Weekend Wrap-Up

New Year's Eve and The Sitter Both Open Ugly

By John Hamann

December 11, 2011

She just snuck onto the set. She wasn't even supposed to be in the movie.

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Finishing a soft second is The Sitter, with Jonah Hill in an R-rated version of Adventures in Babysitting. The Sitter earned $10 million this weekend from 2,750 venues, a venue count that leads me to think Fox had little faith in this one. No wonder – reviews weren't quite as bad as they were for New Year's Eve, but they still weren't all that good. Rotten Tomatoes counted only 65 reviews, of which 15 were positive, leaving this one at 23% fresh. High points amongst the critics were Jonah Hill and an out of place Sam Rockwell, but not much else. Director David Gordon Green was slammed for giving us this mess after unleashing Your Highness on us early this year.

Jonah Hill should get a pass for The Sitter, as he has been in some very good films as of late. He was good in two successful animated films, Megamind and How to Train Your Dragon; the small arthouse comedy Cyrus; the wider comedy Get Him to the Greek; and Moneyball, for which he deserves a Supporting Actor nomination. Next up for Jonah Hill is 21 Jump Street, with Channing Tatum, Ice Cube and Johnny Depp; and is filming Neighborhood Watch, a comedy with Ben Stiller and Vince Vaughn, which is written by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg.

Third place unfortunately goes to The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1, as the kid's flicks behind it are for some reason not finding a lot of traction. Breaking Dawn earns $7.9 million in its fourth weekend and drops 52%. The Twilight Saga: New Moon earned $8 million in weekend four, as it fell 48%. New Moon had $267 million after weekend four, while Breaking Dawn is lagging with $259.5 million. The overseas total has now crossed the $350 million mark.


Fourth spot goes to The Muppets, a film I thought would bounce back strongly after losing 62% of its Thanksgiving weekend haul in the last frame. Instead, the race just gets tighter between The Muppets, Hugo and Arthur Christmas, as Jim Henson's crew earned only $7.1 million and dropped 36%. This is a pretty good recovery, but I thought it might be even better. Regardless, The Muppets cost Disney only $45 million to make, and has a gross so far of $65.8 million.

Much like last weekend, Arthur Christmas stays neck and neck with Hugo as it takes the fifth place spot. In its third frame, Arthur Christmas earned $6.6 million and fell 11% compared to last weekend. Unlike The Muppets and Hugo, Arthur Christmas is benefiting from its title now, and could outpace the other two next weekend. Made by Aardman and Sony for about $100 million, Arthur Christmas has earned $33.5 million so far domestically, and another $45 million plus overseas.

Hugo, a film I had the pleasure of seeing last weekend, is our sixth place finisher. Now out to 2,608 venues (up from 1,840 last weekend), Hugo held fairly well, pulling in $6.1 million. It dropped 19% after dropping 34% in its previous frame. While a decent weekend, a film like this needs to be seen by more people. Rich, beautiful and funny, Hugo is that rare family film where there is something for everyone, and Scorsese’s Paris in 3D is simply amazing. Like The Muppets, I'm wondering why this one isn't doing even better this holiday season. Golden Globe nominations are coming next week, so hopefully Hugo gets some attention out of that. For now, Scorsese’s $150 million masterpiece has earned $33.5 million stateside.

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