True Grit showed exactly that, as the Western throwback topped the box office on Friday with $8.2 million, according to early estimates. After 10 days in theaters, the Coen brothers film, starring Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon, and newcomer Hailee Steinfeld, spent its first day at No. 1 by rising 72 percent from last Friday. (Every wide release witnessed considerable jumps yesterday since last Friday was Christmas Eve, a traditionally slow day at the box office). True Grit has so far grossed $70.5 million, and by the end of today, it should pass No Country for Old Men‘s $74.3 million tally to become the Coen brothers’ biggest hit.
One funny note: when the end credits were rolling, I noticed a job described as “Mr. Damon’s abs double” — even though Mr. Damon’s abs are never seen in the film — that was attributed to one “Buster Coen.” Towards the end of the evening, I asked Damon what that was all about, and he laughingly told me that Ethan’s 15-year-old son; Buster had served as an assistant to the script supervisor on the set during the making of the film, but had indicated that he wanted a more important-sounding credit than that; and had apparently requested that one!
Dartmoor Zoo's owner Ben Mee will be buoyed by news that filming on the adaptation of his book, "We Bought a Zoo," is to start on January 17.
It had been hoped that some of the filming would take place in Sparkwell, but director Cameron Crowe has instead built a replica of the zoo on a Californian ranch, and populated it with specially trained animals.
Mr Hyde said Ben hoped to visit the set during the 50 days of filming. He added that the zoo had been reassured that all the animals used in the film were kept to "very high standards."
Using trained animals will speed up production, and trailers for the film could hit the screens by Easter.
Matt Damon in True Grit and Hereafter – how is it that year after year Damon delivers one great performance after another and yet is routinely ignored? His work in Hereafter is so understated, and his performance in True Grit is the opposite: he plays a buffoon. He did the same thing last year with two performances and again was ignored. If he gets chosen for anything this year, voters might find some love for him as the Texas Ranger LaBouef, one of the best things about True Grit.