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AVATARS Soars Ahead Of SHERLOCK HOLMES At The Massive Christmas Box Office | cinema, verytasty.
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AVATARS Soars Ahead Of SHERLOCK HOLMES At The Massive Christmas Box Office

by Roy December 29, 2009 at 6:23 am Comments

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Between Christmas falling on a Friday and a slew of strong new releases, this past weekend became the highest-grossing ever as Avatar repeated at the number 1 spot with a smashing $75.6 million.

Avatar claimed the title of highest-grossing second weekend ever, narrowly edging out The Dark Knight’s $75.2 million, after dipping only 2% from its opening weekend’s numbers. $57.9 million of its Christmas haul was from 3D sites, a new record for the format. After 10 days, Avatar’s domestic total sits at a lofty $212.7 million, and with its $410.9 million foreign take, James Cameron is once again king of the world as his latest film’s worldwide total is at a staggering $623.6 million.

The new wide releases all pulled their weight, with Sherlock Holmes leading the pack. The star power of Robert Downey, Jr. helped vault the film into 2nd place with a $62.4 million bow, and its Friday take of $24.6 million handily set the new record for best Christmas day opening. Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel (I want to destroy that title) meanwhile defied all odds by not only being worse than the original, but out-grossing it as well. It had a weekend haul of $48.9 million for 3rd place, and tallied with its Wednesday opening, the film has hit an unconscionable five-day total of $75.6 million. Numbers like that have me living in terror that a third installment is inevitable. Thanks a lot, kids.

Nancy Meyer once again showed that romantic comedies with adults over 50 years old do, in fact, have an audience. It’s Complicated’s 4th place debut with $22.1 million outdid Meyer’s Something’s Gotta Give, anchored by Meryl Streep and Alec Baldwin’s on-screen indiscretions. The Blind Side kept up its impressive run, rounding out the top 5 with $11.5 million.

Up in the Air expanded wide to 1,895 theaters and grossed a healthy $11.3 million for 6th place, but The Princess and the Frog and Nine, to a greater extent, both failed to gain any traction as they finished with $9 million and $5.5 million, respectively. In the specialty market, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus bowed with $124,743 across 4 sites, or a solid $31,186 per-theater average.

There won’t be any new releases until the week after New Years, when a middling trio of wide openers will compete with this past weekend’s juggernauts. Vampire action-thriller Daybreakers hits theaters alongside Amy Adams’ romantic comedy Leap Year and Michael Cera’s teen comedy Youth in Revolt. Leap Year is definitely the easiest sell here so I expect it to finish ahead of the pack, though strong reviews and word-of-mouth makes Daybreakers a dark horse. Youth In Revolt will most likely finish third because though it is also receiving a lot of positive buzz, the film has a bigger mountain to climb with its niche target audience and the Weinstein Company/Dimension’s history of disappointing box office returns. Michael Haneke’s Cannes Palm d’Or winning drama The White Ribbon opens this Wednesday in limited release as well. The year-end record is 58 for 82, or 71%.

Check out the top 12 below, or head on over to Box Office Mojo for the full weekend chart:

New releases highlighted in yellow

TW LW Title (click to view) Studio Weekend Gross % Change Theater Count / Change Average Total Gross Budget* Week #
1 1 Avatar Fox $75,617,183 -1.8% 3,456 +4 $21,880 $212,711,184 - 2
2 N Sherlock Holmes WB $62,390,000 - 3,626 - $17,206 $62,390,000 - 1
3 N Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel Fox $48,875,415 - 3,700 - $13,210 $75,589,048 - 1
4 N It’s Complicated Uni. $22,100,820 - 2,887 - $7,655 $22,100,820 - 1
5 3 The Blind Side WB $11,470,000 +14.5% 2,766 -641 $4,147 $184,127,000 $29 6
6 8 Up in the Air Par. $11,275,000 +251.2% 1,895 +1,720 $5,950 $24,038,000 $25 4
7 2 The Princess and the Frog BV $9,004,610 -26.1% 3,475 - $2,591 $63,679,289 $105 5
8 20 Nine Wein. $5,452,513 +2,019.7% 1,412 +1,408 $3,862 $5,830,585 $80 2
9 4 Did You Hear About the Morgans? Sony $5,000,143 -24.4% 2,718 - $1,840 $15,600,328 $58 2
10 6 Invictus WB $4,045,000 -3.8% 2,160 +35 $1,873 $23,020,000 $60 3
11 5 The Twilight Saga: New Moon Sum. $3,047,000 -30.9% 1,593 -1,442 $1,913 $280,971,000 $50 6
12 N 3 Idiots Relbig. $1,645,502 - 119 - $13,828 $2,149,227 - 1
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