Box office report: 'TRON: Legacy' races to top with $43.6 mil

TRON-LEGACYImage Credit: Disney First the good news. TRON: Legacy raked in some thoroughly respectable numbers opening weekend, pulling in $43.6 million. Undaunted by enh reviews, CinemaScore audiences awarded the Disney reboot starring this weekend’s SNL host Jeff Bridges a solid B+ rating. IMAX and TRON made excellent teammates, as the movie earned $10.3 million—a quarter of its weekend kitty—in 234 IMAX theaters.

But now, let’s cue a wet raspberry sound. How Do You Know, the big-budget, star-laden romantic comedy from James L. Brooks, came in at the No. 8 spot, making a lousy $7.6 million at over 3,061 theaters. That’s miserable news for everyone involved, especially considering the fact that Black Swan, starring a crazy-eyed Natalie Portman, made more money on some 2,000 fewer theaters. The Darren Aronofsky film, pirouetting into the No. 7 spot, jumped to 959 theaters this weekend with an impressive $8.3 million haul. (Consider that Black Swan, which cost just $13 million, already has a cumulative gross of $15.7 million in three weekends of limited release. How Do You Know cost north of $100 million, and at this rate will be lucky to make a quarter of that back in domestic grosses.)

Oh Yogi Bear, you hoped more friends would show up to the picnic. The talking bear flick came in at No. 2 with $16.7 million. That’s a far cry from Squeakquel numbers, the Alvin & the Chipmunks period piece that opened to $48.8 million on last year’s Christmas weekend. But at least it’s slightly better than Marmaduke‘s fate, which opened in June to just $11.6 million.

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader headed south to No. 3 with $12.4 million, bringing its cumulative two-week gross to $42.7 million. But how The Fighter swung for it that top 3 spot. The boxing opus, aglow with six Golden Globe and four SAG award nominations, had a very good round this weekend, pulling in $12.2 million on 2,503 screens to land at No. 4.

Check back here next week for big Christmas weekend results. True Grit and Little Fockers open nationwide on Wednesday, December 22, with Country Strong hitting in limited release.

1. TRON: Legacy—$43.6 mil

2. Yogi Bear—$16.7 mil

3. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader — $12.4 mil

4. The Fighter—$12.2 mil

5. The Tourist—$8.7 mil

Comments (164 total) Add your comment
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  • Leo

    Great for “The Fighter”, “Black Swan” and “Tron: Legacy”. Bad for “How Do You Know” and “Yogi Bear”. Maybe the former might end up as one of the biggest flops of all time!

    • MovieGenius

      Tron Legacy absolutely crushed the competition. $43 million is incredible for a sequel to an 80’s movie that barely anyone watched when it came out at that time. This should put the haters to their place. Haters gonna hate, right. Tron Legacy, I applaud you and salute you. You did amazing and its a really good film.
      On the other hand, Reese Witherspoon is not liked and loved by the audiences anymore. I guess people got tired of her schtick and always acting cute-sy in every rom-com film. Even Anne Hathaway did better in her rom-com, and she got nominated for a Golden Globe for her movie while Reese got nothing. Reese, no one likes you anymore so please just stop with this stupid “hey I’m blond and cute” movies that you always do.

      • mikey

        I’d hardly call Tron’s numbers incredible considering how hyped the film was and the fact that Disney spent over $100 million in promotion.

      • Paul

        More like MovieIdiot

      • James

        What? No it’s not. As someone else said, for the amount of money that Disney spent promoting it, the cult status of the original film and the insane emphasis on 3D and IMAX showings, $43 million is decent but not spectacular. And it’s pretty easy to “crush” the competition when you’re up against holdovers, limited-release indie movies and a romantic comedy that had almost no marketing.

      • m1

        I like Reese. She’s better than Aniston’s disappointing roles.

      • Golliath

        This is not an incredible or amazing result by any means. 150 million spent on its budget, plus 150m spent on its prints and marketing, means this has a long way to go until it reaches profit.

