‘Little Fockers’ underperforms at box office

* “Little Fockers” No. 1 with soft $34 million

* A box office double for Jeff Bridges

LOS ANGELES, Dec 26 (BestGrowthStock) – “Little Fockers,” the
critically maligned third film in the “Meet the Parents” comedy
series, took the top spot at the Christmas holiday weekend box
office in North America, but earned considerably less than its
predecessor, according to studio estimates issued on Sunday.

The latest Ben Stiller-Robert De Niro matchup sold just $34
million worth of tickets during the three days beginning on
Friday, said distributor Universal Pictures.

The film got a two-day head start on the weekend, tallying
$48.3 million since opening on Dec. 22. The studio said it had
hoped for a five-day haul in the $60 million range, but was
confident business would pick up over the holidays.

Exactly six years ago, the first sequel “Meet the Fockers”
earned $46 million during its first weekend and $70.5 million
in its first five days. In that case, the film also opened on
Wednesday and Christmas also fell on a Saturday.

Just 11 percent of the top critics on Rotten Tomatoes liked
the new film, according to the review aggregation Web site.
Universal, a unit of General Electric Co’s (GE.N: ) NBC
Universal, partnered on the $100 million project with
international distributor Paramount Pictures and closely held
financier Relativity Media.

The next two movies starred Jeff Bridges, in decidedly
different roles. “True Grit,” the Coen brothers’ update of the
John Wayne western, opened at No. 2 with $25.6 million for the
weekend, and $36.8 million since Wednesday. Bridges takes over
Wayne’s role as a grizzled U.S. marshal who helps a young woman
avenge her father’s murder. Paramount, a unit of Viacom Inc
(VIAb.N: ), released the film.

Last weekend’s champ, “Tron: Legacy,” fell to No. 3 with
$20.1 million for the weekend. The 10-day total for Walt Disney
Co’s (DIS.N: ) sci-fi film rose to $88.3 million. Bridges
reprises his role from the obscure 1982 film “Tron” as a
videogame developer trapped in a virtual environment called the
Grid.

One other movie entered the top 10. The Christmas Day
release “Gulliver’s Travels” came in at No. 7 with a two-day
haul of $7.2 million. Jack Black stars in the effects-laden
family film. The movie was released by News Corp’s (NWSA.O: )
20th Century Fox, which said the opening was “pretty
promising.”
(Reporting by Dean Goodman; Editing by Vicki Allen)

‘Little Fockers’ underperforms at box office