The Book of Eli had a strong debut Friday night, taking in an estimated first place $11.725 million and joining Sherlock Holmes as the only other film to knock Avatar off the top on any day during its 29 days of release. However, Avatar‘s (est. $460.867 million cume) equally strong $10.4 million 2nd place finish (down just 22% from the Friday prior) virtually ensures that the film is on pace for a 1st place weekend of around $35-40 million for the 3-day frame and $45-50 million for the 4-day frame. Book of Eli will finish with about 32-35 million over the 4-day frame.
That would put Avatar at somewhere between $490-500 million by Monday (its 31st day of release). Even if the film doesn’t hit the half-billion mark on Monday, it’ll do it sometime before next weekend, which will still ensure it the new record for fastest to $500 million (currently held by The Dark Knight which took 45 days to reach that mark). Avatar will also break the record for biggest 5th weekend ever (previously held by Titanic‘s $30.01 million) and possibly the best Martin Luther King weekend ever (currently held by Cloverfield‘s $46.15 million).
Third place went to Peter Jackson’s The Lovely Bones which expanded to wide release this weekend (+2,560 theaters) and flew past industry expectations of a soft weekend. The film took in an estimated $5.7 million on Friday for what will equate to about $20-23 million through the 4-day frame. Credit Paramount for a strong advertising push heading into the weekend. Head on over the jump for more analysis.
The only other new release this weekend was the Jackie Chan “comedy”, The Spy Next Door, which deservedly flopped with a 6th place finish of an estimated $2.4 million.
Moving to the rest of the top 10, Sherlock Holmes (No. 4, est. $2.83 million / est. $173.023 million cume) and Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel (No. 5, est. $2.425 million / $183.517 million cume) filled out the top five. Alvin 2 will be just a couple million dollars short of $200 by Monday.
Rounding out the top 10, It’s Complicated held up nicely with an estimated 7th place $2.325 million (est. $82.877 cume), while Leap Year (est. $1.85 million / est. $13.551 million cume), The Blind Side (est. $1.57 million / est. $222.779 million cume) and Up in the Air (est. $1.5 million / est. $58.873 million cume) finished eighth, ninth and tenth, respectively.
And because we’re now at a major mark, here’s the daily Avatar vs. TDK comparison chart (through day 29–click to enlarge).
That’s right, as expected, Avatar has now passed TDK on a day-to-day basis and by the end of the weekend will be within forty million dollars or so of passing The Dark Knight on the domestic chart (TDK is at $533.345 million). Avatar is now a lock for $600 million and beyond, therefore firmly placing it on the all-time domestic chart ahead of Titanic ($600.788 million) when all is said and done. As crazy as it sounds, there now is potential for the film to reach $700 million domestically.
In all honesty though, it’s pointless to make predictions. Avatar is having an amazing box office run and it’s more fun to just watch it do its thing and continually surprise and impress. This type of run doesn’t happen often, so let’s all just sit back and enjoy the ride.
The Friday chart follows below [Note: these numbers will be updated with the actual box office numbers as soon as they are made available].
|Percent Change from Thursday||Theaters|
|1||The Book of Eli||$11,725,000||NEW||3,111|
|3||The Lovely Bones||$5,700,000||+139,264.3%||2,563|
|5||Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel||$2,425,000||+276.7%
|6||The Spy Next Door||$2,400,000||NEW||2,924|
|9||The Blind Side||$1,570,000||+158.6%||2,408|
|10||Up in the Air||$1,500,000||+133.9%||2,107|
Source: Box Office Mojo