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Celebrate the New Year with Holdovers

December 30th, 2010

The New Year's weekend normally has no wide releases, and that's the case this year. This means last weekend's three big hits will finish one-two-three this weekend, although they could finish in a different order. Meanwhile, all three combined might not make as much as Avatar earned this time last year, meaning 2010 will end and 2011 will begin on a sour note.

So far, Little Fockers has earned $69 million after just eight days of release, and has topped the chart every day of its release. However, that's close to $40 million behind Meet the Fockers's pace from 2004 and with reviews that are much, much weaker, it could collapse over the weekend, at least compared to the other films. Fortunately, there are no new releases and it still has the best chance at top spot with about $26 million, which is about 20% lower than its opening weekend. Normally a 20% drop-off would be considered a strong showing; however, when Christmas Eve falls on a Friday, films usually show growth over New Year's.

True Grit has been battling with Tron: Legacy for second spot all week, but this weekend it will take a shot at the top, also with $26 million. That would put the film in a virtual tie for first place, while lifting its running tally to $88 million, which is more than any other Coen Brothers' film has earned.

After taking a beating from the Fanboy effect, Tron: Legacy should bounce back this weekend. The last time Christmas Eve fell on a Friday was back in 2004 and most of the films in the top ten earned double-digit increases the following weekend. Lemony Snicket, which is the film most analogous to Tron: Legacy, rose by 15%. If Tron can match that performance, it will earn third place with $22 million, but it could also take a stab at first place with $25 million, or slip further with $15 million. There's a lot of uncertainty here.

This weekend could represent the last chance for Voyage of the Dawn Treader to secure $100 million. It will need to bounce back from last weekend when it earned just under $10 million. Its per theater average is so low that if it slips any more, theater owners will be itching to drop it as soon as the new releases to come out next weekend. Fortunately for the studio, this is likely and it should finish in fourth place with between $11 million and $12 million. Unfortunately, that will likely not be enough to continue the franchise for another installment, unless international earnings end up significantly higher.

Finally, there should be a battle for fifth place between The Fighter and Yogi Bear 3D, as each should bring in between $9 million and $10 million. For the former, that will be enough to lift its running tally past $45 million, which is enough to be a solid mid-level hit. For the latter, it will push its total to $62 million, but it likely cost a lot more than that to make.


Filed under: Weekend Preview, Little Fockers, The Fighter, Tron: Legacy, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, Yogi Bear, True Grit