December 29, 2009

Box Office Update 12/25-12/27: Avatar Holds Strong, Leads Biggest Weekend In History

When its release first approached, I was one of those guys saying that Avatar was going to be big but would not come close to making its money back. I mean the budget was huge and when you factor in the research and development, the movie cost an absolute fortune. Now, seeing how strong it has been doing domestically and adding in the international figures, this movie could turn a tidy profit for James Cameron and the studio. The movie is quite spectacular and definitely worth the time investment.

This Christmas weekend saw a number of records fall. First off, we saw the Christmas day record fall not once but twice, both Avatar and Sherlock Holmes taking the crown. Holmes was the ultimate victor and now holds the holiday crown. Step forward to today and we learn that this weekend was the biggest one in history. There has been no other weekend in history to have have made as much money as this one, impressive when you consider some of the big summer weekends we've had. There is one more big one to mention, Avatar holds the record for second weekend gross, outdoing The Dark Knight by less than $.5 million. It certainly was a big weekend.

Avatar showed amazing legs with its sip of less than 2% from last week. An impressive feat by any measure. The film is a visual feast and should be seen on the big screen. It is showing very good staying power through it's first week and could be looking at a final tally somewhere north of $400 million.

Coming in second with a more than respectable $62.3 million. This gives director Guy Ritchie the biggest opening of his career and another hit for Robert Downey Jr. I have not yet seen the film, but it certainly looks like a winner. It is not exactly the Holmes I think of when I think of Holmes, but I am willing to give it the benefit of the doubt. Besides, it looks like a lot of fun.

Now, with all of these record breaking films, would they have done it without the media push behind them? I would love to see some of the promotional love reach out to films like The Hurt Locker, Moon, The Road, or The Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call - New Orleans. It is a shame some of these films (and these are just examples) get the short end of the stick when they could probably do quite well with the proper promotion.

In any case, the top five are rounded out by the Alvin and the Chipmunks sequel. I have no plans to watch this, despite my enjoyment of the first the more I see of this one the more my faint interest dims. I find it just grates on the nerves. A distant fifth is the surprisingly strong run of The Blind Side. It has a shot at a Best Actress Oscar nomination and it is another film I do not really want to see.

Next weekend kicks off with New Year's Day and there are no new films going into wide release. With that being true, if you are up to the challenge, it could be a good day to catch up on movies that you have missed but still want to see. I suspect that Avatar could hold onto the top spot for a third straight weekend as it has been showing some strong legs thus far. Allow me to also recommend Up in the Air and if you are into something a bit more superficial, Nine. I would also not be against you giving The Princess and the Frog a little more love, it could use it.

Four movies dropped off the list this week: The Twilight Saga - New Moon (11), A Christmas Carol 3D (12), Brothers (13), and Old Dogs (15).

This WeekLast WeekTitleWknd GrossOverallWeek in release
2NSherlock Holmes$62,390,000$62,390,0001
3NAlvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel$48,875,415$75,589,0481
4NIt's Complicated$22,100,820$22,100,8201
53The Blind Side$11,470,000$184,127,0006
68Up in the Air$11,275,000$24,038,0004
72The Princess and the Frog$9,004,610$63,679,2895
94Did You Hear About the Morgans?$5,000,143$15,600,3282

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