Year's Eve's opening night performance. The ensemble romantic comedy managed to unseat The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1, though it's now in line for a fairly slow debut weekend. Meanwhile, Jonah Hill comedy The Sitter failed to break out of the R-rated comedy rut.

While a substantial decline was to be expected, New Year's Eve's $5.08 million debut yesterday was off a massive 65 percent from Valentine's Day's $14.5 million opening day. It was also lower than similarly-timed romantic comedy Something's Gotta Give ($5.27 million), though it was at least an improvement over The Holiday ($4.44 million). Based on those comparisons, the movie appears poised to finish the weekend with around $15 million.

The Sitter opened to an estimated $3.73 million on Friday, which is middle-of-the-road among recent R-rated comedies (below A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas but way above What's Your Number?). The Jonah Hill babysitting comedy should wind up with over $10 million for the three-day frame.

After leading the box office for 21 straight days, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 dropped down to third place with an estimated $2.5 million. The movie currently has $254.1 million in the bank, and it continues to slowly gain on New Moon ($261.8 million through the same point).

The Muppets fell 39 percent to an estimated $1.66 million, bringing its total to $60.4 million. Hugo rounded out the Top Five by easing 20 percent to $1.6 million for a gross-to-date just shy of $29 million.

As is common for Christmas-themed movies at this time of year, Sony/Aardman's Arthur Christmas was off a light 13 percent to an estimated $1.43 million. Still, it's only made $28.3 million so far, and has a long way to go to be considered a success.

After three weeks in limited release, The Descendants officially made its nationwide expansion this weekend and added $1.32 million. The Alexander Payne-George Clooney comedy/drama has now earned $20.6 million, and should hold well throughout the holiday season as awards nominations start rolling in.

Related Story:
Forecast: 'New Year's Eve' Arrives Early

Related Chart:
Grosses for Friday, December 9, 2011

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