This weekend is Thanksgiving and as always that means Black Friday and Cyber Monday plus 48 hours of shopping in-between. Unlike most years, I'm only halfway done with my Christmas shopping. So what recent, and not so recent releases are prime candidates for the perfect gift this year? Over the next month, we will go over several dozen possibilities with our annual Holiday Gift Guide, which is divided into into four sections. This week we start with Major Movie Releases. These are first run releases, franchise box sets, etc. However, before we get into the individual titles, we will start with an update on...
Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted was one of seven new releases to reach the top 20 on this week's Blu-ray sales chart. It took first place with 768,000 units / $15.36 million for an opening week Blu-ray share of 45%. This is good for a digitally animated kids movie. In fact, this wouldn't be bad if it were an action film.
It's a mixed week on the home market. Granted, Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted is coming out, which made more than $200 million domestically and should sell quite well on the home market. On the other hand, the second biggest first run release is That's My Boy, which failed to make an impact at the box office. There is also a flood of weaker releases, secondary Blu-ray releases, and Christmas releases, much of which I would consider filler. The signal to noise ratio is a little off. As for the best releases of the week, there are some great TV on DVD releases like Mad Men: Season Five and Degrassi: Season 11, Part 2. There are also some limited releases, like Moonrise Kingdom on Blu-ray Combo Pack and even some Direct-to-DVD releases, like Excision on Blu-ray. All of these were contenders for Pick of the Week. In the end I went with Mad Men: Season Five for Pick of the week, while Degrassi: Season 11, Part 2 earned Puck of the Week.
IMAX released their 2010 numbers and they had a lot of reasons to celebrate, more than 500 million of them. Total worldwide revenues doubled from their previous record of $270 million in 2009 to $546 million in 2010. This is partially due to increased market penetration, especially internationally (international revenue tripled from $70 million to $212 million) but their per theater revenue also grew by an impressive 50%. Revenue for the fourth quarter was also up compared to last year, but by a tiny margin at $102 to $101 million. However, this should be considered a solid result, as last year was boosted by Avatar, and there was nothing that came close to matching its box office this year.
There were seven new releases to chart this week, including the new number one. In fact, that new number one dominated in a surprising way and none of the other new releases managed to make much of an impact at the box office. Despicable Me led the way with 3.75 million units sold and $62.70 million. If there were any doubts about a sequel, this ended them, as the film is already in the top ten for the year.
It was a rather slow week for new releases, as none topped 1 million units, but they still managed top two spots on this week's sales chart. Disney's A Christmas Carol opened in first place with 989,000 units / $16.81 million in consumer spending at retail, while The Last Airbender was second in terms of units sold with 751,000, but fourth in terms of dollars with $12.76 million.
This weekend is Thanksgiving and that means Black Friday and Cyber Monday plus 48 hours of shopping in between. Personally, I've done my Christmas shopping, and I have been for weeks; in fact, I've even finished wrapping everything. For the rest of you, here is the first part in our annual Holiday Gift Guide. This week we will look at some of the major first-run releases, but we start with a short talk on...
It's Thanksgiving long weekend next weekend, which could make our weekly box office prediction contest a little more complicated for a couple reasons. First of all, our target film, Tangled, opens on Wednesday, but we are only interested in the Friday to Sunday number. Secondly, Thanksgiving is just a confusing weekend much of the time. You would think family films would do huge business, but a lot of the time, families are too busy eating to see a movie. Fortunately, we do have a really big prize to entice people to enter. In order to win, one must simply predict the opening weekend box office number for Tangled.
Whoever comes the closest to predicting the film's opening 3-day weekend box office (Friday to Sunday), without going over, will win a copy of Avatar: Extended Collector's Edtion on Blu-ray.
Meanwhile, whoever comes the closest to predicting the film's opening 3-day weekend box office (Friday to Sunday), without going under, will win a copy of a different "Humans fighting on an alien world" movie, Predators on Blu-ray.
Entries must be received by 10 a.m., Pacific Time on Friday to be eligible, so don't delay!
It's getting really close to Black Friday, which is sometimes reported as the busiest shopping day of the year. (It's not. That would be Christmas Eve.) So it should come as no surprise that there's a prime release this week, or should I say re-release. Avatar: Extended Collector's Edition on Blu-ray is the biggest, and arguably the best, release of the week and it is the Pick of the Week. However, there was some competition from The Kids Are All Right on DVD or Blu-ray.
This is the second time Avatar has been released on the home market in roughly six months. Normally this is far too short a time between a regular edition and a special edition. Indeed, there appears to be quite a backlash against this release on the Amazon.com user reviews. However, I would consider this more inline with the Lord of the Rings releases, since the special edition was announced before the regular edition was released, it is not a cheap gimmick to grab additional money from fans. That said, is the Extended Collector's Edition worth the wait? And is the DVD or Blu-ray worth picking up?
It was a busy week for Inception, as it rose to top spot on the international chart and crossed two major milestones in the process: $400 million internationally and $700 million worldwide. Over the weekend, it earned $21.00 million on 7,785 screens in 61 markets for a total of $425.15 million internationally and $702.30 million worldwide. Much of this was due to its debut in China, where it placed first with $13.6 million. It has yet to open in Italy, but it will likely start falling off at an accelerated pace from now till its premiere in that market at the end of the month.
The Expendables held on to top spot on the international chart with $24.70 million on 4823 screens in 38 markets for a total of $101.46 million after just three weeks of release. It had a few openings over the weekend, most notably in Germany where it placed third with $2.94 million on 531 screens. Meanwhile, it fell from first to fourth in the U.K., but still added $2.02 million on 453 screens over the weekend for a total of $10.52 million after two. With openings in Italy and Japan ahead, the film will have no trouble getting to $250 million worldwide, which is more than enough to ensure a profit.
The Special Edition release of Avatar pulled in $1.5 million domestically and $560,000 internationally for $2.06 million worldwide. In other IMAX news, it was reported that John Woo will be shooting his next movie, Flying Tigers, and it will be converted to the IMAX format. First Aftershocks and now this film. The trend I predicted at the beginning of the month is quickly coming true. Flying Tigers begins shooting next spring.
There was an upset at the box office with Takers pulling out a last minute win. However, it wasn't enough for the overall box office, as that sunk 12% from last weekend to $113 million. More importantly, it was down nearly 10% from last year. 2010 still has a $300 million lead over 2009 at $7.53 billion to $7.23 billion and I'm not concerned about the big picture, yet.
The last weekend of summer is actually the Labor Day long weekend, which is next weekend. So that makes this weekend the penultimate weekend of summer, which is one of the worst weekends of the year to open a film. Last year was a bit of an exception with The Final Destination opening with $27.41 million. There's almost no chance The Last Exorcism will perform that well; in fact, if it matches Halloween 2's opening, I think the studio will be happy.
