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Friday Box Office Estimates (1/22/2010): Avatar Still First; Solid Start for Legion, Weak Debuts for Tooth Fairy and Extraordinary Measures

Chalk up yet another first place weekend for James Cameron’s Avatar.  The film took in an estimated $9.15 million on Friday, pushing its domestic cume to an estimated $525.947M through 36 days, just $7.398M away from The Dark Knight which it will easily pass today (Saturday) to become the #2 highest-grossing film of all-time domestically.  Worldwide, Avatar now stands at $1.719 billion, or just $124 million off of the worldwide record held by Titanic ($1.843B), which it’ll pass sometime next week.

Avatar held off three new releases: Sony’s Legion, the Fox comedy The Tooth Fairy and CBS Films’ debut entry Extraordinary Measures.  Neither film came close to unseating Avatar, although Legion had a solid debut in 2nd place with an estimated $6.7M on Friday.  The Tooth Fairy underperformed expectations with just $3.5M (4th place), while Extraordinary Measures did worse than already dampened expectations, finishing in 6th place with an estimated $2.042M.  Head on over the jump for more analysis and the daily chart.

Rounding out the top five was The Book of Eli in third place with an estimated $4.93M (est. $49.933M cume / est. $54.433M worldwide cume) and The Lovely Bones in fifth place with an estimated $2.6M (est. $25.424M cume / est. $32.527M worldwide cume).

Projecting out the rest of the weekend, Avatar looks headed for between $33-36 million for the weekend (which would give it yet another record, this time for best 6th weekend ever), while Legion will finish out with between $16-18M, slightly better than initial expectations.

The two other new releases didn’t make much of an impression on audiences: $13-14M for The Tooth Fairy and $6-8M for Extraordinary Measures.

Rounding out the bottom ten was Sherlock Holmes in 7th place with an estimated $1.97M (est. $186.419M cume / est. $358.119M worldwide cume), It’s Complicated in 8th place with an estimated $1.76M (est. $94.22M cume / est. $132.707M worldwide cume), Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel — which will pass $200M today — in 9th place with an estimated $1.4M (est. $199.137M cume / est. $359.095M worldwide cume) and The Blind Side in 10th place with an estimated $1.235M (est. $230.747M cume).

Daily chart for Friday, January 22, 2010

Rank Movie Friday Gross
Percent Change from Thursday Theaters
1 Avatar $9,150,000 +131.9% 3,141
2 Legion $6,700,000 NEW 3,476
3 The Book of Eli $4,930,000 +141.2% 3,111
4 The Tooth Fairy $3,500,000 NEW 3,344
5 The Lovely Bones $2,600,000 +240.0%
6 Extraordinary Measures $2,042,000 NEW 2,549
7 Sherlock Holmes $1,970,000 +170.9% 2,670
8 It’s Complicated $1,760,000 +127.1% 2,301
9 Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel $1,400,000 +241.2% 2,973
10 The Blind Side $1,235,000 +160.5% 1,932

Source: Box Office Mojo