Worst 2011 Weekend: 'New Year's Eve' #1 But Underperforming; So Is 'The Sitter' #2; 'Tinker Tailor' Strong $75K Screen Average

SUNDAY AM: I sound like a broken record because it’s another disappointing domestic box office with numbers coming in -20% to even -30% lower than projected. And this weekend qualified as 2011’s lowest total movie grosses — only $76M. It’s also down a whopping 17% from last year. Is this North American slump going to continue through Christmas and affect Sherlock Holmes: Game Of Shadows, which is currently tracking like the holiday’s biggest hit. Stay tuned!

Warner Bros expected this date movie would be a no-brainer box office hit in more ways than once. An exec characterized the publicity as a “massive assault” in the competitive December window with an unprecedented 11 magazine covers and no less than 27 appearances on national TV shows. So no surprise in the Top 10 that Warner Bros’ New Year’s Eve unseated Summit’s Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 which spent three straight weeks at No. 1. But what is alarming is that the latest in this holiday-themed franchise came in at $13.7M, way less than the $20M which the studio predicted. The Garry Marshall-directed New Year’s Eve hit a brick wall on the West Coast late shows both Friday and Saturday nights. “Not much champagne for that opening,” one rival exec snarked to me. Especially disturbing with all those name actors and actresses cast in the season’s only romantic comedy, though Sarah Jessica Parker and Hilary Swank and Ashton Kutcher are box office poison these days. Now it’s not only young males but also young females abandoning indiscriminate moviegoing. Showing yet again that in 2011 stars and derivative storytelling don’t mean a thing. Audiences gave it a ‘B+’ CinemaScore.

Fox’s The Sitter came in second. But it’s worse than even the lowered expectations going into this North American weekend. Audiences gave it only a ‘C+’ CinemaScore. Good thing this R-rated Jonah Hill pic cost next to nothing – low $20sM according to Fox sources. Directed by David Gordon Green (Pineapple Express), this “world’s worst babysitter” has been done to death. Fox did have a hugely successful voicemail outdoor campaign: it put up posters urging people to leave voicemails for Jonah, which were then recorded and posted on the movie’s Facebook page. Nearly 400K people called the line. And Hill babysat Fox Sunday night animation characters Stewie, Maggie Simpson, etc on December 4th.

Deadline Hollywood is still holding its movie awards season ‘The Contenders’ event Sunday after a hugely successful Saturday:

1. New Years Eve (Warner Bros) NEW [3,505 Theaters]
Friday $5M, Saturday $5.3M, Weekend $13.7M

2. The Sitter (Fox) NEW [2,750 Theaters]
Friday $3.7M, Saturday $3.9M, Weekend $10M

3. Breaking Dawn Part 1 (Summit) Week 4 [3,605 Theaters]
Friday $2.4M, Saturday $3.4M, Weekend $7.9M, Cume $259.4M

4. The Muppets (Disney) Week 3 [3,328 Theaters]
Friday $1.6M, Saturday $3.3M, Weekend $7M, Cume $65.8M

5. Arthur Christmas 3D (Sony) Week 3 [3,272 Theaters]
Friday $1.4M, Saturday $3.2M, Weekend $6.6M, Cume $33.4M

6. Hugo 3D (Paramount) Week 3 [2,608 Theaters]
Friday $1.5M, Saturday $2.8M, Weekend $6.1M, Cume $33.4M

7. The Descendants (Fox Searchlight) Week 4 [876 Theaters]
Friday $1.3M, Saturday $2.1M, Weekend $4.3M, Cume $23.9M

8. Happy Feet Two 3D (Warner Bros) Week 4 [2,840 Theaters]
Friday $840K, Saturday $1.7M, Estimated Weekend $3.7M, Cume $56.8M

8. Jack and Jill (Sony) Week 5 [2,787 Theaters]
Friday $870K, Saturday $1.4M, Weekend $3.2M, Cume $68.6M

10. Immortals 3D (Relativity) Week 5 [2,299 Theaters]
Friday $730K, Saturday $1M, Weekend $2.4M, Cume $79.8m

Specialty Openings: After a solid $22.6M European opening, Focus Features’ Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy began its North American run in 4 theaters (2 in NYC, 2 in LA) with an impressive per screen average of $75+K. Every location again experienced sell out or close to sell out conditions from late matinee through the 9PM shows. The weekend results make Tinker Tailor the #3 largest opening average of all specialty films in 2011, behind #1 Woody Allen’s Midnight In Paris and #2 Terence Malick’s Tree Of Life and #3rd film opening on 4 screens on record. Paramount’s Young Adult platformed in 8 theaters with $40K per screen averages. Paramount points out that it out-grossed the expansions of both The Artist and Shame on half the screens. Paramount has The Adventures Of Tintin for domestic, and Sony for overseas. The Steven Spielberg/Peter Jackson collaboration is having a great start in North America’s Quebec (more…)

This article was printed from https://deadline.com/2011/12/first-box-office-new-years-eve-1-breaking-dawn-2-the-sitter-3-203540/