Weekend Box-Office: December 9-11, 2011

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!

1. New Year's Eve $13.7 M
2. The Sitter $10 M
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


Source: Box Office Mojo



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