WEEKEND BOX OFFICE
1) Avatar - $75 million
2) Sherlock Holmes - $65.3 million
3) Alvin and The Chipmunks: The Squeakuel - $50.2 million
4) It's Complicated - $22.1 million
5) Up In The Air - $11.75 million
6) The Blind Side - $11.73 million
7) The Princess and the Frog - $8.6 million
8) Nine - $5.5 million
9) Did You Hear About The Morgans? - $5 million
10) Invictus - $4.3 million
It was a very busy holiday weekend at the box office, perhaps one of the busiest of all-time, as James Cameron's 3D outer-space epic Avatar just barely beats out three highly-anticipated new holiday films to take the number one spot in the box office for a second week in a row. The film, which is now in approximately 3,456 theaters enjoyed some terrific word-of-mouth making $21,701 per theater for an additional $75 million in its second week of release. In two weeks the movie has now made an estimated $212 million, which is very close to recouping its purported $237 million production budget and is posed to make back the estimated $150 million that 20th Century Fox spent on marketing and advertising. However, right on it's heels at second place was the long awaited, Guy Ritchie adapted, film of the classic Arthur Conan Doyle novels, Sherlock Holmes, starring Robert Downey Jr. in the title role along with Jude law as his partner Watson and Rachel McAdams. The film, which was released in 3,626 theaters made a little over $18,000 per theater for a total of $65.3 million in it's first week.
The fact that it was a holiday weekend and children were home from school for most of the week helped Alvin and The Chipmunks: The Squeakuel, a sequel to the popular 2007 film starring the singing critters, which opened on the Wednesday before Christmas. The movie, which was in 3,700 theaters made over $13,000 per theater for an opening weekend total of $50.2 million and a five day gross of $77 million. Coming in at fourth place was another newcomer to the charts, the Nancy Myers' directed, romantic-comedy It's Complicated starring Meryl Streep, Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin. The film, which was in 2,887 theaters made approximately $7,660 per theater for an opening weekend total of roughly $22.1 million. Rounding out the top five, in it's fourth week of release but it's first week wide, was Up In The Air from Juno director Jason Reitman starring George Clooney as a traveling corporate axe-man. The film, which has already received several award nominations and has was doing quite well in limited release added 1,720 theaters this week for a total of 1,895 theaters were the film was shown and earned $6,203 per theater for a holiday weekend total of roughly $11.7 million. In fact, the film had an impressive 266.2% increase from last week for a total of $24.5 million so far, just shy of it's making back it's $25 million purported budget cost.
Opening in limited release this week was the late Heath Ledger's final film, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus directed by film visionary Terry Gilliam. The movie, which was only seen in four theaters made a decent $32,500 per theater for a total of $130,000 in its debut week. Doing very well in limited release in its second week was the alcoholic-Country Music Singer redemption film, Crazy Heart starring Jeff Bridges in a role that is sure to earn him an Oscar nomination and co-starring screen-legend Robert Duvall and Maggie Gyllanhaal. The film, which was added in eight theaters this week averaged $13,000 per theater for a total of $156,000, an increase of 88.7% from last week bringing its total gross up to $321,000 in its second week. However not doing so hot this week was the new film from acclaimed director Peter Jackson, The Lovely Bones, based on the beloved book of the same name, now in its third week of release. The film, which dropped 15.7% from last week, is still only being shown in three theaters and made a disappointing $12,667 per theater for a weekend total of $38,000 bringing its total gross only up to 273,000, a long way away from making back it's purported budget of $100 million.
This Friday is New Year's Day and unfortunately there are no new movies set for release. However, you can be sure that James Cameron's Avatar and Robert Downey Jr.'s Sherlock Holmes will continue to battle it out for the number one spot with Alvin and The Chipmunks: The Squeakuel, George Clooney's Up In The Air and Meryl Streep's It's Complicated hot on their heels. January 8th, 2010 will see the return of new movies to the box office as a slew of highly anticipated new films are scheduled for release. Check back in seven days to see who comes out on top at the box office next week and from all your friends at Movieweb please have a safe and happy New Year's Eve.