Thursday, December 24, 2009

Box Office: 'Avatar' dominates with $73M opening

Box Office: 'Avatar' dominates with $73M opening

After months of hype, Avatar has finally been unleashed on the world.  The jury is still out on whether or not James Cameron’s newest event film will “change the game” as promised (check back later today for our review), but for now it is off to the races.

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It has a pretty big hill to climb with a budget rumored to be between $200-500M (depending on who you believe) so it definitely has its work cut out for it but with a $232M worldwide opening weekend, including $73M domestic take, Avatar seems to be off to a good start. Like another James Cameron event movie, word of mouth is going to dictate its box office success. 

Elsewhere, the Avatar juggernaut isn’t playing nice with the rest of the box office by outgrossing the rest of the top ten combined.  The Princess and the Frog is getting pushed around a bit and even with a second place showing of $12M it is falling fast and off pace to break even.  It is quite sad really because it is a much better movie than the business it is getting.

New Moon is still hanging around the top five and should finish up around $300M.  The Blind Side continues to surprise with a strong fifth week showing of $10M for a total gross of almost $165M.

Between the snowstorms on the east coast and people just not wanting to brave the crowds, I expect Avatar to have another strong showing next week, even with a crowded field of Christmas Day releases that include Sherlock Holmes, It’s Complicated and wide releases for award favorites Nine and Up in the Air.

Weekend Box Office: December 18-20, 2009 (estimated)
# Title Weekend Gross Total Gross
1 Avatar $73,000,000 NEW
2 The Princess and the Frog $12,200,000 $44,800,000
3 The Blind Side $10,000,000 $167,700,000
4 Did You Hear About the Morgans? $7,000,000 NEW
5 The Twilight Saga: New Moon $4,400,000 $274,600,000


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