Leading the way on the per theater chart this weekend was Cairo Time with a healthy average of $13,249 in five theaters. The only other film to top $10,000 on the per theater chart was Avatar. Yes, that Avatar. It played in just one theater over the weekend and earned $10,511.
Sales numbers continued to be soft this week with none of the new releases doing strong business. We did have a new number of seller, as The Bounty Hunter opened with 560,000 units and $9.71 million in consumer spending at retail.
After opening with $7.2 million from 197 IMAX screens last weekend, Inception pulled in another $4.8 million this weekend for a total of $16.1 million. With an additional $3.2 million internationally, the film was on the verge of reaching $20 million on the worldwide stage, a milestones it has likely already surpassed on Monday.
Few new releases reached the top 30 on the sales chart this week, but one of them, The Book of Eli, led the way with 789,000 units / $17.62 million in opening week consumer spending at retail.
No new release was able to take top spot on this week's sales chart leaving Alice in Wonderland as the repeat champion. It added $12.34 million from 657,000 units sold to take its two-week totals to 2.75 million units and $52.47 million in consumer spending at retail.
There was a quartet of new releases that reached the top 30 on this week's sales chart, starting with the new number one film, Alice in Wonderland. The $1 billion hit sold 2.10 million units during its first week of release, generating sales of $40.13 million. It just missed the top ten for 2010 (one of the films ahead of it was actually released in 2009).
There were a handful of new releases that reached the top 30 on this week's sales chart, including the new number one. However, none of them were particularly strong. Valentine's Day led the way with 498,000 units sold, generating $8.46 million in opening week sales. Given its box office performance, this is a disappointing start.
New releases continue to struggle, but at least there is something of interest to report on top, as there are two releases that could legitimately the claim top spot. Dear John sold the most units, topping True Blood: Season Two 526,000 units to 480,000. On the other hand, True Blood generated more revenue $15.85 million to $9.46 million.
While this week's collection of new releases was less than impressive, there were still a number of bright spots on this week's DVD Sales Chart. Firstly, we had a new number one, as Legion led the way with 457,000 units sold. However, in terms of total dollars, it was second with $8.21 million in sales.
The best of the new releases couldn't place better than second, which meant Avatar remained on top of the DVD Sales Chart. This week it added $10.87 million from 581,000 units, giving it totals of 6.31 million units and $107.09 million. It is very close to overtaking New Moon for the top spot on the 2010 Yearly Chart.
This week's selection of new releases were relatively slim, leaving Avatar on top of the DVD Sales Chart. Over its first full week of release, the film sold 1.77 million units, lifting its total to 5.73 million units and $96.22 million in consumer spending at retail. It is already the second best selling DVD of 2010 and it might take top spot in as few as two weeks.
We are entering summer, which is a great time of year for the box office, but a terrible time for home market releases. According to Amazon.com, the best-selling release of the week is Saving Private Ryan on Blu-ray, which is also arguably the best release of the week. But I'm awarding the Puck of the Week to Murdoch Mysteries: Season 2, which is a rare Canadian TV-on-DVD release.
After two weeks of soft sales by new releases, this week's DVD sales chart was dominated by a new release, namely Avatar. That film sold 3.96 million units, generating $75.87 million in sales. This performance was made even more impressive, since the DVD was released on the 22nd, meaning it was only for sale for three days instead of the customary five days for the opening week of sales. In those three days, the film has become the third best selling DVD of 2010 in terms of units sold and second best in terms of dollars generated.
Next week the first big hit of the summer blockbuster season opens. Not only does Iron Man 2 start off summer, it's the target film in this week's box office prediction contest. In order to win, one must simply predict the opening weekend box office number for Iron Man 2.
Whoever comes the closest to predicting the film's opening 3-day weekend box office (Friday to Sunday), without going over, will win a copy of Avatar on Blu-ray / DVD Combo Pack.
Meanwhile, whoever comes the closest to predicting the film's opening 3-day weekend box office (Friday to Sunday), without going under, will win a copy of The Drawn Together Movie: The Movie! on DVD.
Entries must be received by 10 a.m., Pacific Time on Friday to be eligible, so don't delay!
Avatar is the biggest box office hit ever made, both domestically and internationally, by huge margins in both cases. It's also one of the most expensive movies ever made and it earned stellar reviews, not to mention numerous awards. With this success, there's a lot of hype to live up to. There is also a bit of backlash in some areas, so with that it might be hard to keep an open mind on this film, but I will do my best.
There were more than a dozen foreign releases to reach the top 30 on the international chart, starting with Go Lala Go!. This Chinese film opened in first place in its native market and sixth place overall with $6.44 million on 655 screens.
Paradoxically, this is arguably the biggest week of the year on the home market, as well as one of the slowest. It is the biggest because it marks the release of Avatar on DVD and Blu-ray. However, it is also one of the slowest, because Avatar scared away a lot of other releases. Looking down the list of top sellers and it isn't long before you find busted Oscar bait, TV movies, Direct-to-DVD releases, etc. I expect records could be broken this week, but it is a top-heavy list. As for Pick of the Week contenders, Avatar is obviously a contender, but I'm holding off until the screener arrives.
During the past week, the IMAX corporation released further details on Avatar's IMAX run. The film reached $100 million internationally from 85 international screens to go with its more than $125 million domestic IMAX total. Worldwide it has now made $228 million on 262 screens. All these numbers are records, the international box office, the worldwide box office, the screen counts, everything.
Another impressive hold from How to Train Your Dragon combined with a lacklustre opening for Kick-Ass to produce a second consecutive weekend where Sunday's estimates are too close to declare a weekend winner.
Paramount's estimate for Dragon is $20 million, while Lionsgate has Kick-Ass pegged at $19.75 million.
Lionsgate's second place position now may simply be because they've posted a more precise estimate.
Remarkably, there are three more movies within $5 million of top spot: Death at a Funeral opened with $17 million, which is just behind Date Night's second weekend $17.3 million (down just 31%), and Clash of the Titans did pretty well in its third weekend with an estimated $15.77 million.
Date Night started its international run in sixth place with $7.05 million on 1616 screens in 34 markets. While it is playing in a large number of markets, these were mostly of the smaller variety. The largest was Australia, where it placed third with $1.99 million on 304 screens. It also placed third in Brazil with $1.02 million on 174. It managed second place in Mexico, but with only $863,000 on 305 screens.
Shutter Island fell to sixth place with $6.64 million on 2870 screens in 39 markets for a total of $135.53 million internationally and $258.97 million worldwide. With a debut in Japan this weekend, it could climb back into the top five. Even if it doesn't, it still has to be considered a financial success.
