Weekend Recap: Another $50 M, “Avatar” is No. 7 ever

grossrankingsIn not surprising news, Avatar won this weekend’s domestic box office, overtaking Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen for No. 1 film of 2009 and climbing up to No. 7 on the all-time list.

In a bit more surprising news, I did very well for my first big weekend of predictions in 2010. The only new film to break the Top 5 Christmas 2009 power nucleus was Daybreakers, as I predicted, only it made $5 million less than I estimated, which held it to fourth, not third.

  1. Avatar – $50.3 M (weekend) … $430.8 M (gross)
  2. Sherlock Holmes – $16.58 M … $165.1 M
  3. Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel – $16.56 M … $178.4 M
  4. Daybreakers – $15.1 M … $15.1 M
  5. It’s Complicated – $11 M … $76.3 M
  6. Leap Year – $9.2 M … $9.2 M
  7. The Blind Side – $7.5 M … $219 M
  8. Up in the Air – $7.2 M … $54.8 M
  9. Youth in Revolt – $6.9 M … $6.9 M
  10. The Princess and the Frog – $4.86 M … $92.5 M

It appears that moviegoers are still getting around to seconds and thirds on Avatar and those Christmas releases they hadn’t seen yet, although Sherlock Holmes and Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel didn’t do as well as I had guessed and Daybreakers nearly had them beat. I figured “Holmes” for $20 M and “Alvin” for $16 M and both hit $16 M.

It’s Complicated warded off new competition as I also predicted because of the nature of its audience and positive word of mouth. Newcomers Leap Year and Youth in Revolt did about as expected although I was a bit more optimistic for the latter. A small number of theaters for both and good competition from older movies kept those films in the bottom half of the Top 10.

The story is still Avatar, however, dropping just 26 percent from last weekend with $50 million still, already in its fourth week. Given how January goes, it could be a couple more weeks before James Cameron’s juggernaut relinquishes first place. It’s about $170 million behind Titanic. Will it get there? It might be close. It will for sure overtake Star Wars and press The Dark Knight for No. 2 all-time

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