Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Box Office Blather: Jeff Bridges Double Dips

A weekly box office series, in beta, to see if we like. To remind you that you're here and not elsewhere and we can't just do things normally, we'll come at it from weird angles when we can.

Jeff Bridges stars in TRON GRIT
  1. Little Fockers $30 NEW
  2. True Grit $24.8 NEW
  3. Tron Legacy $19.5 (cumulative: $87.3)
  4. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader $9.4 (cumulative: $62.5)
  5. Yogi Bear $7.8 (cumulative: $35.8)
  6. The Fighter $7.6 (cumulative: $26.6)
  7. Tangled $6.4 (cumulative: $143.6)
  8. Gulliver's Travel $6.3 NEW 
  9. Black Swan $6.2 (cumulative: $28.6)
  10. The Tourist $5.4 (cumulative: $40.8)
  11. The King's Speech $4.4 (cumulative: $8.3)
  12. How Do You Know $3.5 (cumulative: $15)
With Little Fockers and True Grit topping the charts and we experience an unexpected flashback. Bridges & Babs haven't dipped into the top box office together since The Mirror Has Two Faces (1996). And this time Jeff is double-dipping.

♪ this is it... OHHHH i finally found someone... someone to share my life ♪♫

The first thing to note is that Jeff Bridges is hogging the higher altitudes of the chart as both True Grit's grizzled Rooster Cogburn and the god/father figure for Garret Hedlund (and cross-generational computer geeks) in Tron Legacy. I haven't seen the latter picture but it's good to see Bridges back in sleeker form again after those last two sloshed rundown beer-bellied men in Grit and Crazy Heart. The new old western is is now the Coen Bros' best opening narrowly beating Burn After Reading (2008) which, had almost exactly the same budget but more stars to sell itself with. No Country For Old Men (2007) is their highest grosser though. Will Grit surpass it?

art by Daniel Foez

Couple other things.
  • You'd think the Narnia series would die as its box office descends with each film but it's still popular globally and the budget on this one dropped considerably. Does it show?
  • Christmas was the first wide weekend for The King's Speech, arguably the only major film relying entirely on Oscar buzz to sell tickets. (You can't really count the films that have barely even tried to open and they are unfortunately many.)
  • Tangled is holding well, despite losing some theaters to Christmas fare, demonstrating long legs to accessorize that golden hair. It'll need them. For some reason it cost $260 to make -- which is at quite a bit more expensive than the three animated films which have outgrossed it this year. Was it the frequent retooling that made it that expensive? It'll presumably be awhile before profits once you factor in marketing costs.
Speaking of animated fairytales... Does anyone else remember The Last Unicorn? Is that even on DVD? Here's Jeff Bridges (as the charming Prince) serenading/romancing Mia Farrow (the unicorn)

 It's not some sick interspecies romance because somehow she's a beautiful woman and not just a unicorn. No, I don't remember the story at all.

Three questions to send you on your way: 
  1. The Mirror Has Two Faces? Go. (even if you haven't seen it you MUST read this awesome review of it by Glenn at Stale Popcorn. It's laugh out loud funny)
  2. Aren't you glad Jeff's musical talents improved before The Fabulous Baker Boys and Crazy Heart?
  3. What did you see over Christmas?
Barbra Streisand


Keelay! said...

My old roommate was obsessed with The Last Unicorn! It's most definitely on DVD, because she watched it all the time.

Anonymous said...

Though I haven't seen it, The Mirror Has Two Faces sticks in my mind for one reason and one reason only: it's the film that saw Lauren Bacall lose the Oscar to Juliette Binoche in The English Patient. So I guess my question is... who deserved it?

Personally, I thought Juliette did a great job in one of her lesser performances (which is still a lot better than many actresses' bests).


badmofo -- Juliette's was definitely the superior performance. At least Bacall got her honorary last year.

keelay -- good to know.

Torrent Download said...

Great Post.. thanks

Orion said...

IS that a typo? $260 million to make "Tangled"? For what exactly?

OtherRobert said...

I saw a blizzard destroy any chance I had to whole up in a multiplex and catch up on the Oscar race. Boo.

Rebecca said...

The Mirror has Two Faces? Ugh. It has that weird message you also find in Dove commercials - 'your inner beauty is important, to show how wonderful you are on the inside lose some weight and buy this expensive product, and that possibly closeted professor will fall madly in love with you.' Let's not ever speak of this movie again.


Orion -- it's not a typo. It cost $260 million to make. (toy story 3 & dragon were around $200. despicable me was well under $100)

Rebecca - LOL. that's so true. Inner Beauty is ALWAYS reflected in outer beauty. that's why it's called inne... hey, wait a minute!

Anonymous said...

1. The mirror has many faces, Mr. R.;

2. Yes, I am.

3. Tron - The Legacy. Quite entertaining, you should try it.

Marcelo - Brazil.

Anonymous said...

Oh how I adore Jeff Bridges.

Peggy Sue said...

Wow! Thanks for sharing that creepy animated unicorn movie. Never heard of it before. Jeff sounds really terrible!

I saw The King's Speech. Good. A bit pompous maybe. Colin's going to sweep...

