Christmas is shaping up to be a cold time at the box office this year. This weekend new releases made unimpressive to downright dismal openings while Hollywood braces for the harsh reality that their industry is in for a rough end-of-year balance sheet.
Tron: Legacy bowed in at number one with $43 million. That would be a stellar number for a smaller movie opening in mid-fall or spring, but for a heavily marketed $170 million budget anticipated blockbuster breaking out smack in the middle of holiday season it's only modestly exciting.
The second major release out this weekend, Yogi Bear, came in a distant second place with just $16 million. While he might be smarter than the average bear, it doesn't seem to be doing him any good in the finance department. With an $80 million price tag to recover it joins a long line of movies this year likely to see red on the box office bottom line.
Biggest loser props this weekend go to the bloated dramedy How Do You Know. The flick racked up a $120 million budget buying up big names like Owen Wilson, Paul Rudd and Jack Nicholson only to open at eighth place with a paltry $7 million.
Sports drama The Fighter opened wide this weekend to grab fourth place. The movie puts Mark Wahlberg in the familiar role of under dog, a role director David Russell is also used to playing. His last film, I Heart Huckabees didn't quite break even at the box office, something The Fighter is still battling for.
Overall domestic US ticket sales continue to slump compared to last year. Year-to-date comparisons show less than a 1% increase from 2009. When you roll in bloated ticket prices thanks in no small part to a glut of 3D movie surcharges this year, that spells a quickening drop off in movie attendance.
For the full weekend top ten, check out the chart below: