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Weekend Box Office (January 8-10, 2010): Avatar 1st Again With Est. $48.5M ($429.0M Domestic, $906.2M Overseas for $1.335B Worldwide)

For the fourth weekend in a row, 20th Century Fox’s Avatar is the highest grossing film in release.  The James Cameron-directed 3D sci-fi epic grossed an estimated $48.5 million from a slightly reduced 3,422 theaters (-39).  Avatar now holds the top 2nd, 3rd and 4th weekends of all-time and is now the highest-grossing film released in 2009 (beating Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen) with its domestic cume standing at an estimated $429.04 million (#7 all-time).

Avatar was even more impressive, however, overseas where it added another $143 million (an amazing increase of 4.5% over last weekend’s $136.8M).  Together with its overseas cume ($906.2M), Avatar is at a extraordinary $1.335B worldwide (2nd all-time).

The top five was filled out by holdovers Sherlock Holmes (est. $16.61M / est. $165.178M cume) and Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel (est. $16.30M / est. $178.184M cume), newcomer Daybreakers in fourth place with a solid estimated $15.0M and week three of It’s Complicated with an estimated $11.007 million (est. $76.37M cume). Head on over the jump for more numbers and analysis.

Avatar‘s weekend breakdown is: $13.275M on Friday, $21.25M on Saturday and a Sunday projection of $14.0M.

The film is now within just $171.748M of Titanic‘s domestic record ($600.788M) and continues to have a good shot at both passing that and yes, even Titanic‘s worldwide mark ($1.843B).  I estimate that the film will close its run at somewhere between $575-625M domestically and potentially be at over $2B worldwide (domestic and overseas).

Here’s a look at the Avatar vs. The Dark Knight chart I’ve been updating since release [click to enlarge]:

After a peak spread of $101.658M, the gap between the two features (on a daily basis) is now just $12.563 million.  I’ll begin posting Avatar vs. Titanic charts within the next few days.

Rounding out the new releases, Universal Pictures’ Leap Year was sixth place with an estimated $9.165 million, while Youth in Revolt (from Weinstein/Dimension Films) took ninth place with an estimated $7.0 million.  The top 10 was rounded out by seventh place finisher The Blind Side with an estimated $7.75M (est. $219.197M cume), Up in the Air in eighth place with an estimated $7.1M (est. $54.7M cume) and The Princess and the Frog in 10th place with an estimated $4.7M (est. $92.6M cume).

Weekend estimates follow below.

Rank Movie Weekend Gross
(Estimates)
Change from Last Weekend Theaters
1 Avatar $48,500,000 -29.2% 3,422
2 Sherlock Holmes $16,610,000 -54.6% 3,626
3 Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel $16,300,000 -53.7% 3,641
4 Daybreakers $15,000,000 NEW 2,523
5 It’s Complicated $11,007,000 -41.5% 2,955
6 Leap Year $9,165,000 NEW 2,511
7 The Blind Side $7,750,000 -34.9% 2,880
8 Up in the Air $7,100,000 -33.8% 2,218
9 Youth in Revolt $7,000,000 NEW 1,873
10 The Princess and the Frog $4,700,000 -52.2% 2,620

Sources: Box Office Mojo & Deadline Hollywood

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