Ryan T. said...

Saw The Fighter on Christmas Eve day. Liked it more than I thought I would. Really loved what the four main actors did, but I totally see why Bale is getting the lion share of critics awards so far.

MRRIPLEY said...

The superior perf in the mirror has two faces is actually mimi rogers a real scene stealer.

on a side note nat - barbara hershey desereved the 1996 supporting actress oscar.

Walter L. Hollmann said...

Wasn't there supposed to be a Last Unicorn remake or sequel or something? Whatever happened to that?

I saw The Tourist (instantly forgettable) this Christmas because my local theaters didn't add The King's Speech until SUNDAY. Wha...?

Kurtis O said...

Answer to Question #3: For fun snowed-in times, the hubby and I rented "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" because "Despicable Me" wasn't offered in the Redbox (a device with which I am newly familiar). Ironically enough, what we got was "Diary of a Despicable Kid." The main character is such a little bastard. There's no identifying with him, and he's so un-root-for-able, it's ridiculous. I was a punk middle-schooler, too, but at least the heroes in the adolescent flicks I watched gave me a smidgeon of a better example to follow. "Wimpy" is mean-spirited stuff. Not one to screen with the nieces and nephews.

J said...

Finally caught up with [i]Winter's Bone[/i] on the 23rd. Really great acting. Cannot BELIEVE Teardrop = Richard from [i]Me and You and Everyone We Know[/i]. I fell out of my chair when I looked him up on IMDB and saw that. John Hawkes for President.

Cluster Funk said...

TMHTF is such a time-and-a-place time capsule for me. Barbra Streisand loves herself a vanity project, doesn't she?

And if you want fun, early '80s Jeff Bridges, check out Faerie Tale Theatre's Rapunzel. He, Shelley Duvall and Gena Rowlands chew scenery with the best of 'em.

Cluster Funk said...

P.S. yesterday I saw Rabbit Hole, which was fantastic. Nicole, Aaron, Dianne--all superb but, my God, were Nicole's lips bizarrely bulbous or what? Still, it's nice to see her in Birth territory again.

Liv. said...

saw Tangled and The King's Speech back-to-back on friday and then Black Swan on saturday. 'twas a schizophrenic weekend. plus, the theater for each movie looked to be sold out. i'm thinking Swan permanently scarred most of my fellow Ohioans.


Liv -- i love weekends like that. even going to festivals doesn't really approximate it because the films tend to be all highbrow or arthouse bound. not as much of a possible psychotic break while jumping from one film to the next ;)

Cluster -- yeah the lips were weird but she was AWESOME. holy cow i was so glad she had that in her.

J -- i know right? people get pissed at me all the time for harping about nominating leads in supporting categories but THIS IS WHY. You can't have a John Hawkes as Oscar nominee if you crowd him out with stars in leading roles. And he's so great in that picture.

Jacob said...

Saw Black Swan...not really sure what to think after leaving it. But I must say, Natalie Portman's pregnancy could hamper what could have been a wide world of opportunity for her with some upcoming roles. Shame.

Liz said...

I got rather embarassed watching "The Mirror Has Two Faces." It's such an obvious vanity project, particularly the pans up and down Streisand's body after her "transformation." Yes, she's SUPER HOT now. We get it. *can't watch, hides face*

The makeover-free male equivalent of that movie is "Mary Shelley's Frankenstein" ("Starring Kenneth Branagh's chest," according to my college film professor).

Cluster Funk said...

Re: Rabbit Hole - I also admired how unfussy the direction was. Kudos to John Cameron Mitchell who, frankly, hasn't gotten many this awards season.

But the pantheon of Kidman's greatness, IMO, is still Birth. How that one sunk like a stone is beyond me.

Anonymous said...

Tangled's large budget comes from the fact they've been working on it for six years.

Glenn said...

The Mirror Has Two Faces is AMAZING!!!

Seriously. "Puccini!"

adri said...

I saw The King's Speech and Black Swan. The King's Speech was a little more restrained than I had expected, but I still liked it.

What we agreed on Black Swan:
- It was weird and intense, but we really liked it.
- It made us hungry. We were starving afterward for juicy sandwiches.
- We really wanted Nina to get the role, and perform the whole role and do a great job.
- There wasn't enough dancing in it.
- Nina's dancing partner was a lousy partner (as a character). A pas de deux is a partnership where each person is equally responsible for finding the spark between them, for becoming one unit, for making the dance work. (Although again, how much was real and how much interior).

AmaliaPorAmor said...

LOL! The Stale Popcorn take on "The Mirror Has Two Faces" is hilarious! I'm a Babs fan, but I find the whole article very funny.

I haven't seen all the Sec Actress performances, but I remember that Bacall had a poignant scene with Streisand at a kitchen talking about how life had passed by so quickly, how she felt old on the outside but inside still feeling like a young woman with the future ahead of her... it was really beautiful.

Streisand can be vain but her three directorial efforts managed to score nominations for her co stars... Nolte was very good in "The Prince of Tides" and Kate Nelligan playing the mother with a secret was the best actor in that movie.