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A Lump of Coal at U.S. Box Office

Christmas 2010 brought a big lump of U.S. box office coal, with attendance down 44% from last year, the culmination of 7 straight weekend declines compared to 2009. Bad weather and a Friday-night Christmas eve may have played a part, though the lackluster performance of most films just might reflect movie-watcher displeasure with the current slate of films.

Christmas 2010 brought a big lump of U.S. box office coal, with attendance down 44% from last year, the culmination of 7 straight weekend declines compared to 2009.  Bad weather and a Friday-night Christmas eve may have played a part, though the lackluster performance of most films just might reflect movie-watcher displeasure with the current slate of films.

The widely anticipated Meet the Fockers sequel, Little Fockers, brought in an estimated $34 million for a 5-day opening of $48.3 million.  That is a rather large drop from the $46.1 million / $70.5 million 3 and 5-day openings for the 2004 film.

Coming in second was the Coen brothers’ latest effort, True Grit.  Starring Jeff Bridges in the role immortalized by John Wayne, the film posted the best opening gross ever for a western, taking in $25.6 million for a 5-day total of $36.8 million. The film, with visual effects by Luma Pictures, is the Coen brothers’ biggest film opening ever.

The other main nationwide release, Fox’s Gulliver’s Travels, opened poorly with an estimated $7.2 million take and a seventh place spot.  The latest version of the famous Jonathan Swift tale stars Jack Black and features vfx from Weta, Scanline, Hydraulx, Method Studios, Pixel Playground, GEON and Tata.    

Disney's TRON: LEGACY dropped 54% to third place with $20.1 million. The long awaited sequel, with visual effects provided by Digital Domain, Mr. X and Prime Focus, has a 10-day total of $88.3 million.

Fox-Walden's THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: THE VOYAGE OF THE DAWN TREADER picked up another $10.8 million, a decline of only 12.8% from last week.  With vfx from 4DMax, Cinesite, Framestore, Fugitive Studios, Mark Roberts Motion Control, Matte Painting UK, The Moving Picture Company (MPC), Prime Focus Film, The Senate Visual Effects, Spectrum Effects and The Third Floor, the third in the series has grossed $63.9 million to date.

YOGI BEAR’s picnic basket appears to be emptying rather quickly, with a 46% decline and an $8.8 million weekend take and 10-day cume of $36.8 million.  Rhythm & Hues, Entity FX and NeoReel provided the visual effects.

Paramount's THE FIGHTER collected $8.5 million, a loss of 30% from last week. With visual effects from Comen VFX, the true-life boxing flick has earned $27.6 million thus far.

Fox Searchlight's BLACK SWAN expanded its release but saw a 21% decrease for a $6.6 million take.  With vfx from Look Effects, the psychological thriller has collected $29 million so far in its 24-day run.

In ninth, Disney's TANGLED snared an additional $6.5 million. The animated hit has earned $143.8 million.

Box office numbers were obtained on boxofficemojo.com.

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