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Ritesh Warke On Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Little Fockers, released by Universal, raised its domestic haul to $103.2 million. Paramount's True Grit lifted its total to $86.8 million, becomingthe top-grossing film ever from directors Joel and Ethan Coen, whose previous best was $74.3 million for No Country for Old Men.
With no new wide releases out over New Year's weekend, the Hollywood top-10 lined up largely the same as it did over the Christmas holiday. Bridges also had the No 3 film with Disney's sci-fi sequel Tron: Legacy at $18.3 million, while Dan Aykroyd's family flick Yogi Bear, from Warner Bros, was fourth with $13 million. After a sluggish fall and holiday season, Hollywood is off to a slow start in 2011.
Overall revenues came in at $158 million, down 28 per cent from New Year's weekend a year ago, according to box-office tracker Hollywood.com. The holiday season in 2009 was unusually strong, largely because of James Cameron's Avatar, which was on its way to becoming the biggest modern blockbuster with $2.8 billion worldwide. A year ago, Sherlock Holmes and Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel also held up well over New Year's weekend.
"What made the difference last year was just that incredible combination of films," said Paul Dergarabedian, Hollywood.com box-office analyst. "That said, I think 2011 is going to be a hugeyear. If you look at the titles, I think we're going to get our box-office strength back." The final Harry Potter film is among Hollywood's offerings this year, along with the latest in the Pirates of the Caribbean, Transformers, Twilight, Cars, Kung Fu Panda, X-Men and The Hangover" franchises. Little Fockers has done good business despite bad reviews forthe third instalment in De Niro and Stiller's Meet the Parents franchise. "I'm sorry the business isn't better for the industry overall, but having said that, it doesn't make a difference for us. We were the No 1 film for the holidays," said Nikki Rocco, head of distribution for Universal. "Considering it's the third time around, not so bad." True Grit is a rare hit Western ¡ÂȘonce a Hollywood staple but a genre that has all but vanished. Industry insiders had been sceptical about the film's prospects, especially since the 1969 version of True Grit was one of John Wayne's best-known roles from late in his career, earning him the best-actor Academy Award. But the Coens never considered their version a remake. They dida faithful adaptation of Charles Portis' novel, the source for bothmovies, and the Coens' version has earned terrific reviews.
"They acted like there'd never been another movie made, that this was the first. You've got to give them credit. It's a stunning achievement," said Don Harris, executive vice president of distribution at Paramount. While this season's top hits failed to measure up to Avatar and other 2009 holiday blockbusters, smaller Oscar contenders continued to score in the top-10. Paramount's boxing drama The Fighter, with Mark Wahlberg and Christian Bale, was No 7 with $10 million, raising its total to $46.4 million; Fox Searchlight's psychosexual balletthriller Black Swan, starring Natalie Portman, came in at No 9 with $8.5 million, raising its haul to $47.4 million; and the Weinstein Co historical drama The King's Speech, with Colin Firth, was No 10 with $7.7 million, pushing its sum to$22.8 million. Other awards contenders debuted well in limited release. The Weinstein Co marital drama Blue Valentine, starring Michelle Williams and Ryan Gosling, tookin $180,066 in four theatres. Sony Pictures Classics' British drama Another Year, from director Mike Leigh and featuring Jim Broadbent, took in $120,390 in six theatres. Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at US and Canadian theatres, according to Hollywood.com.
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