Weekend Recap: Just $50 M before Avatar sinks Titanic


There’s no newsworthy angle on Avatar being number one at the box office, but there is on how far it is from Titanic. James Cameron’s sci-fi epic is just $4 million away from being the highest grossing film the world has ever seen and less than $50 M away from the highest grossing film in United States history. It should pass the world mark this week and with another big weekend, we could be calling Avatar No. 1 in every sense of the word by this time next week.

No film pushed Avatar at all this week. No one even earned half of what it made and it was in its sixth week already. In terms of my predictions, I failed in predicting Legion would be a flop and not hit the Top 5, but I was proved completely wrong. The film’s target audience was not bogged down by The Book of Eli last weekend or Daybreakers the week before that. It earned $17.5 M, enough to beat “Eli” for No. 2 by a slim couple million.

  1. Avatar – $34.9 M (weekend) … $551.7 M (gross)
  2. Legion $17.5 M … $17.5 M
  3. The Book of Eli – $15.7 M … $60.7 M
  4. The Tooth Fairy – $14 M … $14 M
  5. The Lovely Bones – $8.4 M … $31.2 M
  6. Sherlock Holmes – $6.6 M … $191 M
  7. Extraordinary Measures – $6 M … $6 M
  8. Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel – $6.4 M … $204.1 M
  9. It’s Complicated – $5.8 M … $98.2 M
  10. The Spy Next Door – $4.6 M … $18.5 M

As far as dumb kids movies go, The Tooth Fairy managed $14 M of the $18 M that I estimated. By no means another complete flop like last week’s The Spy Next Door, which has fallen to No. 10 in its second week, but not exactly proof of a strong start for kids’ movies in 2009. I guess we’ll have to wait for the first Percy Jackson and the Olympians movie to come out for that.

One movie I thought would find a way to shake off the bad reviews to make the Top 5 was Extraordinary Measures, but just from listening to others, I can tell those reviews stopped people cold. CBS had really marketed its debut film to adults but lost probably a huge percentage with poor reviews. With $6 M in its first week, they’ll have a hard time reaching that $31 M budget.

Meanwhile, The Blind Side and Up in the Air have officially fallen out of the Top 10. It only took “Blind” 10 weeks … and it still sees a good take every week considering it’s been that long. It’s the second highest grossing film in the Top 20 films on the domestic box office chart this week, behind only you-know-who.


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