"True Grit" wrangles top spot at box offices
By Bob Tourtellotte
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Western "True Grit" wrangled the top spot at North American box offices over the weekend, beating last week's champ "Little Fockers" in a typically slow period for movie theaters after the New Year's holiday.
The remake of the 1969 John Wayne movie about a teenage girl who hires a drunken U.S. marshal to search for her dead daddy's killer, took in $15 million for the three days ended on Sunday, according to studio estimates.
Total ticket sales for "True Grit" now stand at more than $110 million in three weekends, which could help its chances as it competes for Oscars, the world's top film honors whose nominations will be handed out later this month. Oscar voters typically like to see solid ticket sales for nominated movies.
"Little Fockers," a comedy with no awards ambition but a heavyweight cast including Robert De Niro, Barbra Streisand and Ben Stiller, slipped to No. 2 after two weeks atop box office charts. Its total ticket sales now stand at $124 million.
The only new, wide-release movie, fantasy "Season of the Witch" starring Nicolas Cage, landed in theaters with a thud, earning poor reviews, a low $10.7 million in ticket sales and only the No. 3 spot on box office charts.
Generally speaking, January is a slow month for movies as people stay home after weeks of holiday shopping, and the month's first weekend held true to that notion.
The top 12 films in U.S. and Canadian theaters took in just over $100 million compared with $148 million on the same weekend one year ago when mega-hit "Avatar" was still raking in cash at theaters, according to Hollywood.com Box Office.
Rounding out the top five movies were sci-fi fantasy "Tron: Legacy" with $9.8 million to land at No. 4, and just behind was ballet drama, "Black Swan," which like "True Grit" hopes to compete for Oscars in Hollywood's current awards season. Continued...