A couple of major market debuts helped Alice in Wonderland keep its hold on first place, with $50.63 million on 8369 screens in 51 markets for a total of $367.77 million internationally and $661.30 million worldwide. In France it debuted in first place with $11.67 million on 735 screens, while it opened with $5.1 million on 450 screens in China. The film added $3.74 million on 510 screens in the U.K. for a total of $52.18 million, which is the film's best single foreign market. By this time next week it should have crossed the $400 million mark internationally and $700 million worldwide. $800 million is practically a lock at this point. Depending on how well it does in Spain, Japan, and Brazil, it could finish with more than $900 million. It has done particularly well in Mexico, with a running tally of $22.56 million. This bodes well for its chances in Spain and Brazil. However, it hasn't managed the same success in South Korea, with $16.95 million. This could be an omen for its run in Japan.
Alice in Wonderland remained in first place for the third weekend in a row, adding $47.50 million on 6,827 screens in 49 markets for a total of $299.78 million internationally.
I guarantee it reached $300 million internationally early on Monday. In fact, weekend estimates had it topping $300 million on Sunday, before the revised final numbers were released. The film again had no major market openings this weekend, but it remains a powerhouse in many countries.
This includes the U.K., where it pulled in $7.26 million on 525 screens over the weekend for a total of $45.65 million after just three weeks of release.
The film now has made $565.22 million worldwide after just three weeks of release. With openings in France, Spain, Japan, and Brazil ahead of it, it is on track for $750 million.
Despite no major market openings this past weekend, Alice in Wonderland slipped just 15% during its second weekend of release as it easily topped the international charts yet again. Over the past weekend it managed $80.59 million on 7065 screens in 45 markets for a total of $225.05 million internationally and $434.39 million worldwide. It did open in first place in Belgium, with $1.44 million on 112 screens over the weekend and $1.65 million in total. Its biggest market of the weekend was the U.K. where it added $11.07 million on 533 screens over the weekend for a total of $34.29 million after two. In Germany, the film actually grew a tiny bit to $7.15 million on 555 screens over the weekend for a total of $16.53 million. In South Korea it was down just 2% to $4.57 million on 444 screens, giving the film $11.28 million in total. With debuts in France, Spain, Japan, and Brazil over the next month and a half, the film will have no trouble adding to its totals. It could more than double its current worldwide box office.
The box office results were mostly fantastic over the weekend, thanks almost entirely to one film, Alice in Wonderland. The movie was able to hold on better than almost everyone predicted, but the rest of the new releases failed to connect. This resulted in a 26% drop from last weekend, as the overall market pulled in $147 million. However, this was 45% higher than the same weekend last year. Meanwhile, year-to-date 2010 has now pulled in $2.24 billion, which is nearly 9.0% higher than last year's pace.
As it did domestically, Alice in Wonderland opened in first place internationally with $95.27 million on 6389 screens in 41 markets over the weekend for a total opening of $100.52 million. This is a little lower that its domestic debut, but it has yet to open in about a third of the international markets, so if it can open with similar strength in those place, the film should have about a 60 / 40 international/ domestic split. This means that even if the film has poor legs, it should have no trouble topping $500 million globally. The film's biggest single market was the U.K., where it opened in first place with $16.04 million on 533 screens for a per screen average of just over $30,000. It was surprisingly strong in Italy, where it made $11.15 million on 668 screens over the weekend for a total of $14.37 million. It nearly cracked $10 million in its opening in Australia, pulling in $9.46 million on 48 screens. Other major markets include Mexico ($7.92 million on 780 screens), Germany ($7.12 million on 452), South Korea ($4.69 million on 440), and Russia ($4.11 million on 868).
Wow. There's no other word to describe it. Alice in Wonderland's record-breaking opening blew away all expectations and by itself was almost as much as the entire weekend box office last weekend and last year. Overall, the box office pulled in $197 million, which was 65% higher than last weekend and 69% higher than the same weekend last year. It pushed the year-to-date box office to $2.04 billion, which is 5.9% higher than last year's record-setting pace. Additionally, attendance is also above last year's pace by close to 4%.
The Numbers' annual Oscar polls have proved to be remarkably accurate predictors of
the final results on Oscar night.
We call results based on the hundreds of The Numbers readers who vote in our
Predict the Oscars competition.
We've received all the votes now, and are ready to make predictions in all categories.
Percentage figures are the percentage of The Numbers readers who believe a movie or performance
They are a rough guide to how likely a particular movie is to win in a category.
The Oscars are being handed out as we speak and I will be updating our list of nominees with some of the winners as they happen. So far we've seen a few awards handed out, but no surprises.
With our annual Oscar Prediction contest underway, now is the best time to look at the nominees and try and figure out who the favorites are and which films should just feel honored to be nominated. Today we look at Best Director and we actually have a real race in this category.
With our annual Oscar Prediction contest underway, now is the best time to look at the nominees and try and figure out who the favorites are and which films should just feel honored to be nominated. Today we look at Best Picture and we actually have a real race in this category.
It is the beginning of a new month and there's lots of pressure on the box office to keep up pace with last year. There was only one wide release this time last year, Watchmen, but it opened with more than $55 million, which at the time was the third best March opening ever. This time around Alice in Wonderland is expecting to top that figure. In fact, a lot think it will set the March opening record.
For the eleventh weekend in a row, Avatar was the biggest draw at the international box office, but this week its win was extra special. Over the weekend it made $39.75 million on 7247 screens in 70 markets for a total of $1.85 billion internationally. This is more than Titanic made worldwide, meaning the film has in effect lapped its nearest competition. Additionally, it has reached $2.56 billion worldwide, which is an astounding number. To put this in perspective, this would be enough for the film to earn seventh place on the list of highest grossing franchises worldwide, and it will likely top Batman and Pirates of the Caribbean with ease. The film has set records in many major markets, including Italy, France, and South Korea, while it is creeping up on $100 million in Spain, Australia, and Italy to go along with the seven other markets where it has already reached that milestone.
Overall, it was a solid weekend at the box office. While the new releases were not quite able to match expectations, holdovers were able to compensate, helping the overall box office to $119 million. This was down 11% from last weekend, but more importantly it was 6.9% higher than the same weekend last year. Ticket sales are still down by about 0.5%, but thanks to higher prices, 2010 is ahead of 2009 at $1.80 billion to $1.78 billion.
A decent 46% second weekend drop was good enough to keep Shutter Island at the top of the box office chart this weekend, according to studio estimates released on Sunday.
With $22.2 million, the movie beat out good debuts by Cop Out and The Crazies, which picked up $18.6 million and $16.5 million respectively.
Overall business for the weekend looks as though it will be up about 20% compared to this weekend last year.
