Box Office News

Christmas Weekend at the Box Office

Dec 24, 2010 | 11:22am EST

The final three wide releases of the year hope to bring some Christmas cheer back to the Box-Office with Little Fockers, True Grit and Gulliver’s Travels.

079833H1.jpgThe latest installment in the successful comedy franchise that started 10 years ago, Universal’s “Little Fockers” is poised to bring yet another number one debut home for Ben Stiller and Robert DeNiro.  Meet the Parents was the 7th highest grossing release of year 2000 earning $166.2 million in the wake of a weekend debut of $28.6 million.  Its sequel, 2004’s Meet the Fockers switched to the holiday season by opening on Wednesday December 22 and earned $46.1 million in its first weekend and a whopping $70.5 million in its first five days on its way to becoming the 4th highest grossing film of that year with $279.2 million.  This latest Fockers should land somewhere between the first two in the high $20 million to low $30 million range for the weekend.

Last weekend’s number one film Tron: Legacy from Disney will race into the second spot with between $20 million and $25 million over the Christmas weekend on its way to $80 million and beyond.  The action sci-fi film has done well mid-week with an impressive $6 million on Monday alone and should therefore maintain a solid audience base through the holidays.  Interestingly this sets up a rare opportunity for Jeff Bridges to become Mr. Box Office and have two films in in the top five.

True Grit is a very worthy re-make of the 1969 film starring John Wayne as the crusty Rooster Cogburn, Glen Campbell as La Boeuf, Jeff Corey as Tom Chaney and Kim Darby as Mattie Ross.  The Coen Brothers make a very faithful adaptation of the Charles Portis novel while paying homage to the original film and at the same time putting their signature visual stamp on the film.  With Jeff Bridges as Cogburn, Matt Damon as La Boeuf and Josh Brolin as Tom Chaney and incredible newcomer Hailee Steinfeld as Mattie Ross, “True Grit” is an Oscar contender for sure and has been on the top of many a moviegoer’s must-see list for months.  With its main target being older moviegoers the film will open Wednesday but hit its stride on the evening of Christmas Day when adults with renewed free time will seek out the film and help it to earn in the mid-teens for the weekend and a likely $20 million for the Wednesday through Sunday time frame.  Look for this to be a long term performer at the box office well into 2011.

Fourth and fifth place will find a newcomer in the mix with Twentieth Century Fox’s Friday opener Gulliver’s Travels starring Jack Black earning in the sub $10 million range along with Warner Bros.’ Yogi Bear which will likely land in a similar range in its second weekend of release and benefit from kids and families looking for a fun holiday movie treat.  Of course this bottleneck could also include the second week of wide release for Paramount’s The Fighter which continues to draw accolades across the board.

In other specialized film news, Weinstein Co.’s brilliant The King’s Speech expands into 600 theatres nationwide on Christmas Day.

An important weekend at the movies as the year draws to a close, the final wide releases enter the marketplace and Oscar contenders continue to make their mark and impress audiences.

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