        Now, 43.6m isn’t bad, either. Its success really depends on its legs, and the general consensus seems to be “story/characters suck, but visuals/score are awesome!” That could be enough to help it stick around.

      • Bluto

        The movie will drop 60-65% next weekend, and will be lucky to make $100-110 million at the BO, which means, no Tron 3.

      • Jackson

        I saw Yogi Bear, How Do You Know, and Tron Legacy this weekend. I would give Yogi Bear a B, Tron Legacy a D+, and How Do You Know a C.

      • what

        At boxofficemojo they put that How do you know was in only 2,483 theaters.

      • james cordero

        actually the tron numbers are a huge disappointment, actually a disaster. they needed at least a 60-70m opening to have a chance a recouping their money,most movies will earn 50 percent reduction of the opening week totals, then another 50 reduction each week thereafter. the only thing that might help for the next week is christmas week and the lack of movies for people to go to right now. no one liked tron in the 80’s and they don’t like it again.

      • Merlin

        Sorry, Tron Legacy bombed. The original was alot of original flash, a sort of story, and you at least felt vested in the characters. Legacy was disjointed, the CGI Clu sucked, and all the hype was for mediocre updated graphics of the original movie. Too many scenes were stolen from other movies to be even slightly original. Yeah, I know it’s a movie, but people want to see something that grabs them, makes them feel vested in a character or story. In this case, set screen save to mark II and grab a coke.

      • Alan

        “Tron Legacy” did very respectably, all things considered. I think detractors are forgetting that this movie is a sequel to a *28 year-old cult movie*, so Avatar-sized box office returns were unrealistic. Now that it’s debuted at #1 (congratulations, Disney!), what’s going to keep “Tron Legacy” afloat will be strong word-of-mouth. The movie has not appealed to *everybody* (just like the original), and sure, that’s disappointing, but judging by the evidence online (aka Facebook, etc.), it HAS appealed to enough people, myself among them. I’m quite confident that “Tron Legacy” will have legs in the crucial weeks to come. You’ll see! :-)

  • Eric

    Tron was awesome and Jeff Bridges is one of the greatest actors of his generation. Justin Timberlake is an awful actor. People need to stop casting him in movies.

    • winecntry

      Eric: You could not be more wrong about Justin Timberlake. I would venture a guess that you are just another insecure jealous male.

    • Cris

      Not sure where or how Justin Timberlake enters the conversation …

      • Mo

        Chris, Justin Timberlake was the voice of Boo Boo in Yogi Bear.

      • Gink

        Justin voiced the little bear in Yogi.

  • Dusen

    How on earth can Hollywood spend 100 million on a special-effects free romantic comedy??

    Did they cater in caviar and truffles every day?

    I don’t get it.

    • Melissa

      I was thinking the same thing.

      • Joe

        Owen Wilson, Paul Rudd, Reese Witherspoon and Jack Nicholson = 25-30 million, and that’s a low estimate. Brooks is also reported to have completely re-shot the beginning and ending of the film, which seems like it’d be quite expensive.

    • george

      Well the answer is payroll my friend. The A list actors in the movie most likely got 10+ million and it all adds up quickly.

  • Eric

    Not surprised that the Reese Witherspoon’s movie flopped. She’s never been a big draw outside her few romantic comedies.

    • Jen

      Are you kidding? She was one of the most bankable actresses of the last decade.

    • steph

      but isn’t this a romantic comedy? I’ve never been a big fan of hers, but I love me some Paul Rudd. I just don’t want to pay $10 to see it when there are more interesting movie choices out there (like Black Swan).

  • Duncan

    The Chronicles of ZZZZZZZZZZ… So long dead franchise, you were never meant to be popular

    • Dan

      The production budget was $155 million. Worldwide, it has already made $166 million. This is before the 2 weeks we get off for Christmas break. This movie is doing just fine. The Silver Chair will definitely get made!

  • Matt C.

