Little Fockers took first place over Christmas weekend, but was clearly effected by the stronger than expected start of True Grit,

‘Little Fockers’ #1, ‘True Grit’ Strong #2

on December 27, 2010 by Daniel Garris

As was widely expected, Universal's Little Fockers led the Christmas weekend box office. However, the comedy sequel was weaker than expected with a weekend take of $30.83 million and a five-day start of $45.08 million. The film was ultimately over-estimated by $3.17 million on Sunday, as the East Coast snowstorm clearly had a sizable effect on Sunday's grosses for it and all other films. On the positive side of things, Little Fockers still held up very nicely over the weekend on the heels of a soft start on Wednesday and Thursday. That is a good sign for the film going forward (especially with a relativity light January slate on the horizon).

Over the five-day frame Little Fockers opened 36 percent behind the pace of 2004's Meet the Fockers, while the gap between the two films was 33 percent when dealing with only their opening weekend performances (without taking into account ticket price inflation in both comparisons). That gave Little Fockers a five-day to three-day weekend ratio of 1.46 to 1, as compared to 1.53 to 1 for Meet the Fockers.

Paramount's True Grit exceeded its already rising expectations to score a strong second place finish of $24.85 million over the weekend. The PG-13 western remake from the Coen Brothers grossed $36.07 million in its first five days of release. Like Little Fockers, True Grit was back-loaded towards the weekend (it was surprisingly strong on Christmas Eve). That is likely a great indication of strong holding power going forward, especially when taking into account strong reviews and the fact that the film is skewing extremely heavily towards older moviegoers (70 percent of the film's audience was 25 and over). There is no doubt that the stronger than expected performance of True Grit took limited the potential of Little Fockers this weekend.

True Grit star Jeff Bridges also found himself in third place this weekend as Disney's TRON: Legacy grossed $19.15 million in its second weekend of release. The big-budget sci-fi sequel was down a sharp, but understandable, 56 percent from last weekend. TRON: Legacy held up slightly better than A Series of Unfortunate Events, which fell 58 percent in the same situation back in 2004. With a ten-day start of $87.37 million, TRON: Legacy is still running in line with expectations and is running 47 percent ahead of the pace of A Series of Unfortunate Events. Odds are strong that the film will hold up very well over the next week, especially with the continued aid of higher priced 3D admissions.

Internationally, TRON: Legacy grossed $26.6 million from 34 territories (the film finished in first place in 28 of those territories). That brings the film's international total to $65.5 million and places its worldwide total at $152.9 million.

Holding up very well this weekend was The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. Fox's 3D fantasy sequel was down only 23 percent to take fourth place with $9.48 million. After a slow start out of the gates earlier in the month, Dawn Treader is starting to build some much needed momentum and should continue to hold up well throughout the rest of the holiday season. With that said, the film's 17-day total stands at a softer than expected $62.60 million. Dawn Treader continues to perform much stronger internationally, where it grossed $25.5 million from 60 markets. The film's respective international and worldwide totals currently stand at $168.6 million and $231.2 million.

The news wasn't anywhere near as good for fellow Fox release Gulliver's Travels. The pricey 3D film starring Jack Black opened with a disappointing $6.31 million in its first two days (Fox waited to open the film on Christmas Day). Gulliver's Travels opened in eighth place and failed to reach its already scaled down pre-release expectations. Despite the advantage of higher priced 3D tickets Gulliver's Travels opened 37 percent softer than the $10.02 million two-day Christmas start of 2004's Fat Albert. Gulliver's Travels was significantly stronger internationally than it was domestically, as it grossed $12.1 million from just 15 foreign markets.

After opening slightly below expectations last weekend, Warner's Yogi Bear had an underwhelming Christmas weekend hold (especially when taking into account the poor start by Gulliver's Travels). The 3D family film was down 52 percent to round out the weekend's top five with $7.84 million. Yogi Bear has grossed $35.82 million through ten days of release, placing it 31 percent ahead of the pace of 2008's The Tale of Despereaux and a whopping 57 percent behind 2007's Alvin and the Chipmunks.

On the limited front, The King's Speech had a solid Christmas Day expansion. The Oscar hopeful for Best Picture from The Weinstein Company grossed $4.50 million, with $4.19 million of that gross coming from Saturday and Sunday when the film was playing in 700 locations. The King's Speech has grossed $8.34 million to date. The real test for the film will be just how well it is able to hold between now and January 25th when it should get a box office boost from the announcement of Academy Award nominations.

Please note that due to the holidays some of today's numbers are revised studio estimates.

Tags: The King's Speech, Yogi Bear, Gulliver's Travels, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, TRON: Legacy, True Grit, Little Fockers

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