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True Grit surpasses Little Fockers to take box office crown

by Shannon Harris on January 10, 2011

After finishing second at the box office in its first two weeks, True Grit was able to dethrone Little Fockers to become the number one movie in North America over the weekend. The star-studded Coen brothers western took in an estimated $15 million in ticket sales, besting the $13.8 million made by Little Fockers, The New York Times reports.

The strong showing pushes the film over the $100 million mark, the first film by the prolific duo to do so. The movie stars last year's Best Actor winner Jeff Bridges as Rooster Cogburn, a grizzled U.S. Marshall hired by a precocious 14-year-old (Hailee Steinfeld) to track down the man who killed her father (Josh Brolin). The star studded adaption of a 1968 novel by the same name has garnered critical acclaim and generated considerable Oscar buzz thanks to its box office performance.

True Grit also reached another milestone, becoming one of the top five highest grossing westerns of all time, among such classics as Dances With Wolves and Blazing Saddles.

Though the news was good for True Grit, the same cannot be said for the rest of the movie industry. The overall box office dropped 30 percent from last weekend, The Associated Press reports, and analysts estimate that it could be the worst first weekend in January since 2000. Bouyed by Avatar, this time last year was much more lucrative for the film industry. In the first weekend of 2010, the film that finished in fourth place, Daybreakers, still earned more than True Grit did this weekend.

Behind True Grit and Little Fockers was the Nicolas Cage medieval fantasy Season of the Witch, which managed to earn 10.7 million despite being widely panned by critics. Tron: Legacy and the Darren Aronofsky psychological thriller Black Swan rounded out the top five.

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