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'Red' and 'The Social Network' wrapping up long box office runs

December 19, 2010 |  2:44 pm

Red For two movies that opened more than two months ago, Christmas season marks the end of slow but prosperous runs in theaters.

The Bruce Willis action film "Red" and the Facebook drama "The Social Network" opened two weeks apart in October with very similar results. The two films both sold about $22 million of tickets in the U.S. and Canada, decent but far from great starts given their production budgets of about $60 million and $40 million, respectively.

The two pictures have now virtually finished their box office runs and accomplished the rare feat of grossing more than four times what they did on their opening weekends."Red" stands at $88.4 million, while "Social Network" has collected $91.9 million.

Typical "multiples" are less than three times opening weekend takes. When they're higher, it indicates the movie has unusually strong word-of-mouth and an audience that wasn't motivated to rush out as soon as possible.

Summit Entertainment's "Red," which also stars John Malkovich and Helen Mirren in an adaptation of a comic book about a group of aging assassins, appears to have benefited from an older audience than that of a typical action film. SocialNetworkMiddle-aged adults are less likely than young ones to see a film on opening weekend. Sony Pictures' "Social Network," meanwhile, has drawn a more diverse audience but slowly become a "must-see" film that's now considered a top Oscar contender.

"The Social Network" also passed a milestone overseas this weekend, as its foreign gross hit $100.5 million. It's not common for dialogue-heavy American dramas to collect more than $100 million internationally.

--Ben Fritz

Top photo: Bruce Willis, John Malkovich and Helen Mirren in "Red." Credit: Frank Masi / Summit Entertainment. Bottom photo: Justin Timberlake and Jesse Eisenberg in "The Social Network." Credit: Merrick Morton / Columbia Pictures.