February ends with a couple of wide releases, both of which have a shot at taking first place. However, while both new films have a shot at top spot, Shutter Island will probably remain there over the weekend. This is not to say that the new releases are particularly weak, especially compared to the new releases that came out this time last year. In fact, the top three films from this year might all perform better than the top film last year, so 2010 has a real chance to stop the slide and maintain its record-setting pace.
Over the weekend, Avatar earned $4.3 million on 179 IMAX screens domestically and $3.9 million on 84 screens internationally, which helped push its worldwide total past the $200 million mark. To put this in perspective, the previous record for DMR releases was $71 million, earned by The Polar Express. This is great news for the film, but better news for IMAX, as it is still expanding internationally. The movie's strong showing will go a long way in convincing more theater owners to add IMAX screens in the future.
As it has for ten weeks in a row, Avatar topped the international box office, this time pulling in $48.49 million on 7247 screens in 71 markets for a total of $1.78 billion internationally and $2.47 billion worldwide. Big news this week came from South Korea where it crossed the $100 million mark before the weekend. In South Korea, it has now reached $103.52 million after 10 weeks of release, including $1.76 million on 242 screens this past weekend. The next market where the film will reach that milestone should be Spain where it made $2.62 million on 352 screens over the weekend for a total of $93.70 million. The movie could also have enough left in the tank to do the same in Australia, where its current total is $94.70 million, but it only managed $1.68 million on 254 screens over the weekend. Meanwhile, it is still in first place in Italy with $3.74 million on 402 screens over the weekend for a total of $79.73 million. In both markets, reaching $100 million might be a little tight, but the Oscars could certainly help along the way.
While Shutter Island exceeded expectations, it was the only film in the top five to do so, which hurt the overall box office. The total box office during the weekend was $134 million, 35% lower than last weekend. Then again, it was a post-holiday, post-Valentine's Day weekend, so this collapse isn't as bad as it looks. However, it was 6.0% lower than the same weekend last year and that's certainly not good. Year-to-date, 2010 has pulled in $1.65 billion (1.6% higher than last year's pace) but unless 2010 starts putting together some wins, it won't be long before it loses its lead.
Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio both enjoyed record openings this weekend as Shutter Island made an excellent debut, according to Paramount's estimates released on Sunday.
With $40.2 million in the bank so far, the thriller will most likely be among the ten biggest openers in February, and decent word-of-mouth will most likely propel it past $100 million at the box office.
There's only one wide release opening this week, Shutter Island, which should help that film maximize its box office potential. However, there's little hope it will match last year's number one film, Madea Goes to Jail. Hopefully the post-holiday weekend won't be too hard on the holdovers and 2010 can add another win over last year. Perhaps it can even lift ticket sales over last year's pace.
My Name is Khan beat expectations by a large margin with an average of $16,200 in 120 theaters over the three-day weekend and $18,875 million over four. The overall box office champ, Valentine's Day, placed second with an average of $15,351 over the three-day weekend. The Red Riding Trilogy held on strong with averages of $13,374 / $17,056. The re-release of Ran took in $10,128 from Friday to Sunday and $13,470 including Monday in its lone theater.
There was only one holdover in the top five of the international chart this week, and it was no surprise which film it was. Avatar again led the way, this time pulling in $59.84 million on 8214 screens in 71 markets for a total of $1.69 billion internationally and $2.35 billion worldwide. It appears France overtook China as the film's biggest single market, $156.5 million to $155 million. The other most noteworthy market was South Korea, where the country added $2.85 million on 327 screens over the weekend for a total of $98.48 million, the seventh market where the film will cross the century mark. It won't be the last market where this happens.
Okay. Wow. All three wide releases beat expectations, some by massive margins, which helped this year shatter the previous Presidents' Day long weekend record. The three-day tally this year was $205 million, ahead of the previous record by more than $16 million. And, adding in Monday, the total box office over four days was $239 million, nearly $20 million more than the previous best.
(In both cases, the previous best was last year.)
This helped push the year-to-date box office to $1.48 billion, which is 1.6% higher than last year's pace.
However, ticket sales still lag behind, albeit by less than half a percent.
Reported international grosses for Avatar
as of February 9, 2010:
Its Valentine's Day on Sunday and Presidents' Day on Monday, which means there are two reasons to be bullish when predicting the box office this weekend.
On the other hand, none of the new releases are earning overall positive reviews, which is a bad sign.
There is good news, as the same was true last year and two of the three new releases struggled at the box office.
This leaves 2010 an opportunity to end the slump, which has reached four weeks, and prevent admissions from slipping further below last year's pace.
Avatar's legs on the international scene are as strong as they come.
It remained in first place for the eighth weekend in a row, this time down just 17% to $79.44 million on 10,298 screens in 94 markets for a total of $1.59 billion internationally and $2.21 billion worldwide.
Japan was added to the list of markets where the film has hit the century mark with $108.04 million, including $6.41 million on 650 screens this weekend.
Other results of note came in the U.K, where it became the biggest hit of all time, at least in terms of British Pounds.
In American Dollars, the film has $112.19 million after making $6.77 million on 417 screens this weekend.
Additionally, we can now report that China has overtaken France as the film's most lucrative market, leading now by $144.4 million to $141.4 million.
This is not only big new for this film, but huge news for the industry as a whole.
China is now a major player at the international box office, both as a consumer and also as a producer.
In a shocking development, Avatar didn't win at the box office race over the weekend.
Instead, the romantic drama Dear John, based on the Nicholas Sparks novel, took top spot.
Unfortunately, while Dear John did much better than expected, the overall box office was still weak.
Total box office was $114 million, which was 9% lower than last weekend and 26% lower than the same weekend last year.
Year-to-date, 2010 has brought it $1.21 billion, which is 1.2% more than last year; however, for the first time admissions are down, by 0.8%.
This is a troubling sign.
Avatar's run at the top of the chart came to an end over the weekend, according to studio estimates released on Sunday morning.
Its surprise vanquisher turned out to be Dear John, which ran up an impressive $32.4 million opening, a record for Superbowl weekend.
Avatar was down almost 25% to $23.6 million -- its weakest weekend yet, in spite of an impressive list of Oscar nominations earlier in the week.
But with $630 million in the bank now from North America alone, this can hardly be described a disappointment.
It appears Avatar will walk away with yet another victory at the box office and it appears likely that it will set yet another record in the process. There are some factors that make the box office potential of all films a little more fluid this weekend. This includes the Super Bowl, which should draw away a lot of potential ticket buyers. Secondly, the Oscar nominations should help Avatar and a few other holdovers still playing in multiplexes. Depending on which factor is greater, we could keep pace with last year, or the slump could continue.
With Fox's official numbers for Tuesday released, Avatar has become the top-grossing movie in North America ever, overtaking a record held for over a decade by Titanic.
On the day that it received nine Oscar nominations, Avatar grossed $2,688,514 (surprisingly a little down from Monday) to take its total North American gross to $601,141,551.
