1. Avatar - $68.3M - $352.1M
2. Sherlock Holmes - $38.4M - $140.7M
3. Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel - $36.3M - $157.3M
4. It's Complicated - $18.7M - $59.1M
5. The Blind Side - $12.6M - $209M
6. Up in the Air - $11.3M - $45M
7. The Princess and the Frog - $10M - $86M
8. Did You Hear About the Morgans? - $5.2M - $25.6M
9. Nine - $4.2M - $14M
10. Invictus - $4.1M - $30.7M
Just a short highlights report this weekend, the Box office report of the year that was posted midweek generally replaces the final one of the year. Avatar continues to dominate all over the world. This, its third weekend on general release is also the biggest 'third' weekend take in box office history, even the Dark Knight could only manage $42M. Obviously the film benefited from New Year's Day falling on a Friday but even that doesn't explain the boost over the rest of the weekend - though surely a good portion can be accredited to the fantastic word of mouth, repeat viewing and the fact that the film appears to be appealing to all demographics. Even the might Box Office Prophets are struggling to predict how the film will perform.
Word of mouth and repeat viewings are providing. What we know is that Avatar will now become (if it isn't already) the fastest film in box office history to hit $1B in worldwide ticket sales. Furthermore, it's a dead cert to become the biggest film released in 2009. Where it goes from there, who knows? The weekdays should be smaller from here on out due to people returning to work and school but that could also result in much stronger weekend takes. We're fast approaching the time when the only films that will matter are The Dark Knight and Titanic...(and only The Dark Knight was faster than Avatar to $350M).
Of the new films released last weekend, Sherlock Holmes' fall is amongst the largest (though still a very acceptable 38%). With competition on both sides, Sherlock still managed to carve out some decent post-Christmas box office. It saw $100M on its seventh day of release and still has another week before facing any (new) competition. At the time of writing, no international figures have been made available but there's every chance the Guy Ritchie action thriller is performing just as well, if not better. It goes without saying that Sherlock Holmes is Ritchie's biggest ever release.
Alvin sees another strong weekend and is still the number one choice for a family film. The film has now made over $150M on the domestic market alone and is almost a shoe-in for $200M. It's Complicated saw just a 2% drop in takings on a Friday to Friday basis (15% for the weekend overall). The choice for the older market has already made over $55M in what is a very busy market place. The Blind Side saw $200M domestically on Friday night, which must surely be the icing on the cake for Sandra Bullock. Friday also saw Bullock voted the star of 2009 by theatre exhibitors thanks to her success in The Proposal and the aforementioned Blind Side.
Up In the Air also saw a very solid hold from last weekend - dropping next to nothing from the time it expanded wide. The George Clooney drama is now not only a critical success but also a financial one thanks to its relatively low production budget. Seeing a small boost, The Princess and The Frog slowly edges closer to its production budget, but like Alvin, it will suffer next week with children returning to school.
The top ten is rounded out by what can only be described as three flops. At least one of them, Invictus, saw some decent reviews. The critically reviled Morgans looks set to leave the top ten with less than $30M in the bank while the star-studded Nine looks unlikely to see more than $20M by the end of its theatrical run.