Box Office Guru

Box Office Guru Wrapup: Avatar Continues To Dominate

The Book of Eli and The Lovely Bones round out the top three.

by | January 17, 2010 | Comments

This weekend, or a fifth straight weekend James Cameron’s Avatar controlled the box office setting another milestone as it moved past Star Wars into third place on the all-time domestic box office chart. Watch out The Dark Knight, you’re next.

The unstoppable force that is Avatar dropped a slim 18% from last weekend and brought in another $41.3, according to estimates, bringing its total to an other-worldly $491.7M. Internationally, the film has now made $1.1B, which is just a hop, skip and a jump from Titanic‘s current record of $1.2B. Combined, the 3D sci-fi adventure flick has made an astounding $1.6B worldwide in only five weeks and the only question now is when it’ll beat Titanic, not if.

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The Book of Eli gave it a valiant effort, but fell short this weekend, taking in $31.6M according to estimates. That’s good enough to give Denzel Washington his second biggest opening weekend ever, behind only 2007’s American Gangster which shot up $43M in its opening weekend on its way to a final gross of $130M. The Book of Eli averaged a very strong $10,162 this weekend which could portend good things for the future.

Rising up to third place this weekend after a nationwide rollout was Peter Jackson’s The Lovely Bones. The movie version of the bestselling novel brought in $17M, according to estimates, for an above average per screen take of $6,656. Reviews had been mixed for the dark tale of a murdered girl who narrates her life from the beyond, but apparently there were enough fans of the book that wanted to see the film regardless of the reviews.

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A couple of holdovers rounded out the top five this weekend, flipflopping positions from the last few weeks. Fourth place went to the squeaky Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel which sang to the tune of $11.5M this weekend, according to estimates, down only 30% from last weekend. Its total now stands at $192.6M, which is just a stone’s throw from the original’s $217.3M final total. Fifth place went to the dashing duo Holmes and Watson as Sherlock Holmes brought in another $9.8M, according to estimates, down 41% from last weekend, bringing its cume to $180M.

Debuting softly in sixth place was Jackie Chan in The Spy Next Door. The spy-turned-babysitter film took in $9.7M this weekend, according to estimates, for a per screen average of only $3,317. Apparently families have not had their fill of singing rodents leaving Mr. Chan and his brood out in the cold.

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Universal took the next two spots on the chart with It’s Complicated and Leap Year. Complicated took in $7.6M in its fourth weekend of release, according to estimates, bringing its total to $88.2M and a shot at the $100M mark definitely within reach. On the opposite end of the spectrum was Leap Year, starring Amy Adams, which fell a reasonable 36.7% from last weekend to an estimated $5.8M. Its total stands at $17.5M and should end its run with around $35M.

In ninth place was the surprise hit of the season, The Blind Side which just keeps rolling along, this time taking in $5.6M, according to estimates, bringing its total to a tremendous $226.7M. And in tenth place was George Clooney’s award-bait Up in the Air which fell 23.7% from last weekend to $5.4M, according to estimates. The total now stands at $62.8M with a lot more to come if it can win a few major awards in the next few weeks.

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A couple of last weekend’s debuts dropped heavily in their sophomore frame as Daybreakers fell 67% to an estimated $5M and Youth in Revolt fell 59% to an estimated $2.8M. Totals are $24.1M and $11.9M respectively, which not a lot more left in the tanks.

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