It's a new year at the box office, but the specter of 2010 hangs heavily over the first weekend session of 2011: Beyond the extremely limited releases of "Another Year" and "Blue Valentine," this past weekend saw a complete dearth of new movies in theaters nationwide, leaving old competitors to slog it out for supremacy.
"Little Fockers" won the top spot for a second straight week — $26.3 million take giving Ben Stiller and Robert De Niro's comedy sequel a total gate of $103.2 million since landing in theaters two weeks ago. While many studios would look at that number as a decisive success, it's a trickier story with "Fockers," as the film's immediate predecessor, "Meet the Fockers," had earned $162.5 million across the same dates in 2004. The comedy franchise apparently doesn't carry the same weight it once did.
Despite landing in second place, "True Grit" was once again the real box-office winner with a $24.5 million weekend haul. After bringing in $86.8 million in 12 days, the Coen brothers' latest flick is officially their biggest one yet, surpassing the $74.3 million earned by their Oscar-winning "No Country for Old Men" in 2008. Box Office Mojo describes "True Grit" as "the most attended Western drama since 'Tombstone' from Christmas 1993," which is one heck of an accomplishment and a deserved one, too, thanks to the film's expert directing and brilliant performances from Jeff Bridges, Hailee Steinfeld and others.
Bridges continues to hold a wide-ranging presence at the box office as "Tron: Legacy" remained a top performer, hanging on to third place after three weekends in theaters. But with only $196.4 million earned worldwide since its initial debut, Disney's decision to resurrect the cult sci-fi franchise remains questionable. "Yogi Bear" and "The Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader" round out the top five at $13 million and $10.5 million takes, respectively.
New releases "Blue Valentine" and "Another Year" played at a mere 10 locations between the two of them, resulting in a combined box-office total of $451,000. "Blue Valentine" secured the weekend's highest per-screen average at $45,000 a pop.
The Box-Office Top Five
#1 "Little Fockers" ($26.3 million)
#2 "True Grit" ($24.5 million)
#3 "Tron Legacy" ($18.3 million)
#4 "Yogi Bear" ($13 million)
#5 "The Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader" ($10.5 million)
Gwyneth Paltrow's "Country Strong" and Jim Carrey's "I Love You, Phillip Morris" enter wide expansion next week, while Nicolas Cage's "Season of the Witch" cuts its way into the new year.
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