Two compelling stories emerged from the box office over the five-day holiday frame. First off is the disappointing debut of “Little Fockers.” The third installment of the “Meet the Parents” series grossed just $48.3 million. That was a good $10-15 million under industry polling and almost $22 million under the 2004 opening of “Meet the Fockers” during the same seasonal frame. Universal Pictures will have to hope the poorly reviewed Robert De Niro and Ben Stiller comedy plays stronger over the rest of the holiday break.
The second big story was the impressive debut of the Coen bros.’ “True Grit” with $36.8 million. That was more than enough to knock “Tron Legacy” to third with $31.8 million and $88.3 million to date. “Grit,” a potential Oscar contender, was only expected to gross $25-30 million for the frame it could easily hit $100 million by mid January.
Jack Black’s “Gulliver’s Travels” pretty much bombed with just $7.2 million in two days. 20th Century Fox had pushed the opening back to Christmas day hoping to gain more traction with moviegoers, but the materials just didn’t seem to sway enough of them to buy a ticket.
In just 1,482 theaters, “Black Swan” continued to be nothing but a sensation grossing $10.2 million over the five days for a new cume of $29 million.
Another Oscar frontrunner, “The King’s Speech,” had its first major expansion to 700 theaters on Christmas day and found a strong $4.6 million for a new cume of $8.4 million.
Sofia Coppola’s Hollywood drama “Somewhere” opened in limited release with $196,168 in just seven theaters for a per screen of $28,024 since Wednesday.
If you were disappointed in the selection of holiday releases this year, don’t fret because 2011 is expected to be much more appealing. David Fincher’s “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,” a new “Alvin and the Chipmunks,” the return of “The Muppets,” “Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol,” “Sherlock Holmes 2,” Martin Scorsese’s 3-D “Hugo Cabert,” Steven Spielberg’s “War Horse” and “The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn.”
Final holiday frame figures will be released on Monday.