'Little Fockers' Tops Wednesday Box Office With $7.2 Million Opening


"True Grit" had a stronger showing than expected, nearly tying "Tron: Legacy" with $5.5 and $5.6 million respectively.

UPDATED: Universal’s Little Fockers grossed $7.2 million as it debuted domestically in 3,536 theaters Wednesday. Threequel topped the box office chart, but will need to make up ground if it's to meet Universal’s expectation for a $60 million debut between now and Sunday.

Paramount’s critically acclaimed True Grit, from the Coen brothers, opened stronger than expected. The Western grossed an estimated $5.5 million from 3,047 theaters to place No. 3, just behind Disney’s Tron: Legacy for No. 2. Tron grossed $5.6 million from 3,451 locations for a six-day cume of $62.1 million.

Other headline of the day was Fox Searchlight’s Black Swan, which grossed $1.8 million as it expanded into a total of 1462 theaters nationwide for a cume of $20.6 million. Specialty film placed a strong No. 7 for the day. Black Swan opened in a limited run in early December.

Coming in No. 8 was Paramount/Relativity’s The Fighter, which placed No. 8 with $1.4 million from 2,503 runs for a six-day cume of $17.5 million.

The holiday box office has been sluggish for bigger studio titles, and Fockers’ Wednesday number continued that trend. In 2004, Meet the Fockers debuted to more than $12 million on the same Wednesday on its way to a $70 million five-day opening.

A majority of the audience turning on for Little Fockers was over the age of 25. Comedy drew a B- CinemaScore.

Little Fockers should win the Wednesday-Sunday box office, but Tron could end up close behind.

Universal and other studios are hoping for a noticeable uptick in business on Thursday, before theater traffic dies down on Christmas Eve and into Christmas morning. Sunday should be busy, and next week.

One wild card is 20th Century Fox’s 3D family entry Gulliver’s Travels, which opens Christmas Day. Tracking has improved slightly, but is still soft.

Specialty titles like Black Swan and Fighter are attracting better interest than their studio counterparts. True Grit has more commercial appeal, but is still an adult drama, a defining trait of specialty films.

Focus Features debuted Sofia Coppola’s Somewhere on Wednesday in seven theaters in L.A., N.Y., San Francisco, Boston, Chicago and Washington, D.C.

A pure arthouse play, Somewhere grossed an estimated $28,361 for a location average of $4.1 million. Film did especially strong business in New York and L.A., ranking among the top films in the houses where it played, the Arclight in Hollywood and Lincoln Square in N.Y.