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Box Office Can't Find Any Traction

January 10th, 2011

It was quite a depressing weekend, as almost no film in the top five topped expectations. Worst still, it wasn't expected to be a good weekend to begin with. This left the overall box office down just over 30% from last weekend to $112 million. More importantly, that was nearly 30% less than the same weekend last year. If you want to really search for good news, you could point to the fact that if you take out Avatar out of the equation, then 2011 would have beaten 2010 over the weekend, but even here the margin of victory would have been lower than the ticket price inflation. It is way too early to judge how well 2011 will do compared to 2010, but so far it is 23% off of last year's pace at $281 million to $365 million. I expect that gap will grow in terms of raw dollars, but by the time Memorial Day rolls around, 2011 could start rattling off some wins.

Good news, True Grit won the weekend with $14.61 million. Bad news, that was about 10% less than predicted. On the other hand, its running tally grew to $110.04 million, which is already more than original expectations. With incredible reviews and some Awards Season play, it should stick around for awhile longer eventually reaching more than $150 million.

Little Fockers should also reach $150 million overall, barely. It pulled in $13.49 million over the weekend for a total of $123.69 million, which is much weaker than its predecessor, while it will very likely end its run with the lowest domestic theatrical run in the franchise.

Season of the Witch surprised most analysts by grabbing third place with $10.61 million over its opening weekend. However, with almost no positive reviews is could disappear fast, meaning it will have to perform relatively better internationally to show a profit any time soon.

Tron: Legacy was right behind with $10.09 million over the weekend for a total of $147.21 million after four. It looks like it will peter out at just over $160 million, while it should top that internationally. It will still need to do well on the home market, but at least its path to profitability is clear.

Rounding out the top five was Black Swan with $8.11 million over the weekend. At this pace, $100 million is not out of the question, but it will need some Awards Season Bounce to help it out. Regardless, profitability is all but assured.

Country Strong expanded wide, or at least widish, but missed the top five with $7.33 million over the weekend and $7.46 million including its run in limited release. Its per theater average is pretty good at over $5000, but its reviews were not even close to good. If sees a sharp drop-off next weekend, it could lose a number of theaters the weekend after that.


Filed under: Weekend Box Office, Little Fockers, Tron: Legacy, Season of the Witch, True Grit, Black Swan, Country Strong