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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. Simply amazing.

Avatar remained in top spot over the weekend, which is something everyone was predicting. On the other hand, its strong hold was a huge shock, as the film was down a mere 9.4% to $68.49 million over the weekend for a total of $352.11 million after three. This is already second place among movies released in 2009 and 15th place All Time, while it will have no trouble climbing further on both charts. It crossed the $300 million mark in just 15 days and with the best third weekend of all time, it is clearly gaining ground on the two films that beat it there. At this pace, we are looking at $400 million over next weekend, which would make it the second fastest to reach that milestone, and while $500 million is not guaranteed, it certainly looks likely. This is especially true if the film picks up some major action during Awards Season. It will still be a major player when the Golden Globes are handed out in two weeks, while Oscar nominations are announced at the beginning of next month. If it wins big, then who knows? Maybe Titanic's record is not safe. Just imagine. The only two $600 million movies ever made being directed by the same man, James Cameron.

The only film in the top five that didn't top expectations was Sherlock Holmes, which came relatively close with $36.61 million over the weekend for a total of $138.72 million after two. Some are saying bad word-of-mouth is hurting the film's box office performance, but given its reviews I would say that's unlikely. It's more likely that Avatar is simply sucking up too much of the box office and since the two films are in direct competition, this one just can't compete. That said, Sherlock Holmes is on pace to reach $200 million, or at least come very close, which should be more than enough to keep Warner Bros. happy, and they are probably already working on making the franchise a trilogy. Since this movie will make enough profit worldwide to pay for two more installments, it might be wise to strike now.

Alvin and the Chipmunks 2: The Squeakquel is also screaming towards $200 million after earning $35.19 million over the past three days for a total of $155.92 million after twelve. Given this result, $200 million to $225 million seems quite likely, as does another sequel, but I shudder to think what it might be called.

It's Complicated also topped expectations with $18.80 million over the weekend and $59.18 million after two. It is showing a slightly better hold than Something's Gotta Give did back in 2003 / 2004, which means this film could make another $60 million during its run. Hitting $100 million and joining the already record-breaking group of 30 $100 million movies released in 2009 seems very likely.

The Blind Side grabbed the final spot in the top five with $11.91 million over the weekend to give the film a total of $208.48 million after a month and a half of release. Not only is this Sandra Bullock's first $200 million hit, various news outlets have reported that this is the first film driven by a solo female lead to reach that milestone. However, that seems questionable, given that Twilight: New Moon has a female lead, Twister had a female lead (although the special effects were the main draw), and My Big Fat Greek Wedding was clearly Nia Vardalos' movie, and pulled in more than $240 million back in 2002. However, there is an small but real chance that The Blind Side could top that figure, which would make all of this moot. We will have a better picture on where the film will end up this time next week, after we can determine its post-holiday holds.

Up in the Air wasn't quite as strong, but it did add $10.72 million over the weekend for a total of $44.38 million after a month of release. At this point, you can't rule out $100 million, especially if the film wins big during Awards Season. But it does have a tough road ahead of it if it wants to reach the $100 million milestone.

Speaking of $100 million, The Princess and the Frog took a king-sized leap toward that goal with $9.82 million over the weekend for a total of $85.86 million. With the end of holidays, its weekday numbers will sink like a stone. However, there's no new direct competition this coming weekend, so if it can make $6 million or so, it should be on pace to reach the milestone. This could be a bit of a phyrric victory, as it is likely the film cost about that much to make.

No true sophomore films missed the top five this weekend; however, it was the second weekend of Nine's semi-wide release. Unfortunately for Weinstein, it was down more than 28% to $3.90 million for a total of $13.75 million. It was reportedly an expensive movie to make and, if so, then it has no real chance at breaking even at this point.

- C.S.Strowbridge And a Very, Very Happy New Year - The Numbers

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And a Very, Very Happy New Year

January 4th, 2010

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. Simply amazing.

Avatar remained in top spot over the weekend, which is something everyone was predicting. On the other hand, its strong hold was a huge shock, as the film was down a mere 9.4% to $68.49 million over the weekend for a total of $352.11 million after three. This is already second place among movies released in 2009 and 15th place All Time, while it will have no trouble climbing further on both charts. It crossed the $300 million mark in just 15 days and with the best third weekend of all time, it is clearly gaining ground on the two films that beat it there. At this pace, we are looking at $400 million over next weekend, which would make it the second fastest to reach that milestone, and while $500 million is not guaranteed, it certainly looks likely. This is especially true if the film picks up some major action during Awards Season. It will still be a major player when the Golden Globes are handed out in two weeks, while Oscar nominations are announced at the beginning of next month. If it wins big, then who knows? Maybe Titanic's record is not safe. Just imagine. The only two $600 million movies ever made being directed by the same man, James Cameron.

The only film in the top five that didn't top expectations was Sherlock Holmes, which came relatively close with $36.61 million over the weekend for a total of $138.72 million after two. Some are saying bad word-of-mouth is hurting the film's box office performance, but given its reviews I would say that's unlikely. It's more likely that Avatar is simply sucking up too much of the box office and since the two films are in direct competition, this one just can't compete. That said, Sherlock Holmes is on pace to reach $200 million, or at least come very close, which should be more than enough to keep Warner Bros. happy, and they are probably already working on making the franchise a trilogy. Since this movie will make enough profit worldwide to pay for two more installments, it might be wise to strike now.

Alvin and the Chipmunks 2: The Squeakquel is also screaming towards $200 million after earning $35.19 million over the past three days for a total of $155.92 million after twelve. Given this result, $200 million to $225 million seems quite likely, as does another sequel, but I shudder to think what it might be called.

It's Complicated also topped expectations with $18.80 million over the weekend and $59.18 million after two. It is showing a slightly better hold than Something's Gotta Give did back in 2003 / 2004, which means this film could make another $60 million during its run. Hitting $100 million and joining the already record-breaking group of 30 $100 million movies released in 2009 seems very likely.

The Blind Side grabbed the final spot in the top five with $11.91 million over the weekend to give the film a total of $208.48 million after a month and a half of release. Not only is this Sandra Bullock's first $200 million hit, various news outlets have reported that this is the first film driven by a solo female lead to reach that milestone. However, that seems questionable, given that Twilight: New Moon has a female lead, Twister had a female lead (although the special effects were the main draw), and My Big Fat Greek Wedding was clearly Nia Vardalos' movie, and pulled in more than $240 million back in 2002. However, there is an small but real chance that The Blind Side could top that figure, which would make all of this moot. We will have a better picture on where the film will end up this time next week, after we can determine its post-holiday holds.

Up in the Air wasn't quite as strong, but it did add $10.72 million over the weekend for a total of $44.38 million after a month of release. At this point, you can't rule out $100 million, especially if the film wins big during Awards Season. But it does have a tough road ahead of it if it wants to reach the $100 million milestone.

Speaking of $100 million, The Princess and the Frog took a king-sized leap toward that goal with $9.82 million over the weekend for a total of $85.86 million. With the end of holidays, its weekday numbers will sink like a stone. However, there's no new direct competition this coming weekend, so if it can make $6 million or so, it should be on pace to reach the milestone. This could be a bit of a phyrric victory, as it is likely the film cost about that much to make.

No true sophomore films missed the top five this weekend; however, it was the second weekend of Nine's semi-wide release. Unfortunately for Weinstein, it was down more than 28% to $3.90 million for a total of $13.75 million. It was reportedly an expensive movie to make and, if so, then it has no real chance at breaking even at this point.

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Filed under: Up in the Air, The Blind Side, Nine, It's Complicated, Avatar, The Princess and the Frog, Sherlock Holmes, Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel