If Hollywood were to hang up a stocking for Santa this year, it would be slowly filling up with one lump of coal after another. This weekend two new releases hit theaters and both were ticket sale disappointments.
Garry Marshall's New Year's Eve and its everyone-but-the-kitchen-sink approach to casting managed to land in first place, but that was only due to Breaking Dawn: Part One being too tired to hold the spot for a fourth week in a row. With only $13 million in sales this weekend, New Year's Eve fell far short of its holiday-themed predecessor Valentine's Day which banked an impressive $56 million last year.
Jonah Hill's The Sitter garnered $10 million for a sleepy second place. While many rated R comedies have managed to do well the last two years, this one failed to produce. Hill may not be ready to solo headline a comedy, but the continued decline in ticket sales across the nation aren't helping either.
Smaller releases fared far better this weekend. Charlize Theron's new Young Adult pulled in $320,000 in just eight theaters while the highly anticipated Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy made almost as much, $300,000, in just 4 theaters for an exciting $75,000 per theater.
There's some hope for an upswing next weekend when the perennial holiday sequels start to roll out, but with Christmas shopping eating through dwindling budgets it's hard to know whether America's need for an uplifting escape will outweigh its need to put gifts under the tree.
For the full weekend top ten results, take a look at the chart below: