Sunday, January 9, 2011

Surprising Film Box Office Numbers

Readers know The Hourly G’s interest in the film biz—the weekend box office numbers came out, and they were quite surprising.

As of this writing, True Grit led the weekend numbers with $15 million, for a three week total of $110 million—the Coen brothers’ highest grossing picture of their career. The budget for TG was $38 million, so this is a flat-out success—which was unexpected: TG was supposed to be Oscar bait, not mainstream success.

Not so successful is the weekend’s second highest picture, Little Fockers. It grossed $13.7 million for the weekend, $123 million in three weeks. The third picture in the Ben Stiller/Robert DeNiro comedy franchise, at a negative cost of $100 million (the salaries is what killed the budget), these are not boffo BO numbers. Doubt that there’ll be a fourth installment in the franchise.

Ditto with Tron: Legacy—after a 28 year gestation, the new iteration had a $170 million price tag, and in four weeks it’s brought in $148 million domestic, with an additional $110 million outside the U.S. So there’ll be no more Trons.

Three indie pictures—the Darren Aronofsky-directed Natalie Portman come-back vehicle Black Swan, the Gwyneth Paltrow vehicle Country Strong, and the Mark Wahlberg/Christian Bale boxing drama The Fighter—did really well: $8.3 million, $7.3 million, and $7.0 million weekends, respectively, putting them all firmly in the black. This was especially important to David O. Russell, Fighter’s director, who was in movie jail for I ♥ Huckabees (2004), and his famed on-set meltdown: He’s now back in the game.

Overall, the weekend was down 29% from last year’s, when Avatar was riding high.


  1. Would love continued BO analysis as you go with THG.

  2. Man! I just love your Hourly G rants. So to the point. Keep 'em coming please. Many thanks.

  3. It snowed in Dallas today so I chose to stay home and watch the original True Grit instead of venturing out to see the remake, which I've been told is quite good. It had been quite a while since I last saw this film. So long in fact, I had forgotten that Robert Duvall played Ned Pepper. Nevertheless, I found the original as good as I remembered it to be and while Hollywood has certainly changed since 1969, John Wayne did an excellent job.

    I was a bit skeptical about the remake when I first heard of it, but the idea has grown on me and now I'm looking forward to seeing it. I've always likes movies with an edge (Pulp Fiction, Goodfellas) and I'm sure the Coen Brothers won't disappoint.

    BTW Gonzalo, I really like the Hourly G.


  4. Saw it a couple weeks ago.
    It's pretty good.
    Better than the Duke's version.
    FWLIW :)

  5. True Grit is probably a very good movie and western -- I haven't seen it. I think the only part that would be weak is the gun battle. Let's face it, watching John Wayne stroll out on his horse, him being bigger than the horse, and swing his classic 1892 Winchester with the large loop (which he did 30 years earlier in Stagecoach and which was copied by the Terminator) is heads and tails over Jeff Bridges playing cowboy.


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