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Box Office Breakdown: Coen Brothers Show True Grit

True Grit

Their film didn't top the box office, nor did it have the best per screen average -- but Joel and Ethan Coen still have reason to smile.

, a two-time second-place finisher, has now grossed $86.7 million domestically -- a new record for the writing/directing duo. The Western, which added another $24.4 million to its total this past weekend, has officially surpassed the Coen brothers' previous record. (No Country for Old Men, released in 2007, raised $74.3 million.)

The only other notable item in the Top Ten this week was . The critically-acclaimed film replaced The Tourist in the tenth-place spot and averaged $11,108 per theater.

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Box Office Breakdown: Big Win for Little Fockers

Little Fockers

A lack of a clear plot apparently meant very little to theatergoers this past weekend.

Little Fockers, which added another $30.8 million in ticket sales ($45.1 million since Wednesday) to the Fockers series, finished in first place after the holiday frame. Although the Ben Stiller/Robert De Niro production failed to top Meet the Fockers’ debut in 2004 ($46.1 million), the comedy did bring in more than the 2000 original. (Meet the Parents opened to $28.6 million.)

Meanwhile, the Jeff Bridges from the past found himself passing the Jeff Bridges from the future. True Grit, costarring Matt Damon and Hailee Steinfeld, roped in $24.9 million – the best number for the Coen brothers to date – and second place. The Western wound up landing just one notch above Tron, Bridges’ current sci-fi entry.

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In Theaters This Weekend: December 17, 2010


Here are a few selections in theaters this weekend:

  • Black Swan** (R): starring Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis, Vincent Cassel (directed by Darren Aronofsky)
  • The Fighter** (R): starring Christian Bale, Mark Wahlberg, Amy Adams (directed by David O. Russell)
  • How Do You Know (PG-13): starring Reese Witherspoon, Jack Nicholson, Paul Rudd (directed by James L. Brooks, )
  • TRON: Legacy (PG): starring Jeff Bridges, Garrett Hedlund, Olivia Wilde (directed by Joseph Kosinski)
  • Yogi Bear (PG): starring Dan Aykroyd, Justin Timberlake, Tom Cavanagh (directed by Eric Brevig)

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First Look: Timberlake, Kunis Get Enjoy Friendly Benefits in New Movie

Have no interest in watching that Captain America movie next July 22? Well, then this might be the type of couterprogramming you need.

In Friends with Benefits, Justin Timberlake steps far way from The Social Network to get (quite) social with Mila Kunis in bed.

Can the Forgetting Sarah Marshall actress make Justin forget all about Jessica Biel? Watch the trailer and let us know what you think about their chemistry!

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Box Office Breakdown: Megamind Opens Large with $46 Million

Megamind

Will Ferrell, Zach Galifianakis and Tyler Perry contributed to one of the largest November weekends in box office history.

– starring Ferrell, Tina Fey and Brad Pitt – topped the competition this weekend with a $46 million take. The animated comedy opened bigger than How to Train Your Dragon – another Paramount/Dreamworks collaboration – did in March ($43.7 million), but smaller than Despicable Me ($56.4 million) did in July.

Todd Phillips’ , featuring Galifianakis and Robert Downey Jr., also had an impressive open despite landing into second place. The movie, which grossed $32.7 million, had the largest premiere for any R-rated flick in November. (The movie bested the record set by Borat’s $26.4 million in 2006.) The film, though, fell behind The Hangover’s $45 million open in 2009.

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Box Office Breakdown: Saw Franchise Ends with a Win

Saw 3D

The Saw franchise, which has been churning out annual entries since kicking off in 2004, introduced a new twist to the latest October entry. That visual element, plus a calendar shift, helped Saw 3D take first place over the holiday weekend.

Despite the $22.5 million debut, Saw 3D – the seventh and final film in the series – didn’t exactly end the series with a bloody bang. The horror flick had the fifth-best open in the entire franchise -- and that's including the higher ticket prices. (Only the 2004 original and 2009’s Saw VI – which was pitted directly against Paranormal Activity – did worse.)

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Box Office Breakdown: Paranormal Activity Takes Over Theaters

Paranormal Activity 2

Combine a mysterious baby and a barking dog with a $3 million budget – and what do you get? Horror’s biggest opener to date.

, Paramount’s follow to last year’s surprise hit, scared up a record-breaking $40.7 million over the pre-Halloween weekend. The film not only took first place away from Jackass 3D, it edged past Friday the 13th for the scream title. (That 2009 remake debuted to $40.6 million in February 2009.)

Meanwhile, Clint Eastwood’s , which expanded from a limited release, also made entry into the Top 10. The Matt Damon-starrer settled into fourth place with a $12 million take.

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Box Office Breakdown: Jackass Kicks Competition’s Ass

Although the next Saw film isn’t due until October 29, many theatergoers saw pain inflicted in 3D this past weekend.

The premiere of Jackass 3D, a film based on the former MTV series, has already broken franchise and box office records since debuting three days ago. The documentary, which was produced for $19 million, earned a shocking $50.3 million -- approximately $21 million more than 2006’s Jackass: Number Two (and $28 million more than 2002’s Jackass: The Movie).

Paramount’s entry also bested previous October openers. Up until recently, Scary Movie 3’s $48.1 million from 2003 had been the figure to beat.

Meanwhile, Red generated what could have been first-place sized numbers on any other weekend. The action film starring Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman and Helen Mirren rang up $21.8 million -- enough for second place.

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Box Office Breakdown: Very Small Take for Wes Craven

My Soul to Take

Neither Wes Craven’s name nor 3-D ticket prices could help Universal this weekend.

, which cost an estimated $25 million to produce, earned a scary $6.8 million over the past three days. (That’s a figure that includes ticket sales from 3-D venues.) The movie, which debuted in sixth place, was just one of several horror-ific disappointments this week. Two-week-old Case 39 fell to ninth place while Let Me In dropped completely out of the Top 10.

Romantic comedy raised $14.5 million, about $1 million shy of first place. (The Social Network was tops for the second time in a row.) Despite heavy promotion, Life was Katherine Heigl’s smallest debut since her pre-Knocked Up days.

, the weekend’s other new wide release, galloped into third place with $12.7 million. Seabiscuit, in comparison, premiered to $20.9 million in 2003.

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Box Office Breakdown: Social Network Liked by Audiences

The Social Network

Theatergoers took time away from their personal Facebook accounts this weekend to enjoy some actual entertainment this weekend.

—David Fincher’s film about the creation of that social media site—raised enough friends over the last three days to land the biopic in first place. Network’s $22.4 million outing also gave screenwriter Aaron Sorkin his best opening to date.

’s long-awaited debut barely went noticed. The Renee Zellweger/Bradley Cooper movie, which had been waiting for a release date for over two years, was produced for an estimated $27 million. Unfortunately, it only earned back $5.4 million of that from domestic audiences.

Meanwhile, also struggled to find a warm welcome. The vampire thriller – a remake of Sweden’s Let the Right One In—took in only $5.1 million, enough for an 8th place finish.

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