Fockers, True Grit lead soft new year box office

Sun Jan 2, 2011 10:52pm EST
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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The commercially underwhelming comedy "Little Fockers" narrowly held its lead at the North American box office during the holiday weekend, as Hollywood's prolonged slump spilled over into the new year.

According to studio estimates issued on Sunday, "Little Fockers" earned $26.3 million in the three days beginning December 31, followed by "True Grit" with $24.5 million and "Tron: Legacy" with $18.3 million. The movies, all either sequels or remakes, were unchanged in rank from last weekend.

"Little Fockers," the third entry in the dueling in-laws franchise starring Ben Stiller and Robert De Niro, has earned $103.2 million after 12 days. Its predecessor, "Meet the Fockers," released exactly six years earlier, had pulled in almost $163 million after the same period.

The Jeff Bridges Western remake "True Grit," one of the few hits of the holiday season, has earned $86.8 million after 12 days. But with a $38 million budget, the Coen brothers' drama cost about one-third of "Little Fockers" and is expected to hold up well as awards season plays out.

Internationally, "Little Fockers" earned $22.5 million, taking its total to $72 million. It ranked No. 3 overseas behind the domestic dud "Gulliver's Travels" and "Tron: Legacy," which each earned about $24 million over the weekend.

Overall sales in North America fell for the eighth consecutive weekend compared with the year-ago period, when business was driven by such hits as "Avatar" and "The Blind Side."


The weak performance brought the curtain down on a disappointing year for Hollywood, when higher prices for 3D movies failed to offset a decline in attendance.

The number of tickets sold in 2010 slid about 5.4 percent from 2009, according to box office analysts at It marked the biggest percentage drop since 2005 when attendance tumbled 8.1 percent.   Continued...

<p>Cast members (L-R) Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson, and Dustin Hoffman arrive at the premiere of the movie "Little Fockers" in New York December 15, 2010. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson</p>