    Not that it makes the movie any less of a flop, but How Do You Know only opened in 2,483 theaters. $3,061 was the per-theater average. Regardless, that’s still disappointing. Anyways, I’m going to see Tron in an hour, and I hope to see Black Swan, The Fighter, Narnia 3, and even How Do You Know over the course of the holidays (I’ve had a crush on Reese Witherspoon for years so I’m obligated to see it).

    • hudd

      Star Wars only had a peak of 1,096 theaters and that was after 11 weeks. It only opened in like 400 theaters and it did alright. Opening in 2500 theaters is not a reason for box office failure. People NOT going is the reason.

      • Scooby Doo

        I think the “only opened in 2,483 theaters” comment was in regards to the incorrect number EW uses in the article.

        I assume Matt C was saying that while it was still an absolutely brutal weekend for it, it isn’t quiiiite as bad as the article states with the 3,061 number.

  • jon

    When i become a director i am going to remake the Chronicles and make it better than Harry Potters and those crappy Twilight films. Dont mess with The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobes. Thats the title they should have stuck to. Idiot hollywood executives

    • matt

      There are so many things wrong with this paragraph that I don’t know where to begin.

      • Bob Jones

        LOL. My thoughts exactly. Um, wardrobes?

      • Cris

        Something tells me that if Jon becomes a director, he’s going to make Michael Bay look like Christopher Nolan

      • steph

        lol @ Chris.

    • Liz Lemon

      Technically speaking, there’s not much wrong with the Narnia movies. In fact, when it comes to adaptations, they’re fairly good. I think the first film even won an Oscar. Narnia’s problem is marketing. There wasn’t enough promotion for it. Plus they always get released right after a Potter film…which isn’t the smartest way to go.

  • Kathy

    The Reese Witherspoon movie did have Jack Nicholson, Owen Wilson and Paul Rudd. She wasn’t supppose to the only draw. The Yogi Bear movie with Dan Akyrod and Justin Timberlake was about just a big a flop because it had $80 million dollar budget. I’m surprised that Black Swan didn’t do better because it increased a lot in theater count. It’s got a lot of hype from critics.

    • dally

      The challenge the Black Swan had is that it isn’t the type of movie you see more than once. All of the biggest movies have people going back more than once. As great as the acting was for Black Swan, I have no need to ever see it again.

      • Kris

        I can’t really say I agree. I know someone who saw it three times this week alone. I saw it on Friday and I thought it was amazing. I probably wont pay to see it in the theatres again but I really want to see it again.

      • ML

        It was such a phenomenal movie experience for me that I’m seeing it again tomorrow (saw it last Sunday for the first time).

      • Woot

        I have to disagree with you. There are so many little things in the movie, that it begs to be viewed to be seen again. I can’t wait to go back to the theatre and see it for a second time!

      • PNK

        Yeah, I saw it and there was just too much over-the-top nonsense. It had a big freakout factor, and beyond that a simple story. I thought Natalie Portman acted crazy enough, but that wasn’t really enough for me in terms of an overall compelling film. Her range was kinda narrow – frightened most of the time, was there really any other emotion?
        Anyway, no desire to see it again for me, and I think it’s a bit overhyped.

      • Delena

        @dally I get kind of annoyed when people think their opinion speaks for everyone. Just because you had no desire to see it again doesn’t mean everyone feels the same way. I can’t wait to see the Black Swan again. So there goes your theory.

      • Fatima

        To me, Black Swan is the definition of a “see it twice” movie. I went this weekend and I’m taking my sister over the holidays.

      • leland

        I loved Black Swan and Tron was over hyped cartoon junk. Whatever happened to Matrix style hi tech art. Tron was junk its just a computer generated cartoon

      • lefty

        Personally, if I saw Black Swan more than once in a span of a couple of weeks…the paranoia induced by the ovie would make me want to hurt myself. It was very well acted and all that, but it was much more psychological than I was expecting.

