The yearly post-holiday hangover hit the box office hard this weekend – harder than usual, in fact – with multiplexes down a full 30 percent from the same weekend-after-New Year’s in 2010.
Of course, we had Avatar kicking up huge coin back in those days … but still … business is just not going great for the movies studios right now.
The box office was led by a small $38 million awards-targeted adult drama in its third week of release, the Coen Brothers’ True Grit, which took in $15 million.
In second place was Robert DeNiro/Ben Stiller franchise comedy Little Fockers – also in its third week – which grossed $13.8 million.
The only new film in wide release was the long-delayed Nicolas Cage medieval horror/fantasy film Season of the Witch, which despite evisceration by critics – who collectively gave a 4 percent Rotten Tomatoes score – grossed a better-than-expected $10.7 million.
“Even the most dedicated of Nicolas Cage fans will find little to enjoy about this historical-fantasy-action romp,” noted the Dallas Morning News.
Added film blogger Cole Smithey: “This movie sucks so awfully that you’d think it was a vicious prank.”
Of course, the emerging studio backing the project is chuckling with relief, since a opening-weekend performance of over $10 million probably means they can make their money back on this $40 million turkey in the international markets.
Also set to make out nicely in the money department is Sony, which expanded its Gwyneth Paltrow film Country Strong into 1,424 theaters this weekend and cracked the top 10 with $7.3 million.
That film cost the studio’s Screen Gems label only $15 million to make.
Here’s how the top 10 finished this weekend compared to our Thursday predictions:
Daniel’s Crystal Ball
| True Grit ||Made: $15.0M ||We predicted: $17.0M |
| Little Fockers || Made: $13.8M || We predicted: $16.0M|
| Season of the Witch || Made: $10.7M ||We predicted: $7.5M|
| Tron: Legacy || Made: $9.8M ||We predicted: $12.0M |
| Black Swan || Made: $8.3M ||We predicted: $8.0M |
| Country Strong || Made: $7.3M ||We predicted: $8.0M|
| The Fighter || Made: $7.0M ||We predicted: $7.0M|
| The King’s Speech || Made: $6.8M ||We predicted: $6.0M|
| Yogi Bear || Made: $6.8 ||We predicted: $6.9 M|
| Tangled || Made: $5.2M ||We predicted: N/A|