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Weekend Box-Office: December 9-11, 2011

Dec. 11, 2011by: Dave Davis

All is quiet on New Year's Eve...

It might have worked for VALENTINE'S DAY, but tossing a different bunch of attractive actors (and Sarah Jessica Parker) into new romantic encounters didn't achieve the same success for director Garry Marshall's spiritual sequel NEW YEAR'S EVE. The holiday-themed romcom opened with just $13.7 million, about half of what I expected and just a quarter of the VALENTINE'S DAY opening. The movie will probably be a distant memory when the actual holiday arrives. If Warner Bros. had more days they were hoping to pluck off the calendar for further ensemble romcom concepts, don't expect to see them any time before the Mayan doomsday prophecy manifests.

Things also didn't turn out too well for Jonah Hill's first solo adventure (in babysitting). Seems like Fox chopped and dropped the 81-minute R-rated comedy THE SITTER in the hopes of being effective counterprogramming to all the romance and family offerings, but nobody was too interested judging from the movie's $10M debut. Let's hope director David Gordon Green (PINEAPPLE EXPRESS, GEORGE WASHINGTON, "Eastbound and Down") gets his groove back.

It was a slow weekend on the whole, one of the lowest points of the year. THE TWILIGHT SAGA: BREAKING DAWN (PART 1) led the pack of leftovers with another $7.9M, and THE MUPPETS managed to stay not too far behind with $7M. But despite opening in another 750+ locations, Martin Scorsese's HUGO couldn't crack the top 5 with $6.1M, kept back by ARTHUR CHRISTMAS' $6.6M haul. For a pair of well-reviewed 3D family movies both in their third week, their mere $33M totals help illustrate how the box office is sputtering.

George Clooney's drama THE DESCENDANTS is in its widest release yet (876 theaters) but still couldn't reach the top half of the list with $4.8M. It should be noted, however, that it had the highest per-screen average in the entire Top 10, and will probably keep doing steady business as the awards chatter continues.

Outside the Top 10, TOWER HEIST and PUSS IN BOOTS make their exit while MY WEEK WITH MARILYN keeps strolling along in limited release, now up to $5.1M on just 244 screens. The Jason Reitman/Diablo Cody reunion YOUNG ADULT made an impression on just 8 screens (it goes wide next week) as did the Brit spy thriller TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY at only 4 theaters (it's already made $22M overseas).

Next weekend brings out some of the big guns when Robert Downey Jr. returns as the famed sleuth in SHERLOCK HOLMES: A GAME OF SHADOWS. His main competition (besides the aforementioned YOUNG ADULT) will be the third outing of high-pitched critters in ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS: CHIPWRECKED (poor Jason Lee...). And if you're fortunate enough to be near an IMAX screen, you can check out MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE - GHOST PROTOCOL a week before its wide release. Do you intend to check out SHERLOCK on opening weekend? VOTE HERE!

# MOVIE TITLE WKND $ TOTAL $
1. New Year's Eve $13.7 M
NEW
2. The Sitter $10 M
NEW
3. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn (Part 1) $7.9 M $259.5 M
4. The Muppets $7 M $65.8 M
5. Arthur Christmas $6.6 M $33.4 M
6. Hugo $6.1 M $33.4 M
7. The Descendants $4.8 M $23.6 M
8. Happy Feet 2 $3.7 M $56.8 M
9. Jack and Jill $3.2 M $68.6 M
10. Immortals $2.4 M $79.8 M

ACCESS BOX-OFFICE ARCHIVES HERE

Source: Box Office Mojo

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12:05AM on 12/12/2011
WHY IS NO ONE CALLING HUGO A BOMB???
WHY IS NO ONE CALLING HUGO A BOMB???
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12:20AM on 12/12/2011
because no one was expecting it to be a hit anyways, no matter if it's Scorcese
because no one was expecting it to be a hit anyways, no matter if it's Scorcese
9:21AM on 12/12/2011
yeah, i mean, who even really heard about it before a couple weeks ago?
yeah, i mean, who even really heard about it before a couple weeks ago?
8:42PM on 12/11/2011

If David Gordon Green "gets his groove back"

By which I'm assuming you mean as "gets back to great indie movies like Snow Angels" he'd be lucky to make the $10 mil The Sitter just made in its opening weekend did in said small indie movie's entire run. It's sad but it's true. Those super small movies just don't make that much money.
By which I'm assuming you mean as "gets back to great indie movies like Snow Angels" he'd be lucky to make the $10 mil The Sitter just made in its opening weekend did in said small indie movie's entire run. It's sad but it's true. Those super small movies just don't make that much money.
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8:40PM on 12/11/2011
WOW very weak numbers this weekend but thats a good thing & so glad New Year's Eve tanked. Now bring on the real movies of December we have all waited for.
WOW very weak numbers this weekend but thats a good thing & so glad New Year's Eve tanked. Now bring on the real movies of December we have all waited for.
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6:43PM on 12/11/2011
Good for Muppets :) still going strong!
Good for Muppets :) still going strong!
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+29
4:32PM on 12/11/2011
Poor Jason Lee?? I'm sure he's making more money than all of us combined & is set for life with those Chipmunk movies. Sad but true.
Poor Jason Lee?? I'm sure he's making more money than all of us combined & is set for life with those Chipmunk movies. Sad but true.
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+10
4:27PM on 12/11/2011
New Year's Eve tanked, I still have hope for the World! With all the poorly received films opening, why not just give Tinker Tailer Soldier Spy a wide release? It's got a good cast, good reviews, and has opened overseas already. What is the point of a limited release at this time?
New Year's Eve tanked, I still have hope for the World! With all the poorly received films opening, why not just give Tinker Tailer Soldier Spy a wide release? It's got a good cast, good reviews, and has opened overseas already. What is the point of a limited release at this time?
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6:01PM on 12/11/2011
Look at the numbers Twilight made and think again :(
Look at the numbers Twilight made and think again :(
4:06PM on 12/11/2011
Sherlock Holmes 2 already has my ten dollars. Looks great and if it's half as good as the first, we are in for a real treat.
Sherlock Holmes 2 already has my ten dollars. Looks great and if it's half as good as the first, we are in for a real treat.
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4:00PM on 12/11/2011
I'm pretty sure everyone is waiting and saving their money for next week. BTW, how could you fail to mention MI: Ghost Protocol???
I'm pretty sure everyone is waiting and saving their money for next week. BTW, how could you fail to mention MI: Ghost Protocol???
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4:05PM on 12/11/2011
Because it doesn't come out until December 21st. So no need to mention it JUST yet.
Because it doesn't come out until December 21st. So no need to mention it JUST yet.
4:09PM on 12/11/2011
Really??? I could've sworn it was the 16th.
Really??? I could've sworn it was the 16th.
4:27PM on 12/11/2011
MI4 does come out on the 16th for IMAX screenings.
MI4 does come out on the 16th for IMAX screenings.
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