Last week's win by Dear John broke the seal of Avatar's dominance and it looks like it will be impossible to put the gene back in the bottle. While the Nicholas Sparks adaptation did not repeat its trick of topping the James Cameron juggernaut this week, all three of this week's new releases topped the aging behemoth. The question is not so much who will beat it, but how long will it last on the top ten and how much will it make?
Avatar is the biggest money maker domestically and internationally of all time (not adjusted). It has now been out of the top spot for two weekends but still shows no signs of slowing down. It has topped the $660 million mark and seems to be a shoo-in to reach the $700 million plateau and would seem likely to make it all the way to $750 million. Now if that wasn't impressive enough, consider this — the film actually made more money this weekend than it did last. It grew nearly 3% to take in $23.5 million. Is there no stopping it?
This week's actual top film is Valentines Day, Garry Marshall's ensemble ode to love and the holiday. It easily dominated the box office this weekend as it took in more than $56 million. I have to believe that it will be highly front loaded and will see pretty big declines as we move away from the holiday. It does not help that it has generally been panned by critics, although I did like it.
Coming in well behind in second place is Joe Johnston's take on The Wolfman. Much like the number one film, this has not received much positive critical word, which will likely hurt it in the long run. The film worked for me, for the most part. It is definitely an issue where the parts are greater than their sum. It has a wonderful Gothic look and feel and the makeup has the classic look of the Lon Chaney Jr. film. Definitely worth it for monster fans.
Following very closely in third place is Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief. That title sure is a mouthful, glad to see it referred to in most places simply as Percy Jackson. The film is based on a series of books and is directed by Chris Columbus, who is taking another stab at the youth market after kicking off the Harry Potter franchise. I have not seen the film, but it seems to be getting decent reviews; perhaps I will catch up with it next weekend.