It was another milestone weekend for Avatar as it became the first film to ever reach $2 billion worldwide.
It did so despite falling below $100 million over the weekend for the first time during its run.
That said, it still pulled in an incredible $95.44 million on 11,088 screens in 84 markets for a total of $1.45 billion internationally and $2.05 billion worldwide.
Its biggest market was Italy where it added $10.38 million on 800 screens over the weekend for a total of $52.94 million after three.
Its best market overall remains France where it has $133.9 million, but China is catching up with $126.3 million.
The film also reached the century mark in the U.K. with $103.52 million, including $7.74 million on 424 screens over the weekend and in Germany with $102.03 million including $7.88 million on 599 screens.
It may have already gotten there in Russia, while it is about a week away from that milestone in Japan, Australia, South Korea.
Additionally, it looks like it is just a matter of time for Spain and Italy.
That would be ten markets with $100 million or more, to go with the countless other records the film has already set.
The next major milestone is $1.84 billion internationally, which is what Titanicmade worldwide.
And with its impressive list of Oscar nominations, $2 billion internationally becomes a lot more likely.
And who knows, perhaps even $3 billion worldwide?
We are dealing with unprecedented numbers, so the usual rules about Oscar bounces just don't apply.
Winning could result in a flood at the box office, or its publicity could be at saturation levels already and it won't have a major effect.
It was a good new / bad news weekend at the box office. On the one hand, Avatar continued to set records and that helped 2010 start with the highest-grossing January of all time.
On the other hand, new releases continue to under-perform, leading the overall box office to slump to $125 million.
That was 13% lower than last weekend, but more importantly 1.1% lower than the same weekend last year, which is the third weekend in a row that 2010 was below 2009's pace.
Granted, year-to-date 2010 is still ahead of 2009 by 5.5% at $1.06 billion to $1.00 billion, but if new releases are not stronger in February, that could change.
Saint John of Las Vegas rode an impressive cast to the top of the per theater chart with an average of $10,833, but given its reviews, I don't think it will stick around much longer. On the other hand, Avatar has been on this list for seven weeks now earning an average $10,176 this past weekend. However, unless the Oscar nominations help it at the box office, this will be the last time it appears on this list.
Oscar nominations were announced at 5:38 this morning, continuing a tradition that have never been adequately explained to me. (Why so early in the morning? Does earning an Oscar nomination become sweeter if people have to wake you up to congratulate you?) Leading the way in nominations were Avatar and The Hurt Locker, both of which pick up nine nods each, many of them in the same categories.
Another weekend, another set of records for Avatar.
In fact, there aren't many that it's left to break now, but it did reach one milestone that no movie has ever achieved before this weekend: $2 billion in global box office receipts.
Its worldwide total now stands at an estimated $2.039 billion thanks to another big weekend both at home and abroad.
In North America, it scored $30 million, according to Fox's Sunday estimates, to take it to $594.4 million in total.
That will give it the biggest seventh weekend in history (see chart), and is down just 14% from last weekend.
At this rate, it will overtake Titanic and become the top-grossing movie in North America on Tuesday or Wednesday this week.
Reported international grosses for Avatar
as of January 27, 2010:
The consensus among box office trackers has Avatar remaining in top spot, again.
The real question is whether or not the new releases will pull their weight and help 2010 stop its mini-slump.
The best new release from last year was Taken, which didn't start like a movie destined to reach nearly $150 million, but it is unlikely either of the new releases will come that close to its nearly $25 million opening.
As expected, Avatar became the highest grossing film on the international chart over the weekend while it had to wait until Monday to do the same worldwide. Over the weekend, it made $108.27 million on 11,925 screens in 94 markets for a total of $1.29 billion internationally and $1.84 billion worldwide, as of Sunday night. The film had already crossed $100 million France, while it did the same in China with $102.3 million, including $11.7 million on 1,013 screens this past weekend. It is about to hit the century mark in Germany ($93.24 million); Russia ($93.22 million); and the U.K. ($92.80 million). It could have enough left in the tank to do the same in a number of other markets, but it will be more challenging. For instance, in South Korea it added $5.43 million on 526 screens to take its running tally to $79.31 million while it had similar results in Japan ($5.75 million over the weekend and $77.73 million in total), Australia ($5.07 million on 420 screens for $76.76 million) and in Spain ($5.65 million on 579 screens for $73.88 million). It is too early to tell where it will end up in Italy, but it did add $12.38 million on 856 screens over the weekend for a total of $35.49 million after two. It could reach $100 million or more in ten markets. Calling it amazing seems redundant at this point.
January is coming to a close and we've yet to have a new release top the charts as Avatar reigned at multiplexes again this week. The weakness in the new releases is starting to take its toll, as the overall box office slumped to $144 million, which was 15% lower than last weekend and 10% lower than the same weekend last year. 2010 is still ahead of last year's pace by 9.7% at $888 million to $810 million, so there's little reason to panic at this point.
Fox have confirmed that Avatar overtook Titanic on Monday to become the highest earner at the worldwide box office.
Total global receipts have reached $1,858,866,889, $16 million ahead of the $1,842,879,955 earned by Titanic in 1997/98.
Purists will point, of course, to the effects of inflation and increased ticket prices thanks to IMAX and digital 3D screenings.
But Avatar hasn't finished yet.
Next up will be Titanic's $600 million domestic record, and $2 billion worldwide.
More milestones beckon beyond that... at its current rate, Avatar has a shot at topping $750 million at the US box office and $2.5 billion worldwide.
James Cameron has been vindicated again.
Crazy Heart climbed to first place on the per theater chart with an average of $14,551 in 93 theaters. I think you could officially say it is earning some measure of mainstream success, while further wins during Awards Season will only help it grow. The Last Station slipped to second with an average of $12,409, but it also more than doubled its theater count, which is a good sign moving forward. Avatar was the only other film to top $10,000 on the per theater chart, earning an average of $11,125 in more than 3,000 theaters.
The Directors Guild of America release their nominations over three days stretched out over a week. Only two of the nominations are for theatrical releases, but at least the documentary category had some interesting nominees. On the other hand, Feature Film merely enforces the trends we've seen throughout Awards Season.
The Avatar juggernaut rolled on this weekend, as it left The Dark Knight in its wake to become the second-highest grossing movie in North America box office history, according to Fox's estimates released on Sunday morning.
Its $36 million haul is the biggest sixth weekend in history (see chart), and its still earning about $10 million a weekend than Titanic was a this stage of its run, so the all-time record (see chart) is now assured.
For only the second time in box office history a film has reached $1 billion internationally.
That film is of course Avatar, which again led the way at the international box office over the weekend.
It added $128.87 million on 14,575 screens in 95 markets for a total of $1.12 billion internationally and $1.61 billion worldwide, as of Sunday.
