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Box Office Update 1/22-1/24: Avatar…. Again

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I am getting a little tired of seeing Avatar at the top of the chart every weekend, but it is awfully exciting to see a movie capture the imaginations of so many people across all demographics. No movie has done this since Titanic, ironically also a James Cameron film. Yes, The Dark Knight was also a phenomenon, but there is something to be said about a movie that utterly dominates the box office and draws in viewers across many demographics.

Avatar is doing something else besides shattering a series of weekend records and preparing to become the biggest box office hit in history (in unadjusted dollars). Think about what it must be doing for James Cameron. Yes, it is making him a veritable ton of money, but it could be setting him up for a big disappointment. His films have always done well, but his last two features are now the two biggest hits domestically and world-wide. With that cred, he can write his own check for any project that strikes his fancy. What happens when his next film doesn't challenge the box office crown? Perhaps Cameron should make a small $5 million indie film? Then again, maybe not.

Coming in a distant second is the Paul Bettany angelic thriller Legion. The film proved to be a disappointment, and despite its interesting concept and a couple of good shots, the film fails to truly take flight. It is hampered by a poor script and performances to match. Too bad. I really wanted to like it. I'd recommend catching up with The Book of Eli or Daybreakers.

The Tooth Fairy came in fourth, trailing behind The Book of Eli. Fortunately, it looks like this family film will not last long. I wish we could get some quality family entertainment. It is hard to get excited about family movies when you get this and The Spy Next Door on back to back weekends. Not to mention the continued success of the Alvin and the Chipmunks sequel.

Continue down the list and you will find the lone remaining new release in eighth place. Extraordinary Measures appears to have opened dead on arrival. The trailer makes it look like a made-for-TV movie of the week that you might find on the Hallmark or Lifetime networks, and inexplicably features Harrison Ford. I have nothing against the real story and I am happy for the success of those involved, but this movie looks like an entertainment black hole.

Next week will see new competition from the new Mel Gibson thriller Edge of Darkness. It will be interesting to see if Gibson is welcomed back to the big screen. Also hitting theaters across the nation is the new romantic comedy When in Rome, starring Kristen Bell and Josh Duhamel.

Three movies dropped off the list this week: The Blind Side (11), Up in the Air (12), and Leap Year (13).

This Week Last Week Title Wknd Gross Overall Week in release
1 1 Avatar $34,944,081 $551,741,499 6
2 N Legion $17,501,625 $17,501,625 1
3 2 The Book of Eli $15,732,493 $60,735,686 2
4 N The Tooth Fairy $14,010,409 $14,010,409 1
5 3 The Lovely Bones $8,418,192 $31,242,633 7
6 5 Sherlock Holmes $6,628,069 $191,076,852 5
7 4 Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel $6,403,504 $204,140,348 5
8 N Extraordinary Measures $6,012,594 $6,012,594 1
9 7 It's Complicated $5,810,025 $98,270,085 5
10 6 The Spy Next Door $4,584,524 $18,544,619 2

Box Office Predictions Recap
Not bad, not good, but not bad. While I got some of the placements wrong, my dollars were all in the general ballpark with the notable exception of The Tooth Fairy. I am not terribly surprised that I was off on The Tooth Fairy, but I did not think I would still be seeing Avatar at the top of this chart. How long can it last?

Here is how the field matched up:

Actual

Prediction

Title Wknd Gross Prediction
1 1 Avatar $34,944,081 $32 million
4 2 The Tooth Fairy $14,010,409 $20 million

3

3 The Book of Eli $15,732,493 $18 million
2 4 Legion $17,501,625 $16 million
5 5 The Lovely Bones $8,418,192

$10 million

8 6 Extraordinary Measures $6,012,594 $8 million
7 7 Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel $6,403,504 $7 million
6 8 Sherlock Holmes $6,628,069 $6 million
9 9 It's Complicated $5,810,025 $5 million
10 10 The Spy Next Door $4,584,524 $4 million
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