‘Avatar’ Leads for Seventh Weekend

on February 01, 2010 by Daniel Garris

Fox's Avatar led the box office for the seventh straight weekend, making it the first film to do so since 1997's Titanic. Avatar also broke Titanic's record for largest unadjusted seventh weekend gross with a weekend take of $31.28 million. The 3D phenomenon from director James Cameron continues to hold up extremely well, as it was down only 10 percent from last weekend. Avatar is now the first film on record to top the $2 billion mark at the worldwide box office and is now on the verge on topping Titanic to set a new record at the unadjusted domestic box office. Avatar has grossed $595.75 million to date domestically, leaving it just $5.04 million away from breaking the record Titanic has held for the past 12 years.

Warner's Edge of Darkness opened on the low end of expectations with $17.21 million. Mel Gibson's comeback film was unable to match the debuts of recent thrillers Taken ($24.72 million) and Law Abiding Citizen ($21.04 million). Instead, the film opened more in line with the $18.20 million debut of 2008's Rambo. On the positive side, Edge of Darkness held up pretty well on Saturday and Sunday and boasted a weekend to Friday ratio of 3.07 to 1 as a result. However, the film will face a major test next weekend with the arrival of both Lionsgate's From Paris with Love and Super Bowl XLIV.

When in Rome opened in third place with $12.35 million. The romantic-comedy from Disney starring Kristen Bell and Josh Duhamel debuted on the higher end of pre-release expectations. When in Rome opened 34 percent stronger than Universal's recent Leap Year and was nearly as strong as Edge of Darkness with regard to per-location average this weekend. When in Rome will also face a major test next weekend with the debut of Sony's Dear John on Friday.

One week after a lackluster fourth place start, Fox's The Tooth Fairy held up nicely to remain in fourth. The family comedy starring Dwayne Johnson grossed $9.998 million, which was down a healthy 29 percent. Despite this weekend's hold, The Tooth Fairy has still only grossed $26.10 million through ten days, placing it 41 percent behind the pace of last year's Race to Witch Mountain. However, with no new family films opening next weekend, The Tooth Fairy could hold up well once again.

The Book of Eli held up a bit better this weekend, but was still down a notable 43 percent with a fifth place gross of $8.91 million. The R-rated Warner Bros. release starring Denzel Washington opened strong in mid-January, but has fallen off fairly quickly after its first week of release. The Book of Eli has grossed $74.51 million through 17 days, placing it 23 percent ahead of the pace of 2005's Constantine.

In expanding from platform to limited release, Fox Searchlight's Crazy Heart continued to post strong per-location numbers. Thanks in large part to the strong Oscar buzz surrounding the lead performance of Jeff Bridges, Crazy Heart grossed $2.31 million from only 239 locations. That gave the film a per-location average of $9,662 and brings its current total to $6.66 million. Crazy Heart will expand into additional locations next weekend.

Tags: The Tooth Fairy, When in Rome, Edge of Darkness, Avatar

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