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Little Fockers Movie Box Office: Moviegoers Embrace Critically Excoriated All-Star Comedy

Little Fockers movie Barbra StreisandLittle Fockers movie with Barbra Streisand: Critical bomb is a Christmas box office hit.
  • Little Fockers box office: Massacred by critics, Universal’s lowbrow comedy threequel is a hit with domestic Christmas audiences. Ben Stiller, Robert De Niro, et al. are back, but Meet the Parents and Meet the Fockers director Jay Roach has been replaced by Paul Weitz.

Little Fockers box office: At no. 1 on the domestic chart, critically panned comedy ends the year in lowbrow style

Dec. 24–26 (Christmas) weekend box office: Little Fockers, Universal PIctures’ Meet the Parents and Meet the Fockers offspring, has turned out to be both a critical bomb and a commercial hit.

With a dismal 4 percent – you read that right, 4 percent – approval rating among Rotten Tomatoes’ “top critics,” the Paul Weitz-directed comedy topped the North American (U.S. and Canada only) box office chart this past Christmas holiday weekend, grossing $30.8 million according to final studio figures found at boxofficemojo.com.

Since last Wednesday (Dec. 22), Little Fockers has taken in $45.1 million in the domestic market. Price tag: A hefty $100 million (as always, not including marketing and distribution expenses).

Little Fockers vs. Meet the Parents & Meet the Fockers

For comparison’s sake (not adjusted for inflation):

The first movie in Universal’s Imbecility Trilogy, Jay Roach’s Meet the Parents (budget: $55 million) – starring Robert De Niro, Ben Stiller, Blythe Danner, and Teri Polo – debuted with $28 million (five-day cume: $34.3 million) in early October 2000, ending its run with $166.2 million domestically and (an estimated) $164.2 million internationally. Worldwide total: A hugely profitable $330.4 million.

Also directed by Jay Roach, the $80 million sequel Meet the Fockers – which added Barbra Streisand and Dustin Hoffman to the cast – raked in $70.5 million in its first five days out (Dec. 22–26, 2004), ending its run with $279.3 million domestically and (an estimated) $243.4 million internationally. Worldwide total: A hugely profitable $522.7 million. (However questionably, Meet the Fockers was labeled the most successful comedy ever.)

Obviously, there’s no chance Little Fockers will grow up to be nearly as successful as its more recent parent.

Oscar-pedigreed actors lend prestige to asinine comedy

The mostly prestigious Little Fockers cast includes:

  • Ben Stiller.
  • Two-time Oscar winner Robert De Niro (The Godfather: Part II, 1974; Raging Bull, 1980).
  • Two-time Oscar winner Barbra Streisand (as Best Actress for Funny Girl, 1968; for songwriting, A Star Is Born, 1976*).
  • Two-time Oscar winner Dustin Hoffman (Kramer vs. Kramer, 1979; Rain Man, 1988).
  • Tony Award winner Blythe Danner (Butterflies Are Free, 1970).
  • Owen Wilson (also seen in last weekend’s box office bomb How Do You Know).
  • Teri Polo.
  • Jessica Alba (whose looks play a key role in Little Fockers, as her drug company representative is the one who gets the plot in motion by flirting with Ben Stiller’s married nerd).
  • Oscar nominee Laura Dern (Rambling Rose, 1991).
  • Oscar nominee Harvey Keitel (Bugsy, 1991).
  • Oscar nominee Tom McCarthy (shortlisted in the Best Original Screenplay category for Up).

* In her film debut as comedienne/singer Fanny Brice, future Little Fockers costar Barbra Streisand shared the 1968 Best Actress Oscar with veteran Katharine Hepburn for The Lion in Winter. Streisand co-wrote with Paul Williams the song “Evergreen” from the 1976 A Star Is Born remake.

Give audiences the movies they want…

Update: The Ben Stiller-Robert De Niro comedy Little Fockers ultimately collected $148.4 million domestically and $162.2 million internationally. Worldwide total: A profitable (though not hugely profitable) $310.6 million.

Its top international markets were the United Kingdom/Ireland ($30.7 million), Australia ($18.8 million), Russia/CIS ($12.6 million), Germany ($11.7 million), France ($10.9 million), Spain ($10.2 million), Mexico ($7.3 million), Italy ($6.7 million), and Brazil ($5.3 million).

Note: Japan isn’t found on Box Office Mojo’s list of countries.


Little Fockers Movie Box Office” endnotes

This past Christmas weekend, the no. 2 movie on the domestic box office chart was Joel and Ethan Coen’s well-regarded Western True Grit, starring Jeff Bridges in the old John Wayne role. Further down the chart was Rob Letterman’s costly fantasy adventure Gulliver’s Travels, starring Jack Black as the titular character.

Unless otherwise noted, “Little Fockers Movie Box Office: Moviegoers Embrace Critically Excoriated All-Star Comedy” box office information via Box Office Mojo. Budget info – which should be taken with a grain of salt – via BOM and/or other sources (e.g., the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Screen Daily, The Hollywood Reporter, Variety, Deadline.com, etc.).

Comments about Little Fockers, Meet the Parents, Meet the Fockers, and other titles being hits/profitable or flops/money-losers at the box office (see paragraph below) are based on the available data about their production budget, additional marketing and distribution expenses (as a general rule of thumb, around 50 percent of the production cost), and worldwide gross (as a general rule of thumb when it comes to the Hollywood studios, around 50–55 percent of the domestic gross and 40 percent of the international gross goes to the distributing/producing companies).

Bear in mind that data regarding rebates, domestic/international sales/pre-sales, and other credits and/or contractual details that help to alleviate/split production costs and apportion revenues are oftentimes unavailable, and that reported international grosses may be incomplete (i.e., not every territory is fully – or even partially – accounted for).

Also bear in mind that ancillary revenues (domestic/global television rights, home video sales, streaming, merchandising, etc.) can represent anywhere between 40–70 percent of a movie’s total take. However, these revenues and their apportionment are only infrequently made public.

Ben Stiller, Robert De Niro, Jessica Alba, and Barbra Streisand Little Fockers movie images: Universal Pictures.

Little Fockers Movie Box Office: Moviegoers Embrace Critically Excoriated All-Star Comedy” last updated in February 2023.

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1 comment

ana hart -

OH C’MON, CRITICS..Really!!! Little Dockers cast don’t deserve a thumbs down…they deserve a medal! It’s YOU people out there who attack them that don’t know how to spell “box office!!!”. Btw…these 1-time award winners would crush your judgement any time!!!

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