While it did finish in first place, New Year's Eve dropped the ball this weekend with a disappointing $13.7 million opening. Things were comparatively better for The Sitter, though Jonah Hill didn't impress in his solo debut. Adding these two movies to an already weak field turned out to be box office poison—the Top 12 wound up with an estimated $69.7 million, which is the second-worst gross of the year so far. There is also a very good chance that once all movies report tomorrow, overall box office will wind up at its lowest point since 2008.
New Year's Eve's estimated $13.7 million was off 75 percent from Valentine's Day's $56.3 million debut last February. A drop was to be expected, given the different time of year and the distance from the titular holiday, though the opening is still far lower than even the most modest expectations. It's tough to account for this middling debut, considering the movie is the first romantic comedy in months and has an abundance of familiar faces, though it may simply be that audiences don't look back fondly onValentine's Day and its ensemble, patchwork structure. With three weeks to go until New Year's Eve the movie will certainly hold up better than Valentine's Day, but this still isn't a very good starting point.
The Sitter debuted in second place with an estimated $10 million. That's lower than any other movie with Jonah Hill in a major leading role, though this is really the first time he's tried to open a movie alone (he co-starred withMichael Cera in Superbad and Russell Brand in Get Him to the Greek). The movie is the latest R-rated comedy to fail to hit the mid-teen-millions range, with this slump dating back all the way to The Change-Up at the beginning of August.
After leading for three-straight weeks, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 dipped 52 percent to an estimated $7.9 million and took third place for the weekend. On Saturday, it passed The Hangover Part II to become the third-highest grossing movie of the year behind Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 andTransformers: Dark of the Moon, and it has so far made $259.5 million.
The Muppets eased 36 percent to an estimated $7.1 million. That's a slightly steeper decline than Tangled orEnchanted at the same point, but it does appear that The Muppets is at least leveling off a bit. The movie has now earned $65.8 million.
With the Christmas season in full swing now, Arthur Christmas held on extremely well at the box office. The holiday animated movie dipped a light 11 percent to $6.6 million, and has a total of $33.5 million so far.
Hugo expanded in to 2,608 theaters and fell 19 percent to an estimated $6.1 million. Given its expanding pattern, this marked the first weekend that distributor Paramount Pictures tracked exit polling. The audience was 52 percent male and 31 percent under the age of 25, and they awarded the movie a "B+" CinemaScore. After nearly three weeks in theaters, the Martin Scorsese children's book adaptation has grossed $33.5 million.
The Descendants made its nationwide expansion this weekend and was up a tick to $4.8 million. The movie is pacing way ahead of past Alexander Payne movies About Schmidt and Sideways and has already earned $23.6 million through its fourth weekend.
Two significant limited openings also took place this weekend. Jason Reitman and Diablo Cody's Young Adultdebuted to an okay $320,000 at eight locations. That's not great business for a high-profile release like this, though its real test comes next weekend when it expands in to around 1,000 locations.
Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, on the other hand, was a big hit with an estimated $301,000 from just four theaters. Its per-theater average of $75,184 is the third-best of the year behind Midnight in Paris and The Tree of Life, and also the third-highest ever for a movie opening in four theaters behind The Tree of Life and The King's Speech. The Cold War espionage thriller will surely be expanding in the coming weeks, though there's no set nationwide release date yet.
Source: Box Office Mojo