Looks like there's life in those old Fockers yet. Despite widespread critical derision, the star power of De Niro, Stiller, Hoffman et al. was still potent enough to send 'Little Fockers' to the top of the box office heap over the holiday weekend with an estimated $34 million over three days and a cumulative $48.3 million five-day haul.
Released on Wednesday, the Universal comedy couldn't match the sizable $70 million bow that 'Meet the Parents' enjoyed over Christmas in 2000, but did manage to squeeze past the $46 million that its predecessor, 'Meet the Fockers,' scored in 2004.
It was Bridges versus Bridges to round out the top three, with Jeff Bridges' Oscar contender 'True Grit' (also released Wednesday) beating out Jeff Bridges' effects-laden 'Tron: Legacy' to claim the No. 2 spot with $36.8 million over five days. Pundits were predicting a runner-up position for Disney's 'Tron' thanks to its family-friendly fare, but the Coens' well-reviewed 'Grit' forced it down to No. 3 with a still-respectable $31.8 million five-day take.
By our count, that gives the Oscar-winning Bridges four current roles featured in the box office top three (a trio of which are in 'Tron'), which must be some kind of record.
As well as the unexpected gross, 'True Grit' also provides the Coen Brothers with their highest opening ever; its three-day total of $25.6 million easily outpaced the $19.4 that 'Burn After Reading' brought home in 2008.
To close out the top five, 'The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader' dipped only one place to No. 4 with a three-day boon of $10.8 million, proving that the family fantasy still has its sea legs. Less stable was Warner Bros.' 'Yogi Bear,' which fell three spots to No. 5, losing 46 percent of its business from last week to earn $8.8 million.
The weekend's other new release, 'Gulliver's Travels,' fell far short (pardon the pun) of expectations, debuting in seventh place with a paltry $7.2 million from 2,546 theaters after its Christmas Day debut.
Though 'Gulliver's' opened soft, it wasn't all bad news for its studio, 20th Century Fox, since Fox Searchlight's 'Black Swan' is still holding strong, slipping only one spot to eighth position and drawing an estimated $6.6 million from 1,456 theaters, adding up to $10.2 million across the five days for a total of $29 million cumulatively.
According to Variety, overall holiday box office was down 44 percent from last year, underperforming despite a Friday Christmas Eve that might have tempted last-minute shoppers into theaters.
(To avoid confusion: 'Grit' and 'Fockers' were released on Wednesday, hence the use of five day tallies above, while 'Gulliver's Travels' bowed Saturday. Official weekend box office results are usually measured over three days, from Friday to Sunday, as displayed below.)
The full top 10 (weekend totals):
1. 'Little Fockers,' $34 million (3,536 screens), new release
2. 'True Grit,' $25.6 million (3,047 screens), new release
3. 'Tron: Legacy,' $20.1 million (3,451 screens), $88.3 million total
4. 'The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader,' $10.8 million (3,350 screens), $64 million
5. 'Yogi Bear,' $8.8 million (3,515 screens), $36.8 million
6. 'The Fighter,' $8.5 million (2,511 screens), $27.5 million
7. 'Gulliver's Travels,' $7.2 million (2,546 screens), new release
8. 'Black Swan,' $6.6 million (1,466 screens), $29 million
9. 'Tangled,' $6.5 million (2,582 screens), $143.8 million
10. 'The Tourist,' $5.7 million (2,756 screens), $41.2 million