    • Jackson

      Kathy- I saw Black Swan and absolutely loved it. Being a fellow movie reviewer, people don’t care what critics think. They go and see it whether it looks good or not. I always go on Metacritic (my home page, believe it or not) to see the critics’ average, but I pay attention to the user average. Tron Legacy looked horrible, but the cast draws you in. Jeff Bridges. Olivia Wilde (13 from House). It doesn’t matter how I think the movie is or you think the movie is. 9 out of 10 people go whether the commercial looks good or not, and Black Swan had a great marketing scheme. How Do You Know didn’t. Simple as that.

      • leland

        I loved Black Swan and that is saying a lot I am a Matrix, Blade and Starship Troopers guy and was surprised vastly superior to TRON excellent plot acting.

    • rob


      Thank you for helping to point out that Reese was not the only major star in the movie. Why is everyone blaming her alone? Owen Wilson is so over-rated and I don’t understand his appeal. Paul Rudd is almost non-existant in helping to open a movie. He’s an indie star for sure. What can be said about Jack? How about going out and promoting the movie? Why this was all up to Reese is beyond me. BTW, all should be ashamed that this films budget exceeded $100 million. If there’s a backlash, THAT should be the reason, not Reese.

  • Kate

    Good for Tron, but am I wrong in thinking that as much as it’s been hyped, and with so much emphasis on IMAX and 3D and those surcharges, that it could/should have made more? This is like $35 million less than what Avatar made on the same weekend last year. Just a thought.
    And Reese’s movie tanking confirms what I’ve suspected for a while — unless she’s playing an Elle Woods type or June Carter Cash, no one is going to pay to see her. I keep telling this to people who swear up and down that she and Pattinson will sell WFE in April, but they don’t listen …

    • Kris

      It definitely should have hit the 50-60 million mark. Its a bit disappointing.

    • miumiu

      The era when box offices depends mainly on star power is long gone. The Tourist made similarly to the god awful the Killers because the movie itself has problems.

      Same for How Do You Know. If that movie as same critic rating and word of mouth a “I love you, man” I would definitely see it.

      WfE will sell because it is based on a popular book. Even poor book adaption of Time Traveler’s Wife did okay. If it is a decent movie, people will go see it.

      • @miumiu

        WfE will sell because it is based on a popular book.
        Same way The Lovely Bones sold, right?

    • chris

      weekend aint over yet right?

    • kirsh

      I manage a cinema in London and unfortunately Tron was empty all weekend. Bad weather can be partly to blame, but this was embarrassing and unprecedented for the season’s top draw film. In fact, it may kill my cinema.

      • msimian

        Kirsh, I’m curious to hear if Tron did poorly across London or just at your place…in the States it came in a little below expectations but not too bad, considering it was a horrendous weekend for the other new films.

    • Katharine

      I don’t think the movie failing had anything to do with Reese Witherspoon. The trailers for the movie where just “meh” for me. It looked like a story about over-entitled people dealing with an unrealistic problem only wealthy people have. I could care less.Besides, I couldn’t tell if it was a comedy or a drama. Story does matter. Good actors can’t save a crappy story that doesn’t connect with people.

    • Dave

      TRON: LEGACY will need incredible legs and international box office to make any money. That’s too bad, but at least Disney has deep pockets. They better hope for huge numbers for the home video release!

  • Betty

    “Narnia” had a decent hold, but it will take a miracle to reach $100 million.

    • @Betty

      Considering that the first Narnia film hit like $290+ million, for just the third film to tumble that far is pretty sad.

      • blah

        Its b/c Disney is trying to milk the market before it disappears; fantasy flicks are still fairly popular due to LOTR. If Disney paid attention to the real story/character elements of the Narnia series, and slowed down to make a very careful and accurate retelling, the new Narnia could have been truly outstanding. As it is, fans are apparently realizing how much of a cash cow the franchise is and are already waiting for the next big remake, next decade I hope.

      • James

        Except Disney’s not handling Narnia anymore.

    • seymour

      @Betty: Given the terrible opening, Narnia did NOT have a decent hold. This weekend was disasterous for it. Narnia opened very, very poorly (worse than Caspian) and had to hold really well (or even pull a Blind Side and improve). This is clearly the end of the franchise.

