Got any tips? Send them here

Get in Touch


Have a question or comment you'd like to send my way?

Send your e-mail here

I'll do my best to read and respond to your e-mails.

Weekend Box Office (January 1-3, 2010): Avatar Tops Again With $68.491M, Sherlock Holmes 2nd With $36.612M, Alvin 2 3rd With $35.190M

Heading into the weekend, the record for the biggest 3rd weekend gross for a film was held by 2002’s Spider-ManAvatar was expected to surpass that number this weekend, but the film easily crushed it with an incredible $68.491 million.  That was a decline of just 9.4% over last week’s impressive — and box office best for weekend #2 — $75.617 million.

Avatar‘s domestic tally now stands at a massive $352.115 million.  It crossed the $350M mark in just 17 days (#2 all-time).  Audiences continue to rush to the cinemas worldwide as well, where the film has grossed more than $673.264 million, pushing its worldwide cume to an extraordinary $1.025 billion.  4th all-time on the worldwide list (passing The Dark Knight) and the fastest film ever to $1 billion. 

Avatar is well on the way to passing The Dark Knight for 2nd highest domestic tally ever and has a good shot at passing Titanic on the all-time domestic list.  Regardless, Avatar will hold the #2 worldwide spot, giving James Cameron the two top grossing films of all-time (and the only director to have two $1 billion performers).  I expect the final domestic tally for Avatar to range somewhere between $550 and $625 million. Hit the jump for more analysis, including charts.

Rounding out the top three, Sherlock Holmes remained in 2nd place for the weekend with a $36.612 million (-41.2%).  It finished just ahead of last week’s #3, the sequel Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel which finished the weekend with $35.190 million.  Sherlock Holmes domestic cume stands at $138.715 million ($225.115 million worldiwide), while ‘Alvin 2’ is at a better — thanks to an earlier open and stronger weekdays — $155.917 million cume ($255.017 million worldwide).

Since the first incredible weekday numbers for Avatar began coming in, I’ve been tracking the film’s performance against The Dark Knight. It’s pretty remarkable how quickly Avatar has narrowed the gap (which is one of the reasons I’m confident in my prediction that it’ll pass The Dark Knight on the all-time domestic list). Avatar began reversing the gap on day eight, where the margin sat at a peak of $101.658 million.  Since then, Avatar has closed the gap by more than $60 million, to where it stands now: $41.636 million.  Check out the chart below [click to enlarge]:

Moving back into the rest of the box office, It’s Complicated had a solid week two hold.  The R-rated Meryl Streep / Alec Baldwin / Steve Martin comedy declined just 14.9% with $18.803 million ($59.179 million cume).  Fifth place belonged to the Sandra Bullock drama The Blind Side which continues to surprise.  The Warner Brothers drama added 160 theaters this week which helped it move past the $200M mark with an estimated $11.913, which was 3.4% ahead of last weekend’s number ($208.476 million cume).

The rest of the top 10 remained little changed from the week prior.  Golden Globe — and likely Oscar — contender Up in the Air remained in sixth place with a decline of just 4.9% for $10.720 million, pushing its domestic cume to $44.375 million.  The Princess and the Frog helped its chances at passing $100M, with a seventh place $9.824 million, which was up 9.1% from the week prior despite losing 147 theaters ($85.859 million cume).

In eighth place was Did You Hear About the Morgans?, which improved by one position and was down just 1.4% with $4.932 million.  That’s a good hold, but doesn’t really improve its profitable margin very much as the $58M comedy has only managed $25.312 million domestically.  Rounding out the top 10, The Weinstein Company’s Nine didn’t shed any theaters — as was hinted at last week — but it’s ninth place performance of $3.901 million (down 28.5% from last week’s expanded opening) left a lot to be desired.  Total domestic cume for the expensive (a reported $80M budget) musical sits at just $13.746 million.  10th place this week belonged to Clint Eastwood’s Invictus, which fell just 3.8% to $3.909 million ($30.586 million cume).

Elsewhere in the charts, the Bollywood film 3 Idiots held steady in 12th place ($1.495 million / -9.2%) from a slightly expanded 132 theaters (+13) for a $4.757 million cume (the best ever North American performance for a film from India).  Also worth noting in limited release was Sony Pictures Classics’ The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus.  The Terry Gilliam-directed film — featuring performances by the late Heath Ledger and Johnny Depp, Jude Law and Colin Farrell — increased 2.3% over last weekend’s opening, with an estimated $127,634 from 4 theaters for a weekend best per theater average (PTA) of $31,909.  Total cume for the film (which opens wide later this month) is $345,494.

Rounding out the limited charts, Peter Jackson’s The  Lovely Bones grossed $64,678 from 3 theaters ($383,101) in its fourth weekend of limited release (PTA of $21,559), while Sony Pictures Classics’ The White Ribbon opened in 3 theaters with $59,848 (a PTA of $19,949).

Note: Article was updated on Tuesday with all final actual data.

The weekly chart follows below.

Rank Movie Weekend Gross
Change from Last Weekend Theaters
1 Avatar $68,490,688 -9.4% 3,461
2 Sherlock Holmes $36,612,481 -41.2% 3,626
3 Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel $35,189,653 -28.0% 3,747
4 It’s Complicated $18,802,965 -14.9% 2,897
5 The Blind Side $11,912,749 +3.4% 2,926
6 Up in the Air $10,720,052 -4.9% 1,895
7 The Princess and the Frog $9,824,311 +9.1% 3,328
8 Did You Hear About The Morgans? $4,932,338 -1.4% 2,718
9 Nine $3,901,203 -28.5% 1,412
10 Invictus $3,909,312 -3.9% 2,170

Sources: Box Office Guru and Box Office Mojo