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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
2009 ended breaking lots of records, so 2010 starts both on a high note, and with a bit of trepidation.
On the one hand, there are several holdovers that should continue to be major players at the box office for the next few weeks, which can only help.
On the other hand, there's almost no chance 2010 will get off to as strong a start as 2009 did, since some of what happened at the box office during January of 2009 was unprecedented.