It's a holiday box office hangover.
A sensation that wouldn't be unfamiliar to Jeff Bridges' whiskey soaked marshall in what is shaping up to be the victor of a sluggish weekend at the movies. The Oscar winner's western remake "True Grit" lassoed $4.4 million over Friday, according to studio estimates.
The Paramount/Skydance co-production is on pace to earn nearly $15 million this weekend in 3,124 locations, which will give the Coen Brothers their first $100 million domestic grossing hit.
In a repeat of last weekend's standoff, coming in close behind is the Robert De Niro and Ben Stiller comedy "Little Fockers." Universal's "Meet the Parents" sequel banked $4.2 million on 3,675 screens, and should make $13.7 million over the three day period. If estimates hold, the awkward in-laws sequel will have made $124 million domestically in three weeks of release.
Overall the weekend will drop-off 30 percent from the New Year's holiday, but part of the sluggishness is attributable to the lack of new releases.
Here's Friday's Top Ten. Box office report continues below chart:
Indeed, Nicolas Cage's long delayed, medieval action film "Season of the Witch" was the weekend's only debut. Produced by Relativity Media at a cost of $40 million, "Witch" conjured up $3.7 million on Friday. It is on pace to gross $9.4 million on 2,800 screens. That's roughly in line with the $10 million that the movie had been projected to make.
Expanding this weekend from limited release in L.A. and Nashville, "Country Strong," produced by Sony Pictures' Screen Gems at a cost of $12.5 million, rang up $2.6 million. Starring Gwyneth Paltrow and Tim McGraw, the troubled country star drama should best its pre-release tracking with a $7.6 million weekend gross.
Disney's "Tron:Legacy" netted $2.7 million over Friday, but the family friendly film will likely pick up steam on Saturday and Sunday when the kids are out of school. The big budget reboot is projected to make $10.5 million over the three day period, edging out "Witch" to take third place on the domestic chart.
The rest of the Friday box office was carved up pretty evenly among awards contenders. Likely Best Picture nominees, Fox Searchlight's "Black Swan" and Paramount's "The Fighter" made $2.4 million and $2.1 million on 1,584 screens and 2,528 screens respectively.
In more limited release, The Weinstein Company's "The King's Speech" banked $1.7 million in just 758 locations.
Thus began the box office's weekend in purgatory.