Weekend Recap: Avatar and Cameron are Bajillionaires

Palais des Festivals

Well, the film of the new decade at the box office might end up not having even been made in this decade. Avatar has done what everyone figured possible but no one actually stated outright: pass the $1 Billion mark at the worldwide box office. And in 17 days. The only thing more impressive is that God made the world in seven.

From now on, when James Cameron speaks, you listen. Period. That’s what happens when you reach the “I’ve made a billion-dollar film” club let alone the “I’ve made two billion-dollar films” club (and actually chartered them both). If that man wants to tell you something and it has anything to do with Hollywood or anything business related, you just shut up, listen, nod your head and agree. Because he’s right. In fact, I bet there actually is a planet called Pandora, and Cameron is playing us all for a good laugh.

In all likelihood, Avatar will surpass Pirates of the Caribbean 2 and The Return of the King and at least rank No. 2 in all-time worldwide box office before it’s done – right behind Titanic. Oh, so not only will it be the “I’ve made two billion-dollar films” club, but the “I’ve made the two highest-grossing movies ever made and no one will ever surpass me so I’m probably wasting my time starting this club” club. Ridiculous.

Box Office finished same as last week as far as the Top 5 goes, so my two tweaked predictions backfired. Sherlock Holmes held off the chipmunks and The Blind Side still continues to make more than $10 million each weekend, now in its 7th week.

  1. Avatar – $68.5 M (weekend) … $352.1 M (gross)
  2. Sherlock Holmes – $36.7 M … $189 M
  3. Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel – $35.2 M … $155.9 M
  4. It’s Complicated – $18.8 M … $59.2 M
  5. The Blind Side – $11.8 M … $208.2 M
  6. Up in the Air – $10.7 M … $44.4 M
  7. The Princess and the Frog – $9.8 M … $85.9 M
  8. Did You Hear About the Morgans? – $4.9 M … $25.3 M
  9. Nine – $3.9 M … $13.7 M
  10. Invictus – $3.89 M … $30.5 M

The box office Top 10 remained virtually unchanged from last week, not a surprise considering it was a repeat holiday weekend swapping out Christmas for New Year’s. The only difference was that Nine slipped fittingly into ninth. The movie musical has made just under $14 million, has yet to open worldwide and has a $80 million reported budget.

What happened to Nine is an example of what happens to a film that sells itself on being an Oscar contender that ends up getting mediocre reviews and devastatingly poor word-of-mouth. The Weinstein Co. has already yanked its efforts to promote Nine for best picture and will focus on Inglourious Basterds instead.

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