Weekend Wrap-Up

No Strings Dominates Quiet Box Office

By John Hamann

January 23, 2011

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Ron Howard's The Dilemma finishes third and also has a rough ride downwards. The Vince Vaughn/Kevin James flick earned $9.7 million this weekend, after opening to a disappointing $17.8 million last weekend. The Dilemma fell 45%, which isn’t good news for a comedy, R-rated or not. It also doesn’t help that The Dilemma cost Universal $70 million to make, a number that is a long way off for this one, at least in terms of domestic box office. Give The Dilemma $33.4 million so far.

Awards contenders take up a beautiful portion of the top ten, as we can see from our next two finishers, both audience pleasers. The King’s Speech takes fourth place. After a $9.2 million weekend in the last frame, the British dramedy earned the same amount this weekend, holding steady with no drop. This result can likely be attributed to Colin Firth's win at the Globes. The Weinstein product has now earned $58.6 million.

True Grit finished fifth as it earned $8 million over its fifth weekend. It was off a larger-than-expected 27%, but will recover after Oscar nominations are announced on January 25th. The Coen Brothers flick has now earned an amazing $138.6 million, by far their biggest yet, and a slew of Oscar nominations on Monday will keep the show going. I love both The King's Speech and True Grit, as they are both good and cost efficient ($38 million to produce True Grit, $15 million to produce The King’s Speech). Let the battle for Oscar begin.

Sixth goes to the other Natalie Portman starrer in the top ten, Black Swan, which has been a wide release for six weekends now, and top ten film for seven weekends. Thanks to Portman's Golden Globe win, the streak continues, with Black Swan earning another $6.2 million. It was off 26%. I’m getting tired of guessing where this one is going to end up, as I’ve been wrong a number of times. If anyone had guessed that a ballet movie was going to earn $83.6 million so far, I would have laughed, and if they told me it was going to approach $100 million, I would have worried about their sanity. Now, with Oscar noms just around the corner, the $13 million thriller could just make it to the top of the hill, and it still has overseas grosses to come.


Seventh goes to The Fighter, another Golden Globe winner, this time to Christian Bale and Melissa Leo in the supporting actor categories. The Fighter earned $4.5 million this weekend, and was off a slim 11% compared to last weekend. This is another small budget winner, as The Fighter cost Paramount $25 million to make, and has now earned $73 million.

Little Fockers is eighth this weekend, as this one can’t slide out of the top ten fast enough (even Robert DeNiro had a few things to say about it at the Globes). Fockers earned $4.4 million this weekend, and was off 39%. It has earned $141.2 million so far.

Ninth is Yogi Bear, likely spending its last weekend in the top ten. Proving that zero thought can go into a film, Yogi has spent six weekends in the top ten. This weekend, the cartoon bear earned $4.1 million and was off 24%. The $80 million Warner Bros. cash grab has now earned $88.9 million.

Tron Legacy slips to the bottom of the top ten. The Great Disappointment earned $3.7 million this weekend, and was off 35%. It has a cume of $163.3 million.

Overall this weekend, the box office still pales in comparison with what was going on last year, when Avatar was rolling. This year, the top 12 films earned $98.2 million, where last year the top 12 brought in $128 million. Next weekend brings two popcorn flicks to the screen in The Mechanic and The Rite, but neither will likely earn more than $20 million.

Top Weekend Box Office for 1/21/11-1/23/11 (Actuals)
Rank Film Distributor Estimated Gross Actual Gross Weekly Change Running Total
1 No Strings Attached Paramount $20,300,000 $19,652,921 - 3.2% $19,652,921
2 The Green Hornet Columbia Pictures (Sony) $18,100,000 $17,677,565 - 2.3% $63,018,808
3 The Dilemma Universal $9,726,615 $9,108,890 - 6.4% $32,746,225
4 The King's Speech The Weinstein Company $9,164,299 $7,854,910 - 14.3% $57,313,881
5 True Grit Paramount Pictures $8,000,000 $7,330,092 - 8.4% $137,963,519
6 Black Swan Universal $6,200,000 $5,869,744 - 5.3% $83,250,375
7 Little Fockers Universal Pictures $4,394,025 $4,320,090 - 1.7% $141,111,705
8 The Fighter Paramount $4,515,000 $4,164,504 - 7.8% $72,680,740
9 Yogi Bear $4,060,000 $3,819,395 - 5.9% $88,649,598
10 TRON: Legacy Walt Disney Pictures $3,708,000 $3,647,121 - 1.6% $163,206,611
11 Tangled Walt Disney Pictures $3,006,000 $3,081,926 + 2.5% $186,356,425
12 Season of the Witch Lionsgate $2,186,000 $2,297,299 + 5.1% $22,189,331
  Also Opening/Notables
  Season of the Witch Lionsgate $2,186,000 $2,297,299 + 5.1% $22,189,331
  The Way Back Newmarket Film Group $1,465,158 $1,208,196 - 17.5% $1,208,196
  The Company Men The Weinstein Company $767,328 $647,797 - 15.6% $690,934
  Dhobi Ghat (mumbia Diaries) Utv N/A $365,297 New $365,297
  The Heart Specialist Freestyle $220,187 $251,509 New $922,637
  Barney's Version Sony Classics $160,840 $143,010 New $285,213
  Blue Valentine The Weinstein Company $938,323 $877,815 - 6.4% $4,460,022
  Another Year Sony Pictures Classics $227,864 $208,366 - 8.6% $714,387
  Country Strong Sony/Columbia $2,200,000 $2,082,688 - 5.3% $16,845,052
  Somewhere Focus $202,324 $203,401 New $1,306,896
Click here for all weekend data
Box office data supplied by Exhibitor Relations
Continued:       1       2



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