What "True Grit" has in common with "The Blind Side"

Sun Jan 9, 2011 10:26pm EST
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By Pamela McClintock

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - After a slow start, the Coen brothers' Oscar contender is gaining traction at the box office.

"True Grit" and last year's hit "The Blind Side," which earned Sandra Bullock a best actress Oscar, make for unlikely bedfellows, but they share a common attribute -- they started off slow before turning into steady box-office campfires.

Both films didn't come in No. 1 at the box office until their third frame, an unusual feat.

Over the weekend, Paramount and Skydance Productions' "True Grit" bumped Universal's "Little Fockers" from the top spot at the domestic box office, grossing an estimated $15 million from 3,124 theaters.

"True Grit's" cumulative ticket sales through Sunday were $110.4 million, making it one of the top-grossing western movies of all time, and there's no sign of it slowing down.

Clint Eastwood's 1992 Oscar winner "Unforgiven" grossed $101.2 million. The top Western is "Dances With Wolves," which grossed roughly $184 million domestically.

But those aren't the statistics that Paramount is focusing on at the moment.

Rather, it's that more and more young people are coming to see "True Grit," directed by the Coen brothers. Just as key, the film's reach has extended beyond the biggest cities to other markets.   Continued...