Oh, for such lofty compliments today.
Overall business was lousy. Ticket sales were down about 6 percent from last weekend, which was no great shakes itself, and down nearly 20 percent from the same, much-maligned Tourist weekend from last year.
The all-star ensemble comedy New Year's Eve led the way, as it were, with an estimated Friday-Sunday take of $13.7 million, a total that was a long, long, long way from the $56 million that director Garry Marshall's like-themed Valentine's Day opened with last year.
The Jonah Hill comedy The Sitter did even worse, albeit on a smaller budget than New Year's Eve's, with a $10 million debut.
The lone bright spots came from a handful of Oscar-y films in limited release, including Charlize Therons Young Adult ($320,000 at eight theaters) and Tilda Swinton's We Need to Talk About Kevin ($24,000 at one theater). The Artist moved up to 16 screens, where it grossed a solid $292,130, BoxOffice.com reported.
Breaking Dawn Part 1, which had reigned for three weekends, fell to third place, but, at the same time, moved up to third place among the year's box-office champs. Domestically, the fourth Twilight film is at just under $260 million overall.
Ben Stiller and Eddie Murphy's Tower Heist exited the Top 10 after a five-weekend stay, and a so-so $70.6 million domestic run. Puss in Boots also was out, after six weekends and a $142 million domestic take that just wasn't Shrek enough.
Last December, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader and The Tourist topped the box office with grosses of $24 million and $16.5 million, respectively. No matter what Gervais cracked, both films ended up making money.
New Year's Eve and The Sitter should be so dismal.
Here's a complete look at the weekend's top movies, as compiled from the studios' Friday-Sunday domestic estimates and Exhibitor Relations' reporting: