New Year’s Eve earned only $13.7 million in its first three days of release, but in a weekend where its only competition was a critically-disliked R-rated comedy and a month-old teen movie, it was still enough to propel the rom-com ensemble film to the number one spot. Fellow new release The Sitter earned only $10 million over the weekend, while The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 fell two spots to number three; its weekend gross of $7.9 million brings its total so far to $259.4 million. Rounding out the top five were The Muppets (weekend gross $7 million, total gross $65.8 million) and Arthur Christmas (weekend gross $6.6 million, total gross $33.4 million).
Just missing the top five was Martin Scorsese’s critically-loved children’s film Hugo; despite the fact that it expanded to over 2,600 theaters (compared to last weekend’s 1,840), it only earned $6.1 million over the weekend, bringing its total so far to $33.4 million.
While larger-scale releases were a financial disappointment—in fact, last weekend was the worst for the box office since 2008—limited releases provided something of a light spot in the midst of all the gloom. Jason Reitman’s Young Adult, his newest collaboration with Juno scriptwriter Diablo Cody, took in $320,000, and Tomas Alfredson’s Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy pulled in $300,737 in only four theaters, giving it an impressive per-theater average of $75,184. We Need to Talk About Kevin, which opened in New York and Los Angeles as part of its week-long Oscar-qualifying run, earned $24,000.
Next weekend sees Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chip-Wrecked and Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows hit theaters in wide release, while Young Adult will expand to theaters across the country and Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol will open on IMAX screens (the film made headlines in October when it was announced that it would be released in IMAX in advance of its wide release on December 21st). Out next weekend in limited release are Carnage, Cook Country and Corman’s World: Exploits of a Hollywood Rebel.