By Mack Chico
Little Fockers, the third in a series of Ben Stiller comedies playing on the nightmare in-laws theme, has topped the Christmas weekend box office in the US.
Despite a lukewarm response from critics, the flick grossed $34 million over the three-day weekend.
That was less than the debut of the 2004 sequel, Meet the Fockers, which opened to $46.1 million, but more than the original, Meet the Parents, which made $28.6 million in its opening weekend.
Oscar-winning brothers Joel and Ethan Coen came in second with their remake of the John Wayne western True Grit.
Jeff Bridges plays drunken, hard-nosed US Marshal “Rooster” Cogburn in the new version of the 1969 classic, which took in $25.6 million, giving the Coen brothers their best ever opening. The filmmakers’ previous top debut was Burn After Reading, which earned $19 million in its first weekend in 2008.
Bridges also stars in last weekend’s top film – TRON: Legacy – which captured $20.1 million in ticket sales in its second weekend, slipping down to third in the rankings.
The sequel to the 1982 sci-fi cult hit stars 61-year-old Oscar-winner Bridges appearing opposite a computer-generated version of his younger self from the original movie.
The original TRON – about a hacker transported into a computer game world – was one of the first-ever computer animated films. It did well at the box office and became a cult for a generation of budding sci-fi fans.
Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at US and Canadian cinemas:
1. Little Fockers, $34 million
2. True Grit, $25.6 million
3. Tron: Legacy, $20.1 million
4. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, $10.8 million
5. Yogi Bear, $8.8 million
6. The Fighter, $8.5 million
7. Gulliver’s Travels, $7.2 million
8. Black Swan, $6.6 million
9. Tangled, $6.5 million
10. The Tourist, $5.7 million