Avatar's only major opening of the weekend was in Italy, which is also the last territory to get the movie.
In that market, it set a record for biggest box office debut with $13.88 million on 848 screens.
Other markets of note include China where it added $17.9 million on 2,509 screens over the weekend for a total of $75.6 million, which is the best ever for that market.
It also broke the all-time record in South Korea with $71.91 million after a month of release, including $6.11 million on 579 screens this past weekend.
Meanwhile France remains its most lucrative market with a running tally of $115.3 million after $11.6 million this weekend.
There are a number of other markets where the film looks poised to cross the century mark (Russia at $86.15 million so far, Germany at $82.74 million, U.K. at $80.76 million, etc.) and the film continues to set records in numerous markets, as it is domestically.
At this pace, the film could top Titanic on the international stage as early as this weekend, while worldwide it is just a matter of time.
Reported international grosses for Avatar
as of January 20, 2010:
There are a few new releases hitting theaters tomorrow, but most people are still talking about Avatar and whether or not it can stay on top one more week, and perhaps set a few more records in the process.
The other major question of the weekend is whether or not it will top last year and end 2010's one-week losing streak.
The Last Station started its run on top of the per theater chart with an average of $24,574 in three theaters, which was nearly double its nearest competitor. That film was Crazy Heart, which remained in second place with an average of $13,776. That was a decline of just 1.6% from last weekend despite some significant expansion. With a couple of Golden Globe wins, there's little doubt it will remain in theaters for some time to come.
Fish Tank was in a virtual tie with an average of $13,750 in two theaters; in fact, since that is still an estimate, it might climb into second place.
On the other hand, since Avatar was right behind with $13,025, it could slip a spot.
The final film in the $10,000 club was The Book of Eli with an average of $10,540, which was better than expected.
It was a record breaking Martin Luther King long weekend, as Avatar remained in top spot at least for three out of the four days, and for the weekend as a whole.
Its record-breaking weekend helped the overall box office hit $170 million over three days and $210 million over four.
This was down compared to last year by 12% over three days and 9% over four, which makes it the first down weekend in two months.
Even so, year-to-date, 2010 is still ahead of 2009's pace by nearly 15%, $707 million to $616 million, but this is the first bit of bad news we've had so far.
Perhaps next weekend will be strong and this will be nothing but a minor blip.
Studio reports are limited today, thanks to the Martin Luther King Holiday, but we do have revised weekend estimates for Avatar, and once more it has beaten original estimates.
Fox's new weekend figures have the movie earning $42.8 million Friday-Sunday, and another $11.8 million today.
That will take it past $500 million today in a record 32 days.
With a Golden Globes win last night, Avatar now seems almost certain to overtake Titanic and become the top-grossing movie in North America, and worldwide.
Avatar was pushed from top spot for a day, but came back to comfortably win its fifth straight weekend, according to studio estimates released on Sunday.
With another $41.3 million in the bank, Avatar was down just 18% from last weekend (helped somewhat by the MLK long weekend), and will pass $500 million on Monday after just 32 days in release, easily beating the record held by The Dark Knight (see chart).
It also tops Titanic's record for the biggest fifth weekend at the box office (see chart).
Some might debate the predictive value of The Golden Globes.
After all, they don't have all of the same categories as the Oscars, and the results for Best Picture in particular have varied from the Oscar result many times over the years.
However, it is hard to argue with the free publicity a film gets from winning, and the big winner tonight was Avatar.
Reported international grosses for Avatar
as of January 13, 2010:
Avatar has now become the highest grossing DMR film of all time with a total of $91 million on IMAX screens worldwide. This is substantially more than $71 million that The Polar Express has earned over the years, while by the weekend, Avatar will become the first such film to reach $100 million worldwide.
It's Martin Luther King long weekend, the first long weekend of the year, but not the biggest.
It is also the weekend the Golden Globe awards will be handed out and that could have a larger effect on the box office in the long term.
However, it might have a negative effect in the short term as people stay home to watch the awards.
This could prevent the new releases from keeping up with last year's crop, which included the first $100 million movie of 2009 — a feat that is very unlikely to happen again this year.
In fact, Avatar will probably continue to rule to box office as it overtakes yet another film on the All-Time Chart.
Titanic... You're next. Avatar saw its weekend box office climb by 10% to $150.99 million on 15,301 screens in 93 markets for a total of $915.05 million internationally and $1.35 billion worldwide. This is now the second highest grossing film of all time, and at this rate Titanic's seemingly insurmountable record is very much within reach.
In fact, Avatar is now the biggest ever release in Russia with $76.17 million, including $11.14 million on 927 screens this past weekend and it has broken all-time records in other smaller markets and is coming close in a number of major markets.
Additionally, the film had the biggest opening in China, where it debuted with $41.4 million on 2,474 screens.
That would be a pretty good opening domestically, so to see it in an international market is enormous.
I'll be very, very interested to see if this is a aberration, or this is a sign that China is becoming the biggest international market.
Other markets of note include France, where it has crossed the $100 million mark, the first international market where it reached that milestone.
This won't be the last market where the film reaches $100 million, while by this time next week it will have reached $1 billion internationally and $1.5 billion worldwide.
The WGA announced their nominations this week, which include eleven awards, three of which are for theatrical releases.
Avatar returned to the top of the per theater chart thanks to its record-breaking weekend result. It earned more than $50 million in 3,422 theaters for an average of $14,701. Crazy Heart was very close behind with an average of $14,004 in 33 theaters, which suggests further room to expand. Likewise, The Lovely Bones could do reasonably well this Friday when it expands after pulling in an average of $12,857 this weekend; however, there is a note of caution, as the film is still playing in only three theaters.
There were few major surprises over the weekend, but the biggest was Avatar's unbelievable hold, as the film again beat expectations.
The overall box office also beat expectations with $162 million.
This was 27% lower than last weekend, but, more importantly, it was up 9.5% compared to the same weekend last year.
It's very early in the year, but 2010 already has more than a $100 million lead over 2009's pace, leading $447 million to $341 million.
It was another weekend of total box office domination for Avatar, according to studio estimates released on Sunday.
With $48.5 million, the alien adventure movie was down just 29% from New Year's weekend, and shot past $400 million.
Fox estimates it will have $429 million by the end of the day on Sunday.
The new releases were never going to compete at that level, but Daybreakers had a decent opening with a 3-day estimate of $15 million, enough only for 4th place behind Sherlock Holmes ($16.1 million for $165.2 million cume) and Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel) ($16.3 million for $178.2 million).
We introduced our new comparison charts last Summer with an analysis of the Harry Potter franchise.
The feature proved to be extremely popular, and today we're launching a major expansion of our comparison charts, starting with daily tracking of Avatar's progress towards box office records.
