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Weekend Box Office: The Sitter, New Year's Eve Drops the Ball

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By Chris Kavan - 12/11/11 at 06:25 PM CT

Yes, there has to be a #1 movie at the box office, but considering the numbers, there's a good chance no one is going to be in the mood to celebrate. If totals hold, this will be the second-lowest grossing week of the year.

Although it opened in the top spot, the $13.7 million debut for New Year's Eve is nothing to shout about. It was far less than the $56.3 million opening for Valentine's Day and while you can blame some of that drop on time of year - it just comes down to the fact audiences were not enthused by this ensemble rom com.

Meanwhile, Jonah Hill likewise had a less-than-stellar opening weekend. The Sitter took in $10 million for a second-place finish. It's the worst opening for Hill - although he's mainly been in supporting roles for films like Superbad and Get Him to the Greek - and it's also on the long list of R-rated comedies that had underperformed this year.

In its fourth week out, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 finally got bumped from the top spot. With a 52% hit, the film took in $7.9 million, good enough for third. The film has moved up to the third highest-grossing film of the year, passing The Hangover: Part II with its $259.5 million total. It should be able to hit the $275 million mark, but $300 looks to be pushing it at this point.

It was good news for family films all around - The Muppets continued its strong run, dipping just over 36% to round out the top five with a $7 million take. The film now stands at $65.8 million since its opening and spells good news for the continued success of the franchise.

Meanwhile, Arthur Christmas continued its holiday-themed run of good luck, dipping just 10.8% with a $6.6 million sixth-place finish. The film has taken in $33.5 million since opening. Hugo expanded to over 2500 theaters and dropped a light 19%, taking in $6.1 million. The 3D film now stands at $33.5 million as well.

The only movie to gain an in audience compared to last week, The Descendants added over 300 theaters to its total and rose .9% to take in $4.8 million for a $23.65 million total. It's tracking better than both About Schmidt and Sideways and it looks like awards are already coming in, with the L.A. Film Critics for picture (though not awarded director for Alexander Payne).

In limited releases, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy took in $301,000 out of just four theaters, giving it the third-best limited opening this year behind Midnight in Paris and The Tree of Life while also the third-best opening for a film opening in four theaters behind Midnight in Paris and The King's Speech.

Next week Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows looks to kick off a busy holiday season, while Alivin and the Chipmunks get Chip-Wrecked in their third outing. We'll see if they can compete in a busy family market and if Holmes can open strong once again.

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