BOX OFFICE BEAT DOWN: ‘Avatar’ Sets Records with an Additional $68 Million Totaling $1 Billion Worldwide!

James Cameron ends the decade king-of-the-world once again as his 3D epic beats out ‘Sherlock Holmes’ at the box office.
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1) Avatar - $68 million

2) Sherlock Holmes - $38 million

3) Alvin and The Chipmunks: The Squeakuel - $36 million

4) It's Complicated - $18 million

5) The Blind Side - $12 million

6) Up In The Air - $11 million

7) The Princess and the Frog - $10 million

8) Did You Hear About The Morgans? - $5 million

9) Nine - $4.2 million

10) Invictus - $4.1 million

James Cameron had much to celebrate this New Year's weekend as his 3D outer-space epic Avatar continues to set records and earns another $68 million at the box office. The film, which was seen in 3,461 theaters made an average of $19,734 per theater for a weekend total of $68 million bringing its total gross over three weeks just north of $350 million. Much like Cameron's last feature film, Titanic did over a decade ago, Avatar crossed the $350 million mark in just 17 days and has now made $1 billion worldwide. The movie also set a new Near Year's Day weekend box office record with its earnings and had the highest third weekend gross for a movie domestically since Spider-Man in 2002. The film is on track to hit the $400 million mark by next weekend and surpass Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen as the highest grossing film of 2009, as well as break into the Top 10 of highest-grossing (domestic) movies of all time. In hot pursuit, yet at second place again for a second week in a row, 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 saw a drop of 38.5% this week but was still able to make $10,586 in each of its 3,626 theaters for a total of $38 million this weekend, which brings its total gross to just over $140 million in two weeks.

Children home from school for the holiday vacation probably helped Alvin and The Chipmunks: The Squeakuel, a sequel to the popular 2007 film starring the singing critters, which stayed at number three for a second week in a row. The film, which was seen in 3,747 theaters made $9,768 per theater for a weekend total of roughly $36 million, bringing the films total take in just two weeks up to a healthy $157 million. Coming in at fourth place again this week, for a second week in a row was the Nancy Myers' directed, romantic-comedy It's Complicated starring Meryl Streep, Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin. The film, which was seen in 2,897 theaters made roughly $6,455 per theater for an additional $18 million this weekend, making its total gross around $59 million in two weeks on the charts. The only change in the top five from last week comes from the movie The Blind Side. The Sandra Bullock football film (that just won't seem to die) pushed its way back into the top five this week and by doing so surpassed the George Clooney film Up In The Air making another $12 million this weekend bringing the film's total gross to just over $209 million, well beyond its $29 million budget.

Doing well 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 $32,750 per theater for a total of $131,000 in its second week bringing it's total gross in two weeks to around $349,000. Also doing very well in limited release this week is the German film White Ribbon, which made $20,433 in each of its three theaters for a weekend total of $61,300 and a total gross of $87,200. Finally, director Peter Jackson's, The Lovely Bones, based on the beloved book of the same name, made $21,667 in each of it's three theaters this week for a total of $61,300 making its total box office take so far around $383,000.

Next week will see the beginning of the 2010 film year start off with a bang with the release of the vampire film Daybreakers starring Ethan Hawke, Sam Neil and Willem Dafoe. Also being released next week is the coming-of-age comedy Youth In Revolt starring Michael Cera, Ray Liotta and Zach Galifinakis and the romantic-comedy Leap Year starring Amy Adams and Matthew Goode. Also in limited release next week are the films Crazy On The Outside starring Tim Allen, Kelsey Grammer and Sigourney Weaver and Wonderful World starring Matthew Broderick. Check back in seven days to see who comes out on top at the box office next week.

Avatar was released December 18th, 2009.

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