Box Office Report: 'New Year's Eve,' 'The Sitter' Lead Another Soft Weekend

10:11 AM PST 12/10/2011 by Pamela McClintock
"New Year's Eve"

Garry Marshall's ensemble holiday pic tops Friday office with $5.1 million, but underperforms and Jonah Hill's R-rated comedy places second for the day with $3.7 million.

Garry Marshall's star-packed ensemble pic New Year's Eve finished Friday with a tepid $5.1 million, diminishing chances that the movie will open to $20 million. Instead, the movie is looking a $15 million debut.

The Warner Bros. and New Line film still came in No. 1 for the day, followed by 20th Century Fox's new R-rated comedy The Sitter with $3.7 million. Headlining Jonah Hill in his first starring role, Sitter is eyeing a $10 million weekend.

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New Year's Eve and The Sitter are leading another soft weekend at the domestic box office, which could be down from last year by as much as 8 percent.

Heading into the weekend, New Year's Eve had been projected to gross $20 million or higher in its debut. While that's far less than the $72 million bow of Marshall's Valentine's Day over the four-day Valentine's Day/President's Day weekend in 2010, Warner Bros. expects the film to have an especially strong multiple and play through New Year's Day since it's the only holiday romantic comedy.

New Year's Eve, which cost $26 million to make, includes Michelle Pfeiffer, Zac Efron, Ashton Kutcher, Katherine Heigl, Lea Michele, Robert De Niro, Josh Duhamel, Halle Berry, Abigail Breslin, Chris "Ludacris" Bridges, Hilary Swank and Seth Meyers.

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New Year's Eve received a B+ CinemaScore, while The Sitter, which cost under $25 million to make, received a C+.

The two new films knocked The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn--Part 1 from its top perch after ruling the box office for three weekends. On Friday, Breaking Dawn placed No. 3, grossing $2.5 million for a domestic cume of $259.3.

Disney's The Muppets came in No. 4, grossing an estimated $1.7 million for a North American cume of $60.4 million.

Martin Scorsese's Hugo placed No. 5 as it expanded into a total of 2,600 theaters, grossing $1.6 million for a total $28.9 million. Paramount is distributing the film.

Sony's holiday day film Arthur Christmas enjoyed a stellar hold, falling only 13 percent on Friday to $1.4 million for a cume of $28.3 million.

Fox Searchlight's The Descendants followed with $1.3 million as it upped its theater count to 876 for cume of $20.6 million.

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