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Posted at 9:30 AM ET, 01/10/2011

Weekend box office: The Coen brothers finally triumph over those 'Little Fockers'

By Jen Chaney

Jeff Bridges, rising to the top in "True Grit." (Paramount Pictures via AP)

Proving that American moviegoers will only opt for "Fockers" for so long, "True Grit" finally outdid the third comedy in the "Meet the Parents" franchise and became the No. 1 movie at the weekend box office.

That's the big headline. Now here's the rundown on who deserves congratulations and condolences -- and which movies rounded out the top 5 -- in today's weekend box office round-up.

Congratulations go out to...

The Coen brothers: In addition to taking "True Grit" to the highest box office perch, the writer-directors further bolstered the revenues for what is now their most financially successful film ever. (No, that technically doesn't take into consideration any cash generated by midnight screenings of "The Big Lebowski.") "Grit" has made more than $110 million; the only other Coen feature to come close was "No Country for Old Men," which grossed $74.2 million.

Jeff Bridges: He's one of the stars of the aforementioned Western and of "Tron Legacy," which is still hanging in the top five at No. 4. In case it wasn't already clear, this is a very good time to be The Dude.

Nicolas Cage: Despite reviews so scathing they made the ones for "Little Fockers" look glowing, "Season of the Witch" still managed to land in the No. 3 spot with $10.7 million. Which is hardly great, but again, considering the reception it got -- "Audiences considering 'Season of the Witch' should heed the timeless advice of its ancestor 'Holy Grail' -- run away!," wrote the New York Post's Kyle Smith -- that's a blessing.

Michelle Williams and Ryan Gosling: Their film "Blue Valentine" didn't earn eye-popping dollars -- just $719,000. But when one considers that the broken-marriage indie only played in 40 theaters, yielding a per-screen average of $17,975, that's not bad, especially for a movie whose subject matter could be a hard sell.

And our condolences to...

Gwyneth Paltrow and the cast of "Country Strong": Obviously there are far more important, serious reasons to issue condolences to people right now. But within the context of box office returns, Paltrow and her crooning co-stars (not to mention the producers of "Country Strong") probably aren't too thrilled with that sixth-place, $7.3 million finish to the melodrama's first weekend in wide release.

Jack Black: In case it wasn't already clear that "Gulliver's Travels" was a stinker, this week put that fact into sharp focus. The supposedly family-friendly adventure has already fallen out of the top 10, and it's earned only $34.5 million in North America. Its performance overseas will help get it closer to recouping its reported $112 million budget but it's still not there yet.

Now, without further ado, here's the rundown of the weekend's top five movies weekend, followed by our poll that allows you to predict which flick will wind up on top next week.

Top five movies at the box office:

1. "True Grit" -- $15 million
2. "Little Fockers" -- $13.7 million
3. "Season of the Witch" -- $10.7 million
4. "Tron Legacy" -- $9.8 million
5. "Black Swan" -- $8.3 million

By Jen Chaney  | January 10, 2011; 9:30 AM ET
Categories:  Movies, Pop Culture  
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