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'New Year's Eve' Movie Tops Worst Weekend Since 2008

Josh Duhamel, New Year's EveDec. 11, '11, update: The worst weekend at the North American box office since September 2008, with an overall take of $78 million. That's this very weekend (Dec. 9-11), when Garry Marshall's critically lambasted Warner Bros. release New Year's Eve succeeded in topping the domestic box office chart with a meager $13.7 million, according to studio estimates found at Box Office Mojo. At 3,505 locations, New Year's Eve averaged a not-at-all celebratory $3,910 per site.

Thanks to a prestigious cast including Oscar winners Robert De Niro, Halle Berry, and Hilary Swank; Oscar nominees Michelle Pfeiffer and Abigail Breslin; and teen idol Zac Efron, Sex and the City's Sarah Jessica Parker, Two and Half Men's Ashton Kutcher, and Transformers: Dark of the Moon co-star Josh Duhamel (photo), some had been expecting that New Year's Eve would open around $30 million. Later on, $20 million became an acceptable figure. But $13.7 million? Chances are New Year's Eve won't get even close to matching its $56 million budget at the domestic box office – let alone recouping it. (Overseas, the movie opened with an acceptable $12.6 million in 36 territories.)

For comparison's sake: Marshall's all-star Valentine's Day – featuring Julia Roberts, Taylor Lautner, Bradley Cooper, Shirley MacLaine, Taylor Swift, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Alba, and others – debuted with $56.26 million in February 2010. Ken Kwapis' similarly packaged all-star romantic comedy-drama He's Just Not That into You – with once again Bradley Cooper, plus Jennifer Aniston, Scarlett Johansson, Jennifer Connelly, Drew Barrymore, Ben Affleck, Justin Long, et al. – brought in $27.78 million in February 2009.

In addition to the stars mentioned in the second paragraph, New Year's Eve celebrants include Cary Elwes, Alyssa Milano, Common, Jessica Biel, Seth Meyers, Sarah Paulson, Til Schweiger, Carla Gugino, Katherine Heigl, Jon Bon Jovi, Sofia Vergara, Lea Michele, James Belushi, Penny Marshall, Cherry Jones, Chris 'Ludacris' Bridges, Hector Elizondo, and Ryan Seacrest.

Expectations for the Jonah Hill vehicle The Sitter were quite low to begin with. After earning an estimated $3.72 million on Friday, The Sitter seemed doomed to gross $1 or $2 million less than the most modest predictions of about $10-$11 million. It turns out (if estimates are correct) the R-rated 20th Century Fox comedy pulled in $10 million, at the low end of expectations. These days, that's good news. The Sitter's per-theater average was a weak $3,636 at 2,750 locations. Directed by David Gordon Green, The Sitter, which also features Sam Rockwell and Ari Graynor, cost approximately $25 million.

After three weeks on top – a first for a Twilight Saga movie – Bill Condon's The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1 was down two spots at no. 3, with $7.9 million – down 52 percent, the highest drop-off rate among the top-twelve movies. In addition to love triangle participants Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart, and Taylor Lautner the Breaking Dawn cast includes Peter Facinelli, Elizabeth Reaser, Kellan Lutz, Ashley Greene, Nikki Reed, Jackson Rathbone, Dakota Fanning, MyAnna Buring, Booboo Stewart, and Michael Sheen.

Plus Maggie Grace, Lee Pace, Sarah Clarke, Anna Kendrick, Christian Serratos, Christopher Heyerdahl, Michael Welch, Christian Camargo, Julia Jones, Gil Birmingham, Kiowa Gordon, Billy Burke, Bronson Pelletier, Charlie Bewley, Tyson Houseman, Daniel Cudmore, Jamie Campbell Bower, Casey LaBow, Mia Maestro, and Alex Meraz.

At no. 4, The Muppets, featuring Amy Adams, Rashida Jones, Chris Cooper, and Jason Segel, brought in $7.07 million (down 36 percent).

At no. 5, Arthur Christmas drew $6.6 million – down a mere 11 percent. That's good news for the costly animated feature that has been doing only mediocre business.

Rounding out the top ten were Martin Scorsese-Asa Butterfield's Hugo, with $6.12 million (down 19 percent, despite the addition of 768 sites), Alexander Payne-George Clooney's The Descendants with $4.83 million (+1 percent, after adding 302 sites), George Miller's Happy Feet Two with $3.75 million (down 37 percent), Adam Sandler's Jack and Jill with $3.2 million (down 40 percent), and Tarsem Singh-Henry Cavill's Immortals with $2.44 million (down 45 percent).

