Weekend Box Office (January 15 - 18, 2010)
by Sujit Chawla
THIS WEEKEND For 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 Dark Knight, you're next.
The unstoppable force that is Avatar brought in another $54.4M, according to final four-day for the Martin Luther King holiday session, bringing its 32-day total to an other-worldly $504.9M. 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.
Avatar set new industry records for the fastest to the $500M mark beating Dark Knight which needed 45 days, and the best fifth weekend gross besting Titanic's $30M from a dozen years ago this frame.
The Book of Eli gave it a valiant effort, but fell short this weekend, taking in $38.4M over four days. 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 $12,355 this weekend over four days 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 best-selling novel brought in $19.9M for an above average per-screen take of $7,768. 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.
Fourth place went to the squeaky Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel which sang to the tune of $15.3M this weekend. Its total now stands at $196.4M, which is just a stone's throw from the original's $217.3M final total.
Debuting softly in fifth place was Jackie Chan in The Spy Next Door. The spy-turned-babysitter film took in $12.9M this weekend for a per-screen average of only $4,404. Apparently families have not had their fill of singing rodents leaving Mr. Chan and his brood out in the cold.
Sixth place went to the dashing duo Holmes and Watson as Sherlock Holmes brought in another $12M bringing its cume to $182.2M.
Universal took the next two spots on the chart with It's Complicated and Leap Year. Complicated took in $9.6M in its fourth weekend of release bringing its total to $90.2M 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 from last weekend to $7.1M. Its total stands at $18.8M 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 $7M bringing its total to a tremendous $228.2M. And in tenth was George Clooney's award-bait Up in the Air which fell to $6.5M. The total now stands at $63.9M with a lot more to come if it can win a few major awards in the next few weeks.
A couple of last weekend's debuts dropped heavily in their sophomore frame as Daybreakers fell to $6.1M over four days and Youth in Revolt tumbled to $3.6M. Totals are $25.3M and $12.7M respectively, with not a lot more left in the tanks.
Compared to three-day projections, The Book of Eli came in just above my $28M forecast, while The Spy Next Door came in just below my $12M prediction. And The Lovely Bones blasted by my $7M projection.
Get earlier box office updates and analysis by following BoxOfficeGuru.com on Twitter.
Check the UPDATED all-time domestic blockbusters list.
For reviews of Avatar and The Lovely Bones and a NEW DVD review of Like Stars on Earth visit The Chief Report.
Be sure to check back on Thursday for a complete summary, including projections, for next weekend when Extreme Measures, The Tooth Fairy and Legion all try and take down the Avatar juggernaut.
Marketplace - Shop for DVDs, electronics, books, and posters at discounted prices:
|#||Title||Jan 15 - 18||Jan 8 - 10||% Chg.||Theaters||Weeks||AVG||Cumulative||Distributor|
|1||Avatar||$ 54,401,446||$ 50,306,217||8.1||3,285||5||$ 16,561||$ 504,868,451||Fox|
|2||The Book of Eli||38,437,553||3,111||1||12,355||38,437,553||Warner Bros.|
|3||The Lovely Bones||19,910,348||38,572||2,563||4||7,768||20,377,011||Paramount|
|4||Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel||15,305,808||16,566,489||-7.6||3,296||4||4,644||196,397,651||Fox|
|5||The Spy Next Door||12,877,043||2,924||1||4,404||12,877,043||Lionsgate|
|6||Sherlock Holmes||12,033,507||16,585,327||-27.4||3,173||4||3,792||182,226,907||Warner Bros.|
|9||The Blind Side||6,972,350||7,531,467||-7.4||2,408||9||2,895||228,181,615||Warner Bros.|
|10||Up in the Air||6,530,101||7,159,294||-8.8||2,107||7||3,099||63,902,772||Paramount|
|12||The Princess and the Frog||4,004,707||4,651,156||-13.9||1,777||8||2,254||97,534,038||Buena Vista|
|13||Youth in Revolt||3,560,612||6,888,334||-48.3||1,873||2||1,901||12,699,944||Weinstein Co.|
|14||The Imaginarium of Doctor...||1,316,438||1,762,637||-25.3||599||4||2,198||5,068,329||Sony Classics|
|15||The Young Victoria||1,153,976||1,180,595||-2.3||418||5||2,761||6,308,737||Apparition|
|16||The Twilight Saga: New Moon||1,134,419||1,703,809||-33.4||724||9||1,567||292,434,830||Summit|
|17||A Single Man||996,546||359,845||176.9||219||6||4,550||3,473,595||Weinstein Co.|
|19||Crazy Heart||858,369||462,126||85.7||47||5||18,263||2,285,965||Fox Searchlight|
|Top 5||$ 140,932,198||$ 109,612,600||28.6|
|Top 20 vs. MLK 2009||204,037,141||220,294,774||-7.4|
This column is updated three times each week: Thursday (upcoming weekend's summary), Sunday (post-weekend analysis with estimates), and Monday night (actuals). Opinions expressed in this column are those solely of the author.
Last Updated: January 19, 2010 at 6:30PM ET