Fill your hands, you son of a bitch! Sure, it’s the Christmas season, and everyone in the family is huddled around the computer reading this. Sure, you probably don’t abide by adult language when the kids are around, but this is the Old West, people, and raw dialogue is the least of your worries. Besides, sons of bitches is the least of your worries when you’ve got Little Fockers roaming the cineplexes, and that movie will probably come out on top here.
Retribution. That one word has been the tag line for the Coen Brothers’ remake/reimagining/rehash what have you of Charles Portis’ novel True Grit. Of course, retribution is the last thing the Coens need. Their films, while not blockbuster successes, have done just fine for themselves both financially and especially critically. True Grit could do something the Coens have yet to see, pull in $20+ million in its opening weekend. Their biggest opening to date was in 2008 with Burn After Reading‘s $19.1 million weekend. Between the cast, the immense amount of Oscar buzz it’s gathering, and the brilliant marketing campaign that’s been going on, True Grit will likely brush over that $20 million. But probably just over it. Also you can’t expect the film to aim for that #1 spot. Sadly, that will be left for another new film, one that has less style and more poo-poo jokes. That film will need some retribution to be certain.
Rooster Cogburn’s only got one eye, but you can take both of yours and watch this trailer for True Grit. Unless you, too, only have one eye, in which case, I apologize. Maybe you’re blind, in which case, who cares? You can’t read this anyway.
Oh, the Fockers are back and their bringing the “tire” back in “satire.” Ben Stiller and Robert DeNiro are once again taking each other down to Chinatown, and there’s probably going to be ample amounts of potty jokes strewn throughout. Of course, all of that is going to amount to quite a turn at the box office. The Focker franchise has had an incredible amount of success so far. Meet the Parents opened in 2000 to $28.6 million, and Meet the Fockers opened to $46.1 million in 2004. Six years probably hasn’t built much of an appetite for fans of the films, so this third entry won’t top that. You can expect it to settle somewhere in between probably just under $40 million for the three-day haul. That’s about $500,000 for every time DeNiro does that “I’m watching you” gesture. You all have fun with that.
Just watch the trailer. I’m too tired to think of something clever here. The screenwriters didn’t bother, so why should I?
Also opening wide on Friday is Gulliver’s Travels. It stars Jack Black as the titular Gulliver as he embarks on an incredible journey that takes him to the strange land of Lilliput. Something tells me, in that sentence, I’ve already put more research into the original Jonathan Swift novel than the screenwriters behind this new movie. It looks goofy. It looks stupid, even stupider than the Focker movie, if you can believe that. It probably won’t tank here for the simple reason kids seem to like Jack Black in these family-friendly movies. Nacho Libre opened to $28.3 million in 2006. Granted, that was the Summer, and Gulliver’s Travels won’t garner nearly those numbers, but it will do decent enough for itself. Expect the mid-teen range for this one, probably not a good enough number considering how much the film cost, but Fox should be satisfied the film will get into the double digits at all.
The King’s Speech will expand its release to 700 screens this weekend. That will certainly be enough to get it into the top 10 for the weekend, though you can rest assured that $88,000 per screen average will get whittled down quite a bit. It will likely come in around the $5-million mark, enough to give it placement on the chart and a natural and well-deserved boost for the potential Oscar contender.
TRON Legacy, coming off some highs and lows in terms of critical reception, will probably have somewhere around a 50% drop in its second weekend out. That will be enough to get it in the #2 or #3 spot depending on how well-received True Grit will be. It should break past the $100-million point in worldwide box office sales this weekend, well on its way to making back the $170 million it cost to make.
Sofia Coppola directs her fourth feature film with Somewhere.It stars Stephen Dorff as an actor who goes about the day-to-day routine of living the life of excess inside the confines of a hotel. I know. I feel sorry for the dude, too. Nontheless, the film, currently sitting at 77% over at Rotten Tomatoes, is being called everything from “masterful” by some critics to a “bore” by others. You can judge for yourself this weekend, as it opens in select cities.
Such beautiful imagery. Such beautiful music. Stephen Dorff’s not bad looking, and Elle Fanning is awfully cute. And, hey, isn’t that Chris Pontius in that one shot? Check out the trailer for Somewhere right here:
Also opening in limited release are The Illusionist opening in New York and L.A. on Christmas Day, Country Strong opening this week in L.A. and Nashville, Tees Maar Khan opening in select cities, and Secret Sunshine opening in New York.
Here’s how the top 10 is shaping up the three-day weekend:
- Little Fockers – $38.8m NEW
- True Grit – $21.3m NEW
- Tron Legacy – $20.9m (-52.3%)
- Gulliver’s Travels – $14.2m NEW
- Yogi Bear – $9.5m (-42%)
- The Fighter – $7.9m (-34.5%)
- Black Swan – $7.7m EXPANDING
- The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader – $6.7m (-45.5%)
- The King’s Speech – $5.3m EXPANDING
- Tangled – $5.2m (-40%)
That puts the Christmas weekend take at $137.5 million, a far cry from the $255.3 million Avatar was able to push last year’s Christmas weekend to. And that was the James Cameron monolith in its second weekend of release. The Christmas weekend is generally regarded as a bread-winner for the overall box office. It generally surpasses $100 million with ease. The numbers projected here are good, but nothing that will go down in history books.
We’ll be back on Sunday night to go over the numbers.