At no. 11, Brett Ratner's Tower Heist, with Eddie Murphy and Ben Stiller, took in $2.4 million. It was followed by the animated Puss in Boots, featuring the voices of Antonio Banderas and Salma Hayek, with $1.65 million.

Note on the current state of the North American box office: not a single movie on the top twelve chart earned more than $6,000 per site. Only The Descendants had a per-theater average above $5,000 – and that's the only movie playing at less than 1,800 locations. (The fewer the number of theaters, the higher the per-theater average should be.)

New Year's Eve photo: Andrew Schwartz / Warner Bros.

Dec. 10 afternoon

Michelle Pfeiffer, New Year's Eve
Michelle Pfeiffer, New Year's Eve

Starring Michelle Pfeiffer, Zac Efron, Robert De Niro, Halle Berry, Sarah Jessica Parker, Hilary Swank, and countless others, Garry Marshall's Warner Bros. release New Year's Eve opened way below expectations on Friday, Dec. 9, collecting an estimated $5.08 million. The all-star omnibus romantic comedy-drama will be lucky if it reaches $16-17 million over the weekend, whereas some had been expecting an opening around $30 million. Screening at 3,505 sites, New Year's Eve averaged a meager $1,449 per theater.

For comparison's sake: Marshall's all-star Valentine's Day – featuring Julia Roberts, Taylor Lautner, Bradley Cooper, Shirley MacLaine, Taylor Swift, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Alba, and others – debuted with $56.26 million in February 2010. Ken Kwapis' similarly packaged all-star romantic comedy-drama He's Just Not That into You – with once again Bradley Cooper, plus Jennifer Aniston, Jennifer Connelly, Drew Barrymore, et al. – raked in $27.78 million in February 2009.

Not helping matters is that New Year's Eve has a dismal 3 percent approval rating among Rotten Tomatoes' top critics. For comparison's sake: next to Marshall's latest effort, He's Just Not That into You seems like a movie classic, with a 32 percent approval rating. Valentine's Day had a more modest – though still nearly five times better – 14 percent approval rating.

In addition to the stars mentioned in the first paragraph, the extensive New Year's Eve cast includes Cary Elwes, Alyssa Milano, Common, Jessica Biel, Seth Meyers, Sarah Paulson, Til Schweiger, Carla Gugino, Katherine Heigl, Jon Bon Jovi, Sofia Vergara, Ashton Kutcher, Lea Michele, James Belushi, Abigail Breslin, Josh Duhamel, Penny Marshall, Cherry Jones, Chris 'Ludacris' Bridges, Hector Elizondo, and Ryan Seacrest.

Expectations for the Jonah Hill vehicle The Sitter were quite low to begin with – but clearly not low enough. After earning an estimated $3.72 million on Friday, The Sitter will likely have trouble bringing in much more than a paltry $9 million at 2,750 locations over the weekend. That's about $1 or $2 million less than the most modest predictions.

After three weeks on top – a first for a Twilight movie – Bill Condon's The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1 was down two spots at no. 3, with $2.5 million. Last night, it seemed that Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart, and Taylor Lautner would be battling Kermit the Frog and his fellow Muppets for the third spot. However, if the studios' estimates are correct, Breaking Dawn should end up slightly ahead of The Muppets by Sunday evening. At no. 4, The Muppets, featuring Amy Adams, Rashida Jones, Chris Cooper, and Jason Segel, brought in $1.66 million.

Besides Pattinson, Stewart, and Lautner, the long, long Breaking Dawn cast includes Peter Facinelli, Elizabeth Reaser, Kellan Lutz, Ashley Greene, Nikki Reed, Jackson Rathbone, Dakota Fanning, MyAnna Buring, Booboo Stewart, and Michael Sheen.

Plus Maggie Grace, Lee Pace, Sarah Clarke, Anna Kendrick, Christian Serratos, Christopher Heyerdahl, Michael Welch, Christian Camargo, Julia Jones, Gil Birmingham, Kiowa Gordon, Billy Burke, Bronson Pelletier, Charlie Bewley, Tyson Houseman, Daniel Cudmore, Jamie Campbell Bower, Casey LaBow, Mia Maestro, and Alex Meraz.

Rounding out the top five on Friday was Martin Scorsese's Hugo, with $1.6 million. The well-received period fantasy is expected to bring in $6 million for the weekend. Hugo features Asa Butterfield, Chloë Grace Moretz, Ben Kingsley, and Sacha Baron Cohen.