It's tough to be a studio releasing a new film this weekend, as all the hype is going to the holdovers, almost all of which is going to Avatar's massive box office run.
None of the new releases have any real hope of making a dent in that films' box office dominance, while it is possible that none of the new releases will reach the top three over the weekend.
That said, there's a chance that Avatar will make more money this weekend than the combined openings of last year's two biggest releases, while there's little doubt the year-over-year comparison will continue to impress.
The Producers Guild of America announced their nominations this week, and while there are only three categories for theatrical releases, they tend to be quite accurate predictors for the Oscar nominations.
This is great news for Up, which picked up nominations in two of the three categories.
For only the fifth time in history, a film has reached $1 billion at the worldwide box office. That film is, of course, Avatar, which again dominated the international chart with $138.85 million on 13,784 screens in 88 markets over the weekend for totals of $676.88 million internationally and $1.03 billion worldwide.
The film's biggest single market of the weekend was France, where it added $16.88 million on 730 screens over the weekend for a total of $65.52 million after three.
It also topped $10 million in South Korea with $11.00 million on 728 screens and in Germany with $10.79 million on 738.
The film has made $48.34 million and $53.97 million in those two markets respectively, also after three weeks of release.
It just missed the $10 million mark in Spain with $9.66 million on 794 screens over the weekend for a total of $44.45 million and in the U.K. it earned a nearly identical weekend result with $9.60 million on 493 screens over the weekend for a total of $53.05 million.
By this time next week, Avatar will be the second highest grossing film all time and while Titanic's record seems safe, for now, it is not inconceivable that Avatar could reach $1 billion internationally.
Reported international grosses for Avatar
as of January 6, 2010:
The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus topped the per theater chart this weekend, based on reports from theaters in the United States.
The film earned $128,000 in 4 theaters for an average of $31,909, which is roughly what it made last weekend.
It is also playing in many more theaters in Canada, but numbers have not been reported from those locations, at least so far this week.
The final figures may therefore, as last week, push the final average down considerably.
Second place went to to Lovely Bones, which climbed more than 54% to an average of $21,559 in three theaters.
This is excellent news for its planned expansion in a couple of weeks, assuming it doesn't fall by the same amount next week.
White Ribbon opened next with an average of $19,949, also in three theaters.
The overall number one film, Avatar, was just a fraction behind, earning an average of $19,789.
At this point, we've nearly run out of superlatives to describe the film's box office run and it is far from over.
Crazy Heart saw growth over the weekend, up 38% to an average of $18,416.
3 Idiots expanded somewhat and earned a very impressive average of $11,322 in 132 theaters.
A Single Man returned to the $10,000 club with an average of $10,586 in 46 theaters.
The final film in the $10,000 club was Sherlock Holmes, which fell sharply but still managed an average of $10,097.
Avatar added another $8.7 million from 179 IMAX theaters domestically, which was virtually identical to last week's result. This pushed its running tally to $47.1 million after just three weeks of release. Internationally it grew to $4.0 million on 71 IMAX screens, including a single-day record of $1.425 million on Saturday, for a total of $20 million internationally and $67 million worldwide, which is a record for a day-and-date Hollywood release like this.
2010 continued the record-breaking ways of 2009 thanks to incredible holds by most films in the top ten.
In fact, all but one film we talked about on Thursday topped expectations, sometimes by margins that are difficult to believe.
Overall ticket sales were $220 million, which is 21% lower than last weekend, but a stunning 44% higher than last year.
2009 ended the year with an estimated total of $10.60 billion, which was more than 10% higher than last year's final tally, and almost $1 billion more than the previous record.
Avatar continued its record-setting pace over the weekend, easily breaking the record for the biggest third weekend for a movie (see chart) and also setting a new record for a weekend in January (see chart).
Fox estimates a $68.3 million weekend, down a little under 10% from Christmas weekend.
Total box office after 17 days is $352 million in the US, and an incredible $670.2 million internationally, for $1.022 billion worldwide, which will put it 4th in the all-time list of global earners by Monday (see chart).
Although it's too soon to tell where it will end up in the US (beyond stating the obvious that $400 million is a formality at this point, and $500 million looks all but certain), the movie will clearly end up either number one or two on the list of biggest global earners in theaters.
Titanic's all-time record looks under severe threat already.
As usual, there are no new wide releases the first weekend of the year, but that doesn't mean there are no stories to talk about.
The most obvious story is the comparison to last year, which was led by Marley & Me with just over $24 million.
It is very likely that wouldn't even come close to reaching the top three this weekend.
Avatar saw growth during its second weekend of release, pulling in $152.8 million on 14,686 screens in 108 markets for a total of $413.2 million internationally and $625.9 million worldwide.
The film is already in the top 50 on the all time worldwide chart after just 12 days of release, and by this time next week it could be in the top 20.
Its only major debut took place in Japan where it opened with $14.5 million on 749 screens, which was the fourth best debut for Fox in that market.
(Only the three Star Wars prequels earned better results during their opening weekends in that market.)
However, while that was impressive, it wasn't the film's best single market.
That honor goes to France where it added $21.8 million on 1,114 screens over the weekend for a total of $51.7 million after two.
The film also topped $10 million over the weekend in Russia ($13.6 million on 1,329); Germany ($12.8 million on 1,138 screens); and Spain ($12.5 million on 800).
It now has $44.2 million, $34.2 million, and $28.8 million in those three markets respectively with plenty of upside to go.
Avatar was solid on IMAX, down less than 10% to $8.8 million on 179 screens domestically to lift its total to $28 million so far.
It expanded in Japan and Poland and reportedly broke records in both markets, which helped it add $3.6 million on 70 IMAX screens for a total of $11 million internationally and $39 million worldwide.
As it did on the overall chart, Avatar led the way on the per theater chart, earning an average of $21,880.
Second place went to the overall second place film, Sherlock Holmes, which pulled in an average of $18,031.
3 Idiots did something most Bollywood films don't manage to do, namely top $10,000 on the per theater chart.
Additionally, it was a wider release than most of its compadres, which makes this opening even more impressive.
Crazy Heart expanded somewhat, but still remained strong with an average of $13,321 and this makes hitting milestones much more likely.
Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel was the third wide release to crack $10,000 with an average of $13,210.
Finally we get to Lovely Bones, which is down to an estimated average of $12,667.
This is roughly a third of its opening weekend average and it still hasn't expanded, which doesn't bode well.
The final weekend of 2009 turned into a record-breaker with two massive new releases and a holdover that still managed to come out on top.
Overall the box office pulled in an estimated $278 million over the weekend, which crushed the previous record for the biggest weekend by all movies combined.
Additionally, this was 39% higher than the same weekend last year and pushed 2009's running tally to $10.38 billion.
