Box Office: 'Avatar' Surpasses A Billion

Box Office: ‘Avatar’ Surpasses A Billion

avatar-movie-posterWell, it is the first box office recap of 2010, and it looks like I’ll be dropping  the “B” word, as in “Billion.”  Avatar sailed over the billion dollar mark in only its third week in release. Thanks to this worldwide total, it now sits comfortably at the  number four position of highest grossing movies of all time, right behind Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest.

It has already exceeded the total that took The Dark Knight its entire theatrical run to achieve, and Avatar has shown no signs of  slowing down. The movie dropped less than 10% from last weekend and made $68.3 Million, bringing its domestic total to over $352 Million.

There was plenty of box office love to go around this weekend, and several movies did exceptionally well. Sherlock Holmes added another $38.3 Million to its two week total, which now stands at over $140.7 Million. Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel made $36.6 Million, for an impressive two week cumulative of $157.3 Million.

The adult comedy It’s Complicated only dropped  15% from its Christmas weekend opening, and racked up $18.7 Million for a strong fourth place. Fifth place went to The Blind Side, which has been in the top ten for over seven weeks now. It actually increased its total 10% over last weekend, and has made over $209 Million now.

Up in the Air played on 1,800 screens (wide releases are typically upward of 3,000 screens) and managed $11 Million, bringing its total to $45 Million, and The Princess and the Frog added another $10 Million for a cumulative total of $86 Million.

The bottom three movies all seem to be struggling to recoup their budgets. Despite making $5 Million over the weekend, Did You Hear About the Morgans? has only grossed $25 Million, while its budget was a reported $58 Million.

It seems big name directors are not immune to box office woes, either. Rob Marshall’s Nine is officially a bomb, and has recouped only $14 Million of its $80 Million budget, while Clint Eastwood’s Invictus has now made a little over $30 Million, which is about half of its budget.

According to Entertainment Weekly, overall box office was up a staggering 70% over the same weekend last year. Considering there were no new releases, that is pretty impressive. Next week, Michael Cera’s Youth in Revolt and the romantic comedy Leap Year will square off.

*Box office totals are preliminary estimates from Box Office Mojo.