As all box-office prognosticators know, the weekend after New Year’s represents a traditional slump in box office returns, as the general public becomes numb with the crushing oppressiveness of another unrelenting year of births, deaths, and having to buy new shoes. And while I’d love to report that Nicolas Cage single-handedly saved the world’s population from the box office doldrums, the more accurate truth is that he merely contributed to them. His Serious Witchcraft picture Season of the Witch only earned $10.7 million – a paltry sum low enough to make even a warlock blush, and which was only good enough for 3rd place over the weekend behind two movies in their 3rd weeks (Jeff Bridges’ eyepatch in True Grit and Robert De Niro’s boner in Little Fockers).
Meanwhile, real-life witch Gwyneth Paltrow proved that having a terrible title like Country Strong isn’t enough to kill a movie’s financial potential, since a movie with that very (and very terrible) title managed to perform pretty respectably, with a $7.3 million dollar weekend in limited release.
In movies-your-parents-don’t-want-to-see news, the season’s surprise indie hits The King’s Speech Black Swan, and Blue Valentine continued to do very well, with Blue Valentine scoring the highest per-screen average gross of $18,000 per screen. Perhaps a TV sitcom adaptation is in the works?