Matt Damon, We Bought a Zoo
Though definitely trailing Tom Cruise/Jeremy Renner/Brad Bird’s Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol and Guy Ritchie/Robert Downey Jr/Jude Law’s Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, the David Fincher-directed The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo remake earned only about $300,000 less than Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chip-Wrecked in North America this weekend. As per studio estimates found at Box Office Mojo, Fincher’s $90-million thriller starring Rooney Mara and Daniel Craig took in $13 million at 2,914 sites, averaging a so-so $4,461 per theater. Its total to date is $21.4 million.
In addition to Craig, who hasn’t been much of a box office draw (Cowboys & Aliens, Dream House) when not playing James Bond, and Golden Globe nominee Mara, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo features Christopher Plummer, Robin Wright, Stellan Skarsgård, Steven Berkhoff, Geraldine James, Joely Richardson, Goran Visnjic, Ulf Friberg, Donald Sumpter, and Tony Way.
Unlike War Horse, Steven Spielberg’s The Adventures of Tintin has been performing poorly in English-speaking North America. At no. 5, the Tintin movie raked in an estimated $9.12 million at 3,087 theaters, averaging only $2,956 per site. To date, the $125 million motion-capture animated feature has collected a meager $17.13 million domestically (a not inconsiderable chunk of it in French-speaking Quebec, where Tintin has already grossed more than $3.2 million). The good news: overseas, The Adventures of Tintin has pulled in more than $240m. Moviegoers abroad have thus guaranteed the healthy release of the upcoming sequel.
Despite the presence of Matt Damon and former Woody Allen muse Scarlett Johansson, Cameron Crowe’s We Bought a Zoo brought in $7.8 million at no. 6, averaging a paltry $2,502 at 3,117 locations. Although figures will almost inevitably go up next weekend thanks to the New Year’s holiday, We Bought a Zoo will have quite a bit of trouble matching — let alone recovering — its $50m budget domestically. Perhaps it’s time for Cameron Crowe to pair up with Tom Cruise (Jerry Maguire, Vanilla Sky) once again.
We Bought a Zoo, Crowe’s first narrative feature since the Orlando Bloom/Kirsten Dunst/Susan Sarandon box office flop Elizabethtown back in 2005, has a so-so 65 percent approval rating among Rotten Tomatoes’ top critics. The film’s screenwriter, Aline Brosh McKenna of the Meryl Streep-Anne Hathaway hit The Devil Wears Prada, had a major critical and box office flop a few weeks ago, the Sarah Jessica Parker comedy I Don’t Know How She Does It, which earned less than $10m in North America.
In addition to Damon and Johansson, the We Bought a Zoo cast includes Angus Macfadyen, Thomas Haden Church, Patrick Fugit, Colin Ford, and Maggie Elizabeth Jones. We Bought a Zoo is a 20th Century Fox release.
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We Bought a Zoo picture: Neal Preston / 20th Century Fox.