<em>Avatar</em> pass the 300 million dollar mark in North America
Avatar pass the 300 million dollar mark in North America
Despite a lukewarm reception over the course of its opening weekend, where it pulled in a respectable $77 million, James Cameron's Avatar has proven to have quite a lot of staying power at the box office. On New Year's Day, its fifteenth in release, the exalted film, which some are calling a sci-fi masterpiece, managed to earn another $25 million. According to Variety, that brings its North American grosses to more than $300 million, placing it only behind Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen as 2009's third highest grossing film of the year and counting.

Avatar's current worldwide gross is estimated to be around $800 million. An exact foreign tally won't become available until later Sunday evening. Avatar wasn't the only film to benefit from the yearend holiday. Sherlock Holmes pulled in a one day New Year's take of $14.9 million, pushing its domestic grosses to $117.2 million. The kid-friendly Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakuel wasn't far behind with its estimated New Year's earnings coming in at $13 million.

Analysts suspect that Avatar will be around for a while, and that it will give Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen quite a run for highest grossing film released in 2009. Avatar was directed by James Cameron and stars Sigourney Weaver and Sam Worthington.