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The 5 Highest Grossing Opening-Weekend-of-the-Year Movies

By Dustin Rowles | Box Office Round-Ups | January 10, 2011 |


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Traditionally, the studios don't release movies wide over the first weekend of the year; it's a weekend typically dominated by movies released at Christmas. The week after New Years, as well as the first week in September, are where studios probably take their biggest dumps of the year, knowing that Christmas holdovers will probably still dominate. This year, they took an extra box of laxatives before excreting Season of the Witch and Country Strong (oof, review coming later this morning) onto audiences still trying to catch up on the movies they missed in 2010.

Anything in theaters you're still trying to catch from 2010 before they're pushed out?

It was True Grit and Little Fockers that held on to the top two spots for the third week in a row. Their positions were switched this week, however. After holding the top spot for two weeks, Little Fockers fell to number two, although it still managed $13 million, bringing its total to $123 million, which is fucking criminal.

The bright side, however, is that True Grit picked up another $15 million to become the Coen Brothers first $100 million movie. Its total stands at $110 million, which is pretty goddamn exceptional for a $38 million movie (and though you could hardly consider it a Matt Damon movie, it is Damon's best showing by far since The Bourne Ultimatum).

The execrable Season of the Witch debuted at number three with $10 million, which is $10 million more than it deserved ($25 million cumulative will be a stretch, likely putting the $40 million movie in the red domestically, although these films play well overseas).

Tron: Legacy, meanwhile, is inching up quietly toward $150 million, while Black Swan added $8 million to push it over $60 million, holding a slight edge over The Fighter ($57 million) in the big December awards contenders. (The King's Speech is now at $33 million).

And speaking of awards contenders, The Social Network was inexplicably re-released this weekend into 600 theaters and put up a meager $650,000. It probably wasn't worth the effort.

Anyway, because I like lists, here are the best openings for a film released during the opening weekend of the year. Note that three of them were actually released in 2009, when the Friday fell on the 9th, which was actually the second Friday of the year (but still the first opening weekend).

5. Hostel ($19 million)

4. The Unborn ($19 million)

3. Bride Wars ($21 million)

2. White Noise ($24 million)

1. Gran Torino ($29 million)

Jesus, White Noise opened with $24 million?

Who's looking forward to The Green Hornet next weekend? Ima gonna watch the shit out of it.


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