Glen Wilson/Universal Studios
Glen Wilson/Universal Studios
When all those relatives are in town for the holidays, it's good to go someplace where you don't have to talk to them for a couple hours. With the opening of two family-friendly movies (Little Fockers and Gulliver's Travels) and the eye-pleasing Tron, the theater was a smart choice for killing some time before the kids' Santa high wore off.
So which flick brought the most people out of the house and into movie seats?
It's good to be a Focker.
Ben Stiller and Robert De Niro teaming up for a third time had the most pull, giving Little Fockers the top spot with an estimated $34 million over the weekend, bringing its total since its Wednesday debut to $48 million. Fun for both adults and kids, Fockers seemed to be the film that the whole family could agree on even though the take was less than originally projected.
Still, Little Fockers is blowing every movie away, except when it comes to the previous film, Meet the Fockers, which brought in $46.1 million in its opening weekend. And for comparison's sake, the first movie in the franchise, Meet the Parents, made $28.6 million during its premiere weekend. Overall, the Focker films have grossed $850 million worldwide.
As for Tron: Legacy...well, it's not exactly the juggernaut Disney may have hoped. The expensive sci-fi flick grossed $20.1 million over the weekend, and the 54 percent drop is a bummer considering this time of year is supposed to be über-profitable for the box office. Now at $80 million total, surely Disney hoped Tron: Legacy would have much more staying power. However, internationally it brought it another $26.6 million for an overall gross of $153.8 million. Definitely not a disaster, but still not the numbers that the powers that be wanted.
Meanwhile, Jeff Bridges and True Grit had a stellar haul with $25.6 million over the weekend, and $36.8 million total since hitting theaters on Wednesday. The, well, gritty Western remake marks the best debut for writer-directors the Coen brothers, and promises to be a hit among both fans and critics over the holiday season.
Hoping for another adventure to Narnia? Audiences might get it, as The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader's $10.8 million weekend make its three-week total $64 million. Overseas, it's killing, nearing $140 million. Dawn Treader is not doing as well as its predecessor Prince Caspian, but well enough that we might be setting sail back to Narnia in the future.
The real hero of the holiday season? Harry Potter. Deathly Hallows has been the only flick to become an blockbuster hit since the official start of the holiday box office season, with its $3 million weekend gross equaling a $272 million total in North America and over $835 million internationally. 2010's holiday box office numbers are down compared to 2009, when a little film called Avatar, not to mention Alvin & the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel, and Sherlock Holmes each brought in over $48 million on the same weekend.
Which movie was the biggest bomb? (Well, besides How Do You Know, which dropped a whopping 51 percent and made only $3.7 million this past weekend.) The answer is Nutcracker 3D, which has grossed $193,603 (yes, you read that right) since opening Nov. 24. Three dimensions does not always a successful movie make.
It is important to take these numbers with a grain of Christmas cookie sprinkle, since Christmas Eve fell on Friday and Christmas on Saturday. Those important days of the week in the box office business were overshadowed by present-giving and carol-singing, so the box office results are a little skewed (read: low) in that regard.
Here's a complete look at the top-grossing films over the holiday weekend, per Friday-Sunday estimates compiled by Exhibitor Relations: