For the 45th time in the past 48 days, Fox's Avatar topped the daily box office. After not experiencing a noticeable Oscar-bump on Tuesday, James Cameron's 3D blockbuster was down a healthy 2 percent on Wednesday with a daily gross of $2.65 million. That was down just 16 percent from last Wednesday, which means Avatar should hold up very well once again this weekend. With that said, it appears as though it be a very close race for first place over Super Bowl weekend between Avatar and Sony's Dear John. Avatar has now grossed $603.79 million domestically and $2.05 billion worldwide, both of which represent new all-time records.
Edge of Darkness remained in second place with $1.11 million. However, the Warner Bros. thriller starring Mel Gibson was down a sharp 20 percent from Tuesday. That isn't a good sign for the film heading into its second weekend, especially in the face of the Super Bowl. Edge of Darkness has grossed $21.03 million through six days. That's on the low end of pre-release expectations, but places the film 19 percent behind the pace of last year's Law Abiding Citizen.
Disney's When in Rome continued to claim third place with a daily take of $0.71 million. Like Edge of Darkness, When in Rome was also down sharply from Tuesday as it experienced a daily decline of 19 percent. The romantic comedy starring Kristen Bell and Josh Duhamel has grossed $14.71 million through six days, which is on the high end of expectations and represents a 33 percent stronger start than that of Universal's recent Leap Year.
Warner's The Book of Eli remained in fourth with $0.67 million. The R-rated Denzel Washington vehicle was down a reasonable 8 percent from Tuesday and down 40 percent from last Wednesday. The Book of Eli has grossed $76.65 million through 20 days of release, but will likely take a sizable hit from the Super Bowl this weekend.
Films that received major Academy Award nominations on Tuesday continued to hold up nicely on Wednesday. Warner's The Blind Side was up 5 percent from Tuesday to finish in ninth with $0.30 million and Paramount's Up in the Air was down 2 percent to finish in eleventh with $0.29 million. Respective totals for The Blind Side and Up in the Air stand at $238.73 million and $74.05 million. Meanwhile, Fox Searchlight's Crazy Heart was up 5 percent with a daily take of $0.24 million. Crazy Heart has grossed $7.31 million in limited release and will receive a major expansion on Friday.