I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas break! I had an amazing time with my family and now I’m going to start getting my sites all updated.
The Fockers are still the king of the busy holiday box office as “Little Fockers” had a pretty good start, but the Coen brothers’ “True Grit” was surprisingly close on their heels. Meanwhile, Jack Black’s “Gulliver’s Travels” barely got off the starting line.
“Little Fockers” opened to a studio-estimated $48.3 million from its Wednesday opening through Sunday, not bad but well behind the $70.5-million launch of its predecessor, “Meet the Fockers,” on the same dates in 2004.
Though the opening of the PG-13 family comedy starring Ben Stiller and Robert De Niro was softer than expected based on pre-release surveys going into the weekend, “True Grit” topped expectations. The western remake starring Jeff Bridges and Matt Damon and directed by Joel and Ethan Coen took in $36.8 million over the five days
The only other new movie in nationwide release was the Jack Black comedy “Gulliver’s Travels,” a 3-D adaptation of the classic Jonathan Swift story. It debuted Saturday, Christmas Day, and took in a weak estimated $7.2 million for the two-day weekend.
Universal Pictures, Paramount Pictures and Relativity Media spent a hefty sum to produce “Little Fockers,” with its array of stars, including Dustin Hoffman, Barbra Streisand and Jessica Alba. Three people close to the film said its budget was between $130 million and $140 million, though a spokeswoman for domestic distributor Universal said the final cost was about $100 million.
Day-to-day trends in ticket sales, including a big dip on Christmas Eve and a huge jump on Christmas Day, were similar to those of “Meet the Fockers,” indicating that the film was following a pattern similar to the last film in the trilogy but on a smaller scale. If it continues on the same path, it should end up with a domestic gross of about $190 million, compared with $279 million for “Meet the Fockers.”
That’s a solid number but less than what Universal and its partners were hoping for. The three companies are evenly splitting revenues from the picture.
“Little Fockers” drew a diverse crowd of families without young children, based on exit polls, though audiences tilted more female. Reactions were mixed, with ticket buyers giving it an average grade of B-, according to market research firm CinemaScore.
Overseas, where Paramount is releasing the movie, “Little Fockers” took in $27 million in 37 foreign markets, which Paramount estimated represented about two-thirds of its foreign box-office potential. “Meet the Fockers” grossed slightly less internationally than domestically, and it appears that “Little Fockers” will do the same.