There’s good news for smarmy cynics and picky purists – the studio fluff predicted to tear the box office in two over the Christmas weekend hasn’t. The abysmal Frankenstienien effort “Little Fockers”, though headed towards profit, looks to have put a much welcome focking stop to that tired franchise. In addition, the unappealing “Gulliver’s Travels” with it’s second-rate 3D afterthought and only meekly amusing lead has shot straight to the… bottom of the charts. Industry is blaming bad buzz on both films (see, even ‘common folk’ read the internet!). On the other end of the scale, the Coen Bros’ top-rate “True Grit”, starring Jeff Bridges in the ol’ John Wayne role, did great business, while other quality productions like “Black Swan” and “The Fighter” also doing respectable business – considering they’re only playing in a limited number of cinemas. “True Grit”, pocketing $36M on just 3047 screens (as opposed to “Fockers” 3536), is Jeff Bridges’ biggest hit in over ten years.
The studio had predicted “Little Fockers” would make at least $60 million over its first week of release – it made just $48M. By comparison, 2004’s “Meet the Fockers” made around $70m.
“Gulliver’s Travels”, starring Jack Black and Emily Blunt, as well as “Yogi Bear”, “How do You Know?” and “The Tourist” are all considered duds. “Travels”, a Fox release, opened at number 7 and has barely made over $7m.
Still doing respectable business are “Tangled” ($143 m), “TRON Legacy” ($88m), and “Chronicles of Narnia” ($63 m).
Highly-marketed sequels and gimmicky 3D fluff flopping at the box office? I think it’s clear that even audiences are sick of being fed crap. I think it’s also clear that they are reading what the critics and online buzz is leading up to the release of these films. It’s also likely that the audiences have just been burnt one time too many by these types of popcorn piss. It’ll be an interesting year ahead – will we see audiences return in droves to quality critically-acclaimed films with a ‘plot’? Might the big studios see red again when some of their other big hacky hopefuls go thump!? Hopefully. May mean we will start seeing better movies.
You can view the top ten box office chart here