Weekend Wrap-Up

Avatar Now A Six Weekend Wonder at the Box Office

By John Hamann

January 24, 2010

Cameron was more anti-Pandora than anyone expected.

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Finishing third is last frame's number two flick, The Book of Eli. After opening to just short of $40 million over four days last weekend, and $33 million over three days, the Denzel Washington flick got creamed by Avatar and was barely beaten by Legion. Eli had a second weekend gross of $17 million and dropped 48%. To be fair, unless you're Avatar, drops are going to be bigger following a holiday frame, as there are more chances to see a movie over a long weekend than a traditional weekend. So, the drop for Eli was almost expected, and because it opened over a strong movie going holiday, doesn't have to work that hard to be a financial success. Eli should do okay overseas, and already has a domestic gross of $62 million. Is this one going to earn $100 million stateside? Probably not, but it might get close.

Fourth spot goes to The Rock in The Tooth Fairy, which opens somewhat lower than expectations. 20th Century Fox's Tooth Fairy opened to $14.5 million this weekend from an ultra-wide 3,344 venues. It had an average of $4,336. The Tooth Fairy is The Rock's lowest opener when it comes to family-friendly fare, as both The Game Plan and Race to Witch Mountain opened in the mid-$20 millions. Considering the advertising campaign for Fairy, I think Fox should be happy with the result, as this release looked truly awful. Critics agreed, to say the least. At RottenTomatoes, 78 reviews were counted, and of those, only 12 were positive, leaving this one at an abysmal 15% fresh. With the kid angle, The Tooth Fairy should see some okay legs despite its awfulness.


Fifth spot goes to Paramount and Peter Jackson's The Lovely Bones, which had a better than expected debut last weekend. In its second weekend of wide release, Bones earned another $8.8 million, and was off a higher than expected 48%. Again, coming off the MLK weekend isn't helping a lot of films this weekend, and in this case, neither is film quality. The Lovely Bones is a bit of a mess, and while audiences were fooled last weekend, word is now getting out. This one now has a cume of $31.6 million, a long way from its production budget, which has been reported to be somewhere between $65 and $100 million.

Sherlock Holmes parlays a Robert Downey Jr. win at the Golden Globes last weekend into a solid hold at the box office this weekend. Sherlock earned $7.1 million in its fifth weekend, and drops only 28%, playing against the trend of higher drops. It wasn't only Downey's win, it was also that fantastic speech that got a lot of recognition following the ceremony. Whether he deserved to win or not, there was an impact at the box office, and Sherlock Holmes now has a domestic running total of $191.6 million, and a foreign cume of about the same amount. Bring on Moriarty!

Seventh goes to Extraordinary Measures, the new doctor drama with Harrison Ford and Brendan Fraser. Measures is from a new studio, CBS Films (yes, born out of the television studio), and their first film is unfortunately a bit of a mess. It earned only $7 million from 2,450 venues, giving it a sad average of $2,746. Sick kids do not often equal big opening weekends, so maybe they are looking for legs. Unfortunately, again the answer is no, as this one was only 26% fresh at RottenTomatoes. Made for about $30 million, Extraordinary Measures will be lucky to make half of that. This is now Harrison Ford's second consecutive flop.

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