Jeff Bridges’ “True Grit” won the box office over the weekend and in the process may be reintroducing the Western to a new generation of theatergoers. The last successful Western was “3:10 to Yuma” in 2007.
The movie, originally filmed in 1969 starring John Wayne, has grossed more than $110 million over the past three weeks, making it a success by any measure.
Meanwhile, Gwyneth Paltrow’s much hyped turn as a singer in “Country Strong,” expanded to theaters across the country, appears to have flopped, only generating $7.3 million and finishing the weekend at No. 6.
“True Grit” is about a teenage girl, Mattie Ross, played by newcomer Hailee Steinfeld who seeks out U.S. Marshal Reuben J. “Rooster” Cogburn, played by Jeff Bridges reprising Wayne’s role, to avenge her father’s death.
“True Grit” is currently third on the list of all-time grossing westerns, focusing on the Old West, behind Warner Bros.’s “Wild, Wild West” at $113 million and Kevn Kostner’s “Dances With Wolves,” which pulled in $184 million.
Other westerns that did well include 2007’s “3:10 to Yuma,” starring Russell Crowe and Christian Bale.
In contrast, Brad Pitt’s 2007 movie, “The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford” bombed with less than $4 million in receipts.
Last weekend, “True Grit” topped “Little Fockers” with a $15 million gross, according to studio estimates.
“Little Fockers,” with Robert De Niro, Barbra Streisand and Ben Stiller, came in at No. 2 after two weeks atop box office charts. It’s taken in $124 million.
Fantasy “Season of the Witch” starring Nicolas Cage, was the only new release this weekend. While it’s too early to call a bomb, it only grossed $10.7 million, amid mediocre reviews. But that was still enough to finish third.
Sci-fi fantasy “Tron: Legacy” came in at No. 4, with $9.8 million, followed by ballet drama, “Black Swan,” took in $8.4 million and pushed its total ticket sales to just over $61 million.
“Black Swan,” which stars Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis, began as a limited release, however, and is being widely touted as a leading Oscar contender.
Mark Wahlberg’s “The Fighter” generated $7 million and now has a total $57.8 million, coming in at No. 7, and “The King’s Speech” grossed $6.8 million for a total $33.3 million, which secured eighth place.