Warner Bros.

A year ago, The Tourist was on its way to a Ricky Gervais skewering with an opening that was derided as "dismal."

Oh, for such lofty compliments today.

At this weekend's box office, New Year's Eve and The Sitter opened—and came nowhere near Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie's "bomb."   

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, 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:

  1. New Year's Eve, $13.7 million
  2. The Sitter, $10 million
  3. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn: Part 1, $7.9 million
  4. The Muppets, $7.1 million
  5. Arthur Christmas, $6.6 million
  6. Hugo, $6.1 million
  7. The Descendants, $4.4 million
  8. Happy Feet Two, $3.8 million
  9. Jack and Jill, $3.2 million
  10. Immortals, $2.4 million
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