This is 9.2% higher than last year's pace and more than 7% more than the previous record, and there is another week left to go.
The winners of our Gilded Prizes contest were determined and they are...
As it did domestically, Avatar dominated the international chart with an estimated $143.73 million on 14,604 screens in 65 markets for a total of $165.52 million, while its worldwide total was $242.55 million after its first weekend of release.
Fox reports a total international box office of $221,052,697 as of December 22.
This is the biggest international opening of the year and the fifth best of all time, while its worldwide total was the best ever for a non-sequel.
The film placed first in all 65 markets where it opened.
Its best single market was Russia, where it managed $20.8 million during its opening, while France was right behind with $20.3 million, which was half the total box office in the country.
In the U.K., it took in $13.61 million on 503 screens and broke $10 million in South Korea at $11.4 million, Australia at $11.3 million, and Spain at $10.9 million.
The film has yet to open in Japan, China, and Italy and with this start, it will have no trouble showing a profit by the time it finishes its international run.
It's Christmas on Friday, but one new release got the jump on the competition on Wednesday night. With three wide releases and two movies expanding wide, or at least wide-ish, this weekend will be just as busy as it was last year.
However, despite all of these new films, it looks like we could have a repeat on top as Avatar continues its strong run.
Meanwhile, the 2009 box office running tally surpassed the $10 billion mark early on Tuesday.
This is of course the first time the yearly box office total has hit eleven digits and there are more records remaining to be broken.
It was a fantastic weekend at the box office as the top film topped expectations and broke records, admittedly by narrow margins, but records nonetheless.
Overall the box office pulled in $138 million, which was 42% higher than last weekend and an outstanding 56% higher than the same weekend last year.
Year-to-date, 2009 has earned $9.96 billion, extending its record and moving closer to the $10 billion milestone.
This time last year the cumulative box office was $9.15 billion, meaning 2009 has an 8.8% lead.
Like last week, the number one film on the per theater chart managed that feat despite mixed reviews.
This week it was Nine, which opened with an average of $64,308, but I am concerned about its ability to expand, especially if its word-of-mouth match its reviews.
The number one film on the overall chart, Avatar, placed second with $22,313 while Crazy Heart was not that far behind with an average of $20,666.
Up in the Air's expansion continues but it remained strong on the per theater chart with an average of $18,344 in 175 theaters.
Finally, Lovely Bones saw its average plummet this weekend to $15,032, which is more than 60% lower than last weekend.
Had this been accompanied by an expansion this wouldn't be an issue, but it is still playing in just three theaters.
Avatar set records over the weekend on IMAX screens across the nation, pulling in $9.5 million on 178 screens, which is the largest opening for an IMAX film and also the widest release in the format's history.
There were reports of nearly every ticket being sold with theater owners adding shows at 3 am, and in some cases 6 am, to deal with the demand.
Internationally, the film made $4.1 million on 58 screens for a worldwide total of $13.6 million so far.
The film has yet to fully expand internationally, while historically films have had better legs on IMAX than on regular screens, which will undoubtedly help it going forward.
Fox have announced their estimate for the opening weekend of Avatar: $73 million.
The daily breakdown is estimated as Friday $27 million, Saturday $25.65 million, Sunday $20.35 million.
Despite falling short of the most optimistic predictions, in part thanks to poor weather on the East Coast, the movie ranks high among the best opening weekend for non-franchise movies.
It stands to open in third place on that list, behind The Passion of the Christ and December record holder I am Legend, and takes the record for the biggest opening for a wholly original production.
IMAX sales are reportedly through the roof, with every single seat sold throughout the weekend.
International sales are also extremely strong, with Fox reporting $159.18 million so far for a worldwide total of $232 million.
After years of preparation and hype, the opening day of Fox's Avatar was affected by the most low-tech of problems: a major snowstorm on the East Coast, which most likely knocked a few million dollars off the movie's ticket sales.
Fox is reporting a $27 million opening day, including $3.5 million from midnight shows.
That's not a terrible start by any measure, but the studio will be looking for better climatic conditions and good word of mouth over the next couple of days if they're going to come close to an $80 million.
Avatar got off to a good start overnight, according to Fox's estimate for midnight shows.
The movie earned $3,537,000 according to the studio, putting it well on course for a big opening day.
Midnight shows were limited to 3D screens in 2,200 theaters, and the long running time of the movie prevented multiple shows overnight, but the number is still far behind New Moon's extraordinary $26.27 million opening night four weeks ago.
There are two wide releases this weekend, but mostly everyone is just talking about Avatar, its box office potential, and its obvious comparisons to Titanic.
It should have no trouble beating the combined $43 million made by all three wide releases this weekend last year, and will almost certainly make more during its opening weekend than the $53 million that Titanic made during its opening week.
And that's the low end of expectations.
On the high end, it has a number of records in its sights.
The Hollywood Foreign Press Association announced their nominations this week, but looking over the list of films chosen, it is hard to declare any one film as the big winner. Up in the Air did pick up six Golden Globe nominations, including several of the most prestigious nominations, but it is far from the only major player.
One of the most expensive films ever made, Avatar, opens next week. And while there is some question as to its final cost, there's no doubt it is the target film in this week's box office prediction contest. In order to win, one must simply predict the opening weekend box office number for Avatar.
Whoever comes the closest to predicting the film's opening 3-day weekend box office (Friday to Sunday), without going over, will win a copy of Deadline on DVD.
Meanwhile, whoever comes the closest to predicting the film's opening 3-day weekend box office (Friday to Sunday), without going under, will also win a copy of Deadline on DVD.
Entries must be received by 10 a.m., Pacific Time on Friday to be eligible, so don't delay!
November turned out to be a good month with more films meeting or exceeding expectations that missing.
We also saw records broken as 2009 marches closer to the all-time record, and the possibility of becoming the first year to hit $10 billion in total ticket sales growing.
It won't need that much to get there, and even if just one or two of the predicted $100 million hits this month get to that milestone, we will still finish the year by breaking records.
Disney's A Christmas Carol took in $4.2 million on 181 IMAX screens during its opening, which represented 14% of its total box office in just 3% of the theaters it played in.
Some are reporting this is the highest percentage earned by a wide release, which is partially due to its per screen average of $23,000, but it also had a lot to do with its softer than expected theatrical debut.
It opened with $560,000 internationally in 28 IMAX theaters, and it is only half way done with its international rollout.
This week's round of new casting information contains updates for Driving Lessons, Night at the Museum 2, Shutter Island, and more!
This week's round of new movie release information contains not only the general weekly update, but also an a number of release updates we had missed earlier.
This week's round of new casting information contains updates for Avatar, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Star Trek XI, and more!
This week's round of new movie release information contains release dates for Resurrecting the Champ, The Waterhorse, Avatar and more.