Those Little Fockers and the way they can pull in the coinage. Sure the latest outing from Gaylord Focker and his overbearing father-in-law didn’t muster up the same type of business as the last entry in the Focker franchise. Meet the Fockers made $46.1 million in its opening, Christmas weekend. It was able to hurdle just over the debut of 2001’s Meet the Parents, which made $28.6 million in its first three days. Despite this lack of bravado when it comes to opening numbers, Little Fockers is doing just fine, already at $80.4 million worldwide against a reported $100-million budget. Fockers Four might be in our future, and whether the cinematic world is rejoicing or not is yet to be seen.
A couple of guys who are rejoicing are Joel and Ethan Coen, who, with True Grit, topped their best opening ever by about $5 million. With a reported budget of $38 million, the western is already in the black. Fans of the film, and they are plenty, are championing the film every chance they can get. It seems to have helped the film, at least in its first five days of release. It is interesting to see True Grit matched up against other, recent Westerns. The highest grossing Western in the last decade was Brokeback Mountain with $83 million in total domestic sales, and even that could be called into question whether it is a true Western or not. 2003’s Open Range was the last traditional Western to top $50 million, and True Grit is well on its way to beating that out.
With $6.3 million, Gulliver’s Travels is a film no one should be proud of. Rob Letterman, who found success directing animated films like Shark Tale and Monsters Vs. Aliens, might want to rethink this whole live action thing. The same might be said for Jack Black, who along with 2009’s Year One has two duds back-to-back under his stretched belt. Maybe more voice acting like Kung Fu Panda or ensemble films like Tropic Thunder where he can hide somewhere in the background might be more his speed.
For all you Tron Legacy fans out there, you might be able to rest easy. The film had a huge drop in its second weekend, but the $159 million it has raked in worldwide is closing in on its production budget. Depending where it goes from here coupled with the inevitable DVD/Blu-Ray sales, that franchise could be alive, well, and back for more somewhere within the next 28 years.
Here is how the weekend played out:
- Little Fockers – $30.8m NEW $45m since Wednesday release
- True Grit – $24.8m NEW $36m since Wednesday release
- Tron Legacy – $19.1m (-56.5%) $87.7m total
- The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader – $9.4m (-23.5%) $62.5m total
- Yogi Bear – $7.8m (-52.3%) $35.8m total
- The Fighter – $7.6m (-37.3%) $26.6m total
- Tangled – $6.4m (-26.8%) $143.6m total
- Gulliver’s Travels – $6.3m NEW
- Black Swan – $6.2m (-25.4%) $28.6m total
- The Tourist – $5.4m (-36.6%) $40.8m total
That puts the Christmas weekend at $123.8 million. We shouldn’t even bother to compare it to the Christmas weekend of 2009, when Avatar was hitting its stride and starting its march into the history books. James Cameron’s film also had the release of Sherlock Holmes, Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel (God, has it been a year already?), and It’s Complicated to help boost the total weekend numbers to a staggering amount.
As is the case with most years when New Years falls on a weekend, there are no new films opening up. Fockers will have free reign of the market, but God willing, those who aren’t out partying might want to see something with substance like True Grit, The Fighter, or Black Swan.
We’ll be back on Thursday to run down how the weekend is shaping up.