In its third week of release, True Grit finally was able reach the pinnacle of the box office and dethrones the two-time defending champion Little Fockers. The western had a strong hold this weekend and was able to reach 1st place for the 1st time. The other big news to come out of this weekend was the dismal debut of the new Nicolas Cage film Season of the Witch. I wasn’t very strong in getting films in exact places at the box office, but I was pretty accurate with most of my predictions this weekend. Here’s how the box office broke down this weekend:
Moving from 2nd place to 1st place is the Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon and Josh Brolin western True Grit with a gross of $15 million (I predicted a 1st place finish and a gross of $16.3 million). True Grit had a per theatre average of $4,802 and was down 38.6% from last weekend. The hold for the film is outstanding especially on the first full weekend of the new year when movie going goes way down compared to the holiday season levels. The Coen Brothers film is the highest grossing film the brothers have ever made (the previous record was for No Country For Old Men which grossed $74.2 million) and the film is still maintaining its Oscar buzz. True Grit has grossed $110.4 million in three weeks and continues to be a big moneymaker for Paramount as the budget for True Grit is only $38 million.
Dropping from 1st place to 2nd place is Little Fockers with a gross of $13.7 million (I predicted a 2nd place finish and a gross of $15.1 million). The film had a per theatre average of $3,750, and was down 46.5% from last weekend. Here’s how the third weekends of the franchise stack up. See below:
2000 – Meet the Parents – $16 million third weekend / 24.3% third week drop
2004 – Meet the Fockers – $28.4 million third weekend / 31.7% third week drop
2010 – Little Fockers – $15.1 million third weekend / 46.5% third week drop
The film is setting worst records for the franchise (worst third weekend gross and highest third weekend drop) so it is doubtful that the film will even gross as much as the original did (which was $166.2 million). After three weeks, Little Fockers, with a budget listed at $100 million (the most expensive film of the franchise), has grossed $123.9 million, so the franchise continues to be a profitable one for Universal.
Debuting in 3rd place is the Nicolas Cage action-horror Season of the Witch with a gross of $10.7 million (I predicted a 4th place finish and a gross of $8.1 million). Season of the Witch had a per theatre average of $3,809, which is absolutely terrible for a film in its first weekend of release and that has a theatre count of 2,816. The films I used to make my prediction for Season of the Witch were a little under Season of the Witch actually grossed, but were still in the same range. See below:
2005 – Lord of War – $9.3 million opening weekend
2006 – The Wicker Man – $9.6 million opening weekend
2007 – Next – $7.1 million opening weekend
2008 – Bangkok Dangerous – $7.7 million opening weekend
2010 – Season of the Witch – $10.7 million opening weekend
The poor reviews the film received (poor doesn’t quite cut it as Season of the Witch might turn out to be the worst reviewed film of 2011) will not help it in the long run, and the film should be on DVD shelves soon. Season of the Witch has a budget of $40 million, so there is no way this film becomes profitable.
Tron: Legacy drops from 3rd place to 4th place with a gross of $9.8 million (I predicted a 3rd place finish and a $10.8 million gross). The film had a per theatre average of $3,254 and was down only 47.7% from last weekend. The percentage drop from weekend to weekend was the largest of any film in the top ten. After four weeks, Tron: Legacy has grossed $147.9 million and gets a little closer to making its budget of $170 million back.
Rising from 9th place to 5th place is the Natalie Portman ballet thriller Black Swan with a gross of $8.3 million (I predicted a 6th place finish and a gross of $7.2 million). Black Swan had a per theatre average of $5,271 and was down only 6% percent from last weekend. After six weeks of release, Black Swan has grossed $61.4 million and continues to make money for Fox Searchlight as the budget is listed at only $13 million.
Country Strong moved from 43rd place to 6th place with a gross of $7.3 million (I predicted a 10th place finish and a gross of $4.5 million). The film had a per theatre average of $5,126 and was up 17,487.8% from last weekend, thanks to its theatre count going from 2 to 1,424. I will be the first to admit that Country Strong performed a lot better than I expected it too, but this film will not be a strong performer in the long run as the critics are not supporting it and as the weeks go on, audiences will want to see event films or films that have been out for awhile that have strong reviews. After three weeks of release, Country Strong has grossed $7.4 million and is halfway to recovering its budget of $15 million.
Dropping from 6th place to 7th place is the Mark Wahlberg//Christian Bale drama The Fighter with a gross of $7 million (I predicted a 5th place finish and a gross of $7.8 million). The Fighter had a per theatre average of $2,769 and the gross was down 30% from last weekend. The critically acclaimed drama continues to perform well and the drop from weekend to weekend is very reasonable. After five weeks, The Fighter has grossed $57.8 million and is yet another profitable film for Paramount as the budget for The Fighter is $25 million.
Moving up from 10th place to 8th place is the Colin Firth//Geoffrey Rush//Helena Bonham Carter historical film The King’s Speech with a gross of $6.811 million (I predicted a 7th place finish and a gross of $6.5 million). The King’s Speech had a per theatre average of $8,985 and the film was down 12.4% from last weekend. The per theatre average was the highest of any film in the top ten for the second weekend in a row. The King’s Speech continues to build on word-of-mouth and this is the highest place the film has achieved so far. In seven weeks, The King’s Speech has grossed $33.2 million and its budget is listed at $15 million.
Yogi Bear drops from 4th place to 9th place with a gross of $6.810 million (I predicted an 8th place finish and a gross of $6.2 million). The film had a per theatre average of $2,071 and was down 45% from last weekend’s gross. After four weeks, Yogi Bear has grossed $75.6 million, and what I once thought was impossible, it now looks like it will make back its budget, as Yogi Bear cost $80 million to make.
Tangled drops from 7th place to 10th place with a gross of $5.2 million (I did not make a prediction on this film). Tangled had a per theatre average of $2,182 and was down 47% from last weekend. The budget for Tangled is listed at $240 million, and after seven weeks, Tangled has grossed $175.8 million.
In limited release:
Blue Valentine – This film stars Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams and chronicles the course of a couples’ relationship over the years. Blue Valentine continues to sizzle in limited release as this weekend it grossed $719,000 from 40 theatres giving it a per theatre average of $17,975, which was the highest per theatre average of any film in release and the gross was up 271.1% from last weekend. After two weeks, Blue Valentine has grossed $1.159 million and is already a profitable film as the budget is listed at $1 million.
The Time That Remains, No One Killed Jessica and Phil Ochs: There But For Fortune have not released their box office grosses as of this writing.
So to recap, here were my predictions:
True Grit – $16.3 million
Little Fockers – $15.1 million
Tron: Legacy – $10.8 million
Season of the Witch – $8.1 million
The Fighter – $7.8 million
And here are the actual numbers:
True Grit – $15 million
Little Fockers – $13.7 million
Season of the Witch – $10.7 million
Tron: Legacy – $9.8 million
Black Swan – $8.3 million
My predictions were off by $7.4 million.
Next weekend, True Grit will try to stay in 1st place for a second weekend in a row against the Vince Vaughn//Kevin James comedy The Dilemma and the Seth Rogen action-adventure The Green Hornet. Check out Biff Bam Pop next Friday to read my predictions!