And rounding out the top ten were Arthur Christmas with $1.43 million, Alexander Payne-George Clooney's The Descendants with $1.31 million, Adam Sandler's Jack and Jill with $870,000, George Miller's Happy Feet Two with $840,000, and Henry Cavill-Freida Pinto's Immortals with $730k.

New Year's Eve photo: Andrew Schwartz / Warner Bros.

Dec. 10 early morning

Zac Efron, Michelle Pfeiffer, New Year's EveZac Efron, Michelle Pfeiffer, 'New Year's Eve.'

Starring about half of Hollywood, Garry Marshall's Warner Bros. release New Year's Eve is the latest movie to open to underwhelming figures in North America, according to early, rough box office estimates found at Deadline.com. After grossing anywhere between $5 and $6 million on Friday, Dec. 9, New Year's Eve is expected to collect at most a mere $16 million over the weekend.

For comparison's sake: Marshall's Valentine's Day took in $56.26 million in February 2010, while Ken Kwapis' similarly packaged all-star romantic comedy-drama He's Just Not That into You collected $27.78 million in February 2009. Box Office Mojo had predicted an opening for New Year's Eve close to $30 million.

The extensive New Year's Eve cast includes Michelle Pfeiffer, Zac Efron, Robert De Niro, Halle Berry, Cary Elwes, Alyssa Milano, Common, Jessica Biel, Seth Meyers, Sarah Paulson, Til Schweiger, Carla Gugino, Katherine Heigl, Jon Bon Jovi, Sofia Vergara, Ashton Kutcher, Lea Michele, James Belushi, Sarah Jessica Parker, Abigail Breslin, Josh Duhamel, Penny Marshall, Cherry Jones, Hilary Swank, Chris 'Ludacris' Bridges, Hector Elizondo, and Ryan Seacrest.

Now, one element that He's Not That Just into You and Valentine's Day had in common – but that is missing from New Year's Eve – is Bradley Cooper. When Garry Marshall comes up with “Veteran's Day” or “President's Day” or just plain “Easter,” he might want to ensure that Cooper is somewhere around.

Expectations for the Jonah Hill vehicle The Sitter were pretty low to begin with – but apparently not low enough. After earning an estimated $3.5 million on Friday, The Sitter should collect at most $9 million over the weekend. That's about $1 or $2 million less than the most modest predictions.

After three weeks on top, Bill Condon's The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1 will be pushed back at least a couple of spots. Both Breaking Dawn and The Muppets are expected to earn $7 million for the weekend: the former, after pulling in an estimated $2.4 million and the latter after earning $1.7 million on Friday. Remember, kiddie flicks fare much better on the weekend proper, Saturday and Sunday. But then again, so does Breaking Dawn – so, we'll see.

The extensive Breaking Dawn cast includes Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart, Taylor Lautner, Peter Facinelli, Elizabeth Reaser, Kellan Lutz, Ashley Greene, Nikki Reed, Jackson Rathbone, Dakota Fanning, MyAnna Buring, Booboo Stewart, and Michael Sheen.

Plus Maggie Grace, Lee Pace, Sarah Clarke, Anna Kendrick, Christian Serratos, Christopher Heyerdahl, Michael Welch, Christian Camargo, Julia Jones, Gil Birmingham, Kiowa Gordon, Billy Burke, Bronson Pelletier, Charlie Bewley, Tyson Houseman, Daniel Cudmore, Jamie Campbell Bower, Casey LaBow, Mia Maestro, and Alex Meraz.

The Muppets features Amy Adams, Rashida Jones, Chris Cooper, and Jason Segel.

Rounding out the top five is Martin Scorsese's Hugo, expected to bring in $6 million until Sunday evening. The well-received period fantasy features Asa Butterfield, Chloë Grace Moretz, Ben Kingsley, and Sacha Baron Cohen.

Remember, those are early, rough estimates. Official studio estimates will be released Saturday morning. Official weekend estimates come out on Sunday. Weekend box office actuals will follow on Monday. Much can change by then.

New Year's Eve photo: Andrew Schwartz / Warner Bros.

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1 Comment to 'New Year's Eve' Movie Tops Worst Weekend Since 2008

  1. miller

    Been there, Done that. and the celebs in Valentines Day were a LOT more appealing (bradley cooper, shirley mcclaine, the catchy Taylor2, julia roberts, jamie fox, anne hathaway, george lopez etc) …plus blown up blue condoms don't have much appeal…..