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Wednesday/Thursday/Friday Box Office: Est. $25.2M Friday for Avatar; Will Break 3rd Weekend Record With Expected $60-65M

Coming off continued strong weekday performances on Monday and Tuesday, Avatar again grossed more on Wednesday (12/30/2009) and Thursday (12/31/2009) than it did the week before.

The 3D sci-fi epic from director James Cameron grossed $18.466 million on Wednesday (+12% from the Wednesday prior) and an estimated $14.925 million on New Years Eve (+34% from the Thursday prior).  That brought the film’s domestic cume to an impressive $283.811 million through just 14 days of release (all at $10M+).

As expected, Avatar will break the 3rd weekend record — currently held by Spider-Man with its $45.037 million — with an expected $60-65 million. That was guaranteed with its absolutely phenomenal Friday performance of an estimated $25.2 million. By the end of the weekend, Avatar will be between $340-345 million and will have had an incredible 17 straight days with at least $10 million a day (destroying the previous record of 12 straight days).  The film’s current domestic cume is an estimated $309.011 million / $785.204 million worldwide.  More box office analysis below the fold.

Rounding out the top three, Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel grossed $11.777 million on Tuesday and an estimated $8.75 million on Thursday bringing its nine-day total to an estimated $120.745 million.  Sherlock Holmes was close behind with an estimated $9.75 million on Wednesday and an estimated $8.72 million on Thursday for a seven-day total of $102.29 million domestic.

However, according to studio estimates, Sherlock Holmes pulled in front on Friday with an estimated $14.915 million (an estimated $117.205 million cume) versus an estimated $12.65 million for Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel ( an estimated $133.395 million cume).  Sherlock should gather another $35-40M for the weekend, with ‘Alvin 2′ at between $30-35 million.

Filling out the top five, It’s Complicated took in an estimated $7.127 million on Friday (an estimated $47.531 million cume), while The Blind Side continues its surprisingly strong run with an estimated $4.535 million on Friday (pushing its domestic cume beyond $200M to an estimated $200.938 million) through 43 days in release.

Friday estimates, in chart form, are included below:

Rank Movie Friday (1/1/2010) Gross

(Estimates)

Percent Change from Thursday Theaters
1 Avatar $25,200,000 +68.8% 3,461
2 Sherlock Holmes $14,915,000 +71.0% 3,626
3 Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel $12,650,000 +44.6% 3,747
4 It’s Complicated $7,127,000 +33.1% 2,897
5 The Blind Side $4,535,000 +31.8% 2,926
6 Up in the Air $4,100,000 +47.2% 1,895
7 The Princess and the Frog $3,680,000 +38.3% 3,328
8 Did You Hear About The Morgans? $1,950,000 n/a 2,718
9 Invictus $1,480,000 +50.3% 2,170
10 Nine $1,455,000 +68.2% 1,412

Source: Box Office Mojo

2,980,000
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