CATEGORIES New Releases, Box Office, Movie News, UK Box Office, New Releases, Cinematical, UK Box OfficeThe statistic to keep in mind, I think, is that Avatar's $73 million opening weekend is the second best December opening ever, behind I Am Legend, which was almost an hour shorter and did not have to deal with a blizzard that paralyzed much of the northeast corridor. So (my ridiculously hasty prediction last week notwithstanding) I don't think Fox and James Cameron have much to worry about or fear. Especially considering that the movie has already raked in $160 million overseas. And especially considering that of the 30 movies that have had heftier opening weekends, precisely zero were originals -- i.e. not sequels, remakes or adaptations -- unless you count The Passion of the Christ. And especially considering that the word-of-mouth on Avatar will probably be otherworldly.
The weekend's counterprogramming was the poorly reviewed rom-com Did You Hear About the Morgans?, which took in a middling $7 million -- actually not very much off-par for Hugh Grant, who's never really been able to open a movie. (The jury's still out on Sarah Jessica Parker outside of Sex and the City.) Continuing to perform well were Oscar contenders (which will probably end up just shy of $200 million) and (which continued its slow roll-out and will go wide on Christmas day). The Princess and the Frog did not hold up too well, but its returns may improve over the holiday break.
Update: Variety reports that Avatar actually grossed $77.3 million, giving it the biggest December opening ahead of I Am Legend's $77.2 million.
The full top 10 after the jump.
1 - Avatar (Fox) - $73.00 ($21,147) - $73.00
2 - The Princess and the Frog (Disney) - $12.22 ($3,518) - $44.76
3 - The Blind Side (Warner Bros.) - $10.03 ($2,944) - $164.73
4 - Did You Hear About the Morgans? (Sony) - $7.00 ($2,575) - $7.00
5 - The Twilight Saga: New Moon (Summit) - $4.37 ($1,440) - $274.56
6 - Invictus (Warner Bros.) - $4.17 ($1,962) - $15.85
7 - A Christmas Carol (Disney) - $3.42 ($1,652) - $130.79
8 - Up in the Air (Paramount) - $3.10 ($17,714) - $8.11
9 - Brothers (Lionsgate) - $2.63 ($1,309) - $22.09
10 - Old Dogs (Disney) - $2.29 ($870) - $43.57
Next week: Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel, It's Complicated and Sherlock Holmes, along with expansions for Nine and Up in the Air. Merry Christmas.