Box Office: Tron Legacy Speeds Away with the Weekend

It wasn’t all that long ago that Joseph Kosinski’s “Tron: Legacy” was tracking so poorly among potential moviegoers that the studio was starting to get nervous. It was good news and bad news for the bid-budget Disney flick: while it opened in first place, it didn’t exceed industry expectations. The sequel to the 1980s cult classic showed off its neon vapor trails and easily claimed the top spot over fellow newcomers “Yogi Bear”, “The Fighter”, and “How Do you Know”. The film grossed $43.6 million after a stellar Friday, but dropped off noticeably over Saturday and Sunday, resulting in a final estimated tally that is just short of industry expectations.

While the weekend haul was nice for “Tron: Legacy”, the film still has quite a long way to go to earn back its reported $170 million production budget. Add promotional and other costs associated with selling a big Hollywood event film (like all those expensive junkets and premieres) and you’re looking at somewhere around $300 million for the entire film. Needless to say, that International box office take for the film better be huge, or this new “Tron” may end up looking a lot like the old “Tron”, fancier CGI notwithstanding.

Family-friendly flick “Yogi Bear”, meanwhile, earned the second spot with a less than spectacular $16.7 million. David O. Russell’s “The Fighter” finally opened wide this week, taking in $12.2 million, which was good enough for fourth place. Last week’s #1, “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader” fell to third place with another $12.4 million, just barely enough to edge out “The Fighter”, though given the slim margin, Monday’s actual figures may flip-flop the two films. “Dawn Treader” has earned $42.7 million in domestic release so far, and $166.4 million worldwide in two weeks of release. I think it’s safe to say that the film has more than justified making a third movie despite less than excited fanboy buzz ala the last two “Harry Potter” films.

Meanwhile, Darren Aronofsky’s critically acclaimed “Black Swan” finally opened in wide release this week. The supernatural ballet movie made $8.3 million from 959 screens, giving it $15.7 million so far. Until Aronofsky’s “The Wolverine” opens, “Swan” will probably count as the director’s biggest movie to date, which is not saying much since his films have never been particulary “mainstream” and have always left audiences a little perplexed. In less than three weeks of release, including two weeks in very limited screens, “Black Swan” has already surpassed its $13 million production budget.

1 —–Tron Legacy —–$43,600,000—– $43,600,000
2 —–Yogi Bear —–$16,705,000—– $16,705,000
3 —–The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader —–$12,400,000—–$42,764,000
4 —–The Fighter—– $12,200,000—– $12,634,000
5 —– The Tourist —–$8,700,000 —– $30,791,000
6 —–Tangled —–$8,676,000—–$127,819,000
7 —–Black Swan —–$8,300,000 —–$15,708,000
8 —–How Do You Know —–$7,600,000 —– $7,600,000
9 —–Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 —–$4,845,000—–$265,546,000
10 —–Unstoppable —–$1,800,000—– $77,343,000

'Look, Booboo, second place at the box office! Hurray for mediocrity!'