Box Office: ‘True Grit’ wins but ‘Black Swan’ continues to soar

“True Grit” continued its amazing run at the box office this weekend with another $15 million to easily outpace “Little Fockers” for the top slot.  “Grit” has now grossed a very impressive $110.4 million since opening on Dec. 22 and was down only 38% from last weekend.  With “Grit” likely in the Oscar conversation for some time, it should easily surpass the $150 million mark.  And considering that it only cost $35 million, that makes it a major profit center for studio Paramount Pictures.

Dropping to the second slot with another $13.7 million was “Little Fockers.” The Ben Stiller and Robert De Niro comedy has $123.9 million to date easily surpassing its $100 million budget. However, Universal Pictures and Paramount are going to have to count on strong international grosses for this one to break even.

Somewhat surprising was the performance of “Season of the Witch” in third.  Debuting with $10.7 million, the Nic Cage fantasy flick had a significant Friday to Saturday bump even with an eye-popping and discouraging C+ cinemascore rating. Distributor Relativity Media says around 75% of the film’s $40 million budget was covered in foreign pre-sales, so the company could break even on the poorly reviewed film when all is said and done.

Fourth place went to “Tron Legacy” with another $9.8 million and $147.9 million to date.  The lightcycle ride is beginning to slow down, but whether we’ll really get a third film in the series remains to be seen.

Making a big jump to the fifth slot was “Black Swan.” Darren Aronofsky’s thriller continues to astound dropping only 6% from the previous frame with $8.3 million over the three-day and $61.4 million so far.  The awards season player has officially crossed over into the pop culture mainstream judging by the spoof that appeared on “Saturday Night Live” with Jim Carrey last night (the second real sketch of the night no less and embedded at the bottom of this article).  It could easily end up with more than $90 million in theatrical rentals by the time the Oscars air on Feb. 27.

“Country Strong” wasn’t far behind “Swan,” however, expanding nationally for $7.3 million. At a reported $15 million budget, Screen Gems should eventually break even on Gwyneth Paltrow’s country music debut.

In other box office news, “Blue Valentine” expanded to 40 theaters and grossed a whopping $719,000 or $17,915 per theater.  The extremely low budget “Valentine” has now made $1.15 million to date and should continue to generate buzz as stars Michelle Williams and Ryan Gosling’s acclaimed performances play out during the rest of awards season.

Next weekend features the debut of Ron Howard’s “The Dilemma” with Kevin James and Vince Vaughn and Michel Gondry’s “The Green Hornet” with Seth Rogen.

Final box office figures are released on Monday.