‘Avatar’ Tops Box Office For Third Weekend, Breaks $1 Billion Worldwide


Vibe / January 4, 2010

James Cameron’s science-fiction epic “Avatar” tops the weekend box office for the third weekend in a row, but also hit a huge mark when it pasted the $1 billion mark worldwide, only the fifth film ever to do it.

Over the weekend, “Avatar” raked in another $68.3 million, to bring its domestic total to $352.1 million, beating out all other films to make it the top movie.

The Cameron-directed 3D film opened two weekends earlier with $77-million. While that was definitely a strong start, it was far below dozens of other blockbusters that debuted as high as $158-million in their opening weekends. However, those films’ numbers dipped heavily the weekends following. Not “Avatar” though, its continued strong for three weekends straight.

“It’s like a runaway freight train. It just keeps doing business,” Fox distribution executive Bert Livingston told the Associated Press. “Here’s what’s happening: I think everybody has to see ‘Avatar’ once. Even people who don’t normally go to the movies, they’ve heard about it and are saying, ‘’ have to see it.’ Then there’s those people seeing it multiple times.”

“Avatar” was Cameron’s first film since 1997’s “Titanic,” the biggest modern blockbuster with $1.8-billion worldwide.

The following list is the top 5 highest-earning movies of all-time, and “Avatar” is closing in on the #3 and #2 spots fast:

1 – “Titanic”: $1.84 billion

2 – “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King”: $1.12 billion

3 – “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest”: $1.07 billion

4 – “Avatar”: $1.02 billion

5 – “The Dark Knight”: $1 billion

Finishing at #2 was Robert Downey Jr.‘s crime caper, “Sherlock Holmes,” bringing it $38.4 million; while third place was nabbed by “Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel” with $36.6 million.

Those top three movies, as well as the #4 “It’s Complicated” with $18.7 million, steered Hollywood to a big start to 2010 after a year of record revenue, of $10.6 billion domestically, surpassing the previous record of $9.7 billion in 2007, according to Hollywood.com.

Rounding out the top 5 was Sandra Bullock’s “The Blind Side,” a true life football drama about the Baltimore Ravens’ tackle Michael Oher. It earned $12.6 million.

That wraps things up this weekend. Next weekend, look out for new releases such as the Ethan Hawke horror “Daybreakers,” the romantic comedy “Leap Year,” and “Youth in Revolt.”

This weekend’s top 10 is as follows:

1 – “Avatar,” $68.3 million

2 – “Sherlock Holmes,” $38.3 million

3 – “Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel,” $36.6 million

4 – “It’s Complicated,” $18.7 million

5 – “The Blind Side,” $12.6 million

6 – “Up in the Air,” $11.3 million

7 – “The Princess and the Frog,” $10 million

8 – “Did You Hear About The Morgans?”, $5.2 million

9 – “Nine,” $4.2 million

10 – “Invictus,” $4.1 million