      • m1

        It can easily pull a blind side next week. Barely anyone wants to see Yogi Bear or Gulliver’s Travels, and fantasy films are the best holiday weekend movie option.

      • Betty

        @seymour Box Office Mojo said that it had a better second weekend drop than “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.” That’s what I meant. However, its grosses are still a problem.

  • Andrew

    “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Pat 1″ also surpassed “Chamber of Secrets” gross in America.

  • Will

    Oh hush. Reese can still sell a movie. Everyone is allowed a flop. Anne had Passengers which made back 1/5 of its budget. Reese’s last movie, 4 Christmases, was a box office success.

    • James

      Except that it’s not just the one flop. Rendition, Penelope (to be fair, she wasn’t the lead) and Vanity Fair all tanked. Just Like Heaven didn’t bomb but it didn’t do that well, either. Her last two live-action hits were Four Christmases and Walk the Line, and in those she played opposite a male co-star of equal weight.

      • m1

        It isn’t like the male leads were huge draws either. Vince Vaughn is not that likable (Couples Retreat was probably his last major hit) and we all know Joaquin Phoenix’s track record for opening a film.

      • Ja Ja Ja Ja

        Rendition- Reese Witherspoon in a political thriller from the director of X Men Origins..
        Vanity Fair- made ovr half of its original budget, had a decent screen average, and bad critical reception
        Argument Rebunked

      • James

        How is it debunked? Will up there was acting like this is Reese’s one and only “oops” and I pointed out that it’s not. I don’t care who directed Rendition, it still flopped. Vanity Fair made, what, like $16 million? Considering Witherspoon’s clout at the time, I wouldn’t call that a success.
        Let’s be honest — she made a couple successful romantic comedies several years ago and is still milking that, and for some reason won Best Actress against a weak field. I don’t dislike her, believe it or not, but she’s not the draw she used to be.

      • Jeremy DC

        I have to agree with James on this one.

  • Russ

    This is not a reboot, it’s a sequel.

    • Bignose

      I was going to say the same thing. :-)

    • will

      Finally, someone made a comment that made sense, but will fall on deaf ears, but I concur, this movie is not a reboot, but a long awaited and overdue sequel.

    • Channing

      I can see where “reboot” comes to mind, though, as it seems one of the major goals of ‘TRON: Legacy’ is to pass the torch from the original actors to the newer ones for ‘TRON 3.’

    • leland

      I loved Black Swan and that is saying a lot I am a Matrix and Starship Troopers guy and was surprised vastly superior to TRON excellent plot acting.

  • EmBella

    Don’t you have an editor to review your grammar before you publish your articles? Must we resign ourselves to accepting such a low level of journalism?

  • Brian

    TRON Legacy was amazing. On the whole I’m usually in agreement with the critics. Most of them are way off on this one, though. TRON was extremely entertaining, action-packed, and most importantly stayed true to the original. As a huge fan of the original, I couldn’t have been more pleased.

    • Candacetx

      yikes… I. hated. it. And we paid extra for the 3d and barely any of it was in 3d. Well, there’s $50 bucks (2tix, 3d upcharge, concessions) that we contributed to our local economy I suppose…

      • chris

        barely any of it? … The entire film save for the intro was 3D… maybe you dont see depth perception very well.

      • Glasses

        You know when that message on the screen that read “please put your 3D glasses on” came into picture? Thats when you put the glasses on to see the 3D bud. And 1 other suggestion, just buy popcorn, bring your own drinks to the movie

      • angel

        have to agree, it was not very good. Not exactly sure what the plot was for most of the movie till the end, and very little interesting action. Bike sequence kinda of a bore as well as the discus fight.

    • Cadillac jack

      I agree, I thought it was awesome. Course, unlike everyone else here (apparently), I saw the first film… so, I knew the plot from the start. Daft Punk and Light Cycles… what more could you want, jeeze.

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