To no one’s surprise, Avatar remained in the #1 spot for a 5th straight weekend, but to my surprise The Book of Eli did a lot better than I predicted. In fact, there was another new releases did a lot better than I predicted. I predicted all five films in the top five, with three of them being in order. I wouldn’t say I was close on my predictions of how they would do. Here’s my wrap-up report.
Avatar led the way again at the box office, as it was the #1 film with a gross of $41.3 million (I predicted a gross of $37.7 million, and for it to be the #1 film). The James Cameron blockbuster had a per theatre average of $12,572 which was the highest in the top ten. Avatar was down only 17.9% from last weekend. Avatar now also owns the record for best fifth weekend ever surpassing Titanic’s fifth weekend gross of $30 million. Its total domestic gross now stands at $491.7 million. Here are the top three films in terms of all-time domestic grosses:
1) Titanic – $600.7 million
2) The Dark Knight – $533.3 million
3) Avatar – $491.7 million
I think it’s safe to say that Titanic’s record is going to be defeated.
Opening in 2nd place is Denzel Washington’s The Book of Eli with a gross of $31.6 million (I predicted a 2nd place opening with a gross of $22 million). The post-apocalyptic action film had a strong opening weekend, and once again re-asserted the point I made in my predictions, that Denzel is a lock when it comes to opening weekends. He’s the safest bet in Hollywood. The film had a per theatre average of $10,162, and now it hopes word-of-mouth will carry the film. This is an excellent opening weekend, especially in the month of January when studios tend to just dump films they don’t have much faith in into theatres. We’ll see how it holds up down the road.
Third place was a big surprise to me as it belonged to Peter Jackson’s The Lovely Bones. The film grossed $17 million in its first weekend of wide release (I predicted a 5th place finish and a gross of $7.2 million). The film had to overcome tremendously disappointing buzz from the critics and from less than fantastic numbers in its limited release run, but the fans of the book and fans of Peter Jackson came out to support the film. It had a per theatre average of $6,656, which is good, but doesn’t put much faith in me that it will hold up over the coming weeks. Word of mouth will be key if they expect this film to hold up over the coming weeks. As much as I liked the book, and as much as I’m a fan of Peter Jackson, I just don’t see it happening. The total gross for The Lovely Bones stands at $17.5 million, as it made over $500,000 in its limited release.
Fourth place belongs to Alvin and The Chipmunks: The Squeakquel with a gross of $11.5 million (I predicted a 4th place finish and a gross of $7.9 million). The film baffles me to some extent that it has done this well, because this franchise was popular when I was a kid, and even though the trailers and reviews have not been all that great, it is still bringing in the family audience. It was down a very low 30.6% from last weekend, and its per theatre average was $3,489. The total gross for Alvin and The Chipmunks: The Squeakquel after four weeks is $192.5 million. It now looks like the sequel will surpass the total gross of the original which was $217.3 million.
Rounding out the top five is Sherlock Holmes with a gross of $9.8 million (I predicted a third place finish and a gross of $8 million). The film had a per theatre average of $3,096 and was down 40.8% from last weekend. It might not be the fifth place film when final numbers come out; as Jackie Chan’s The Spy Next Door was the 6th place film with a gross of $9.7 million (I predicted a gross of $7 million for its opening weekend). The Spy Next Door had a per theatre average of $3,317. For Sherlock Holmes, the film has now taken in $180 million in four weeks.
In limited release, the numbers for Fish Tank are unavailable as of this writing, and The Last Station grossed $81,700 from three theatres for a per theatre average of $27,233.
Once again, here were my predictions:
1) Avatar – $37.7 million
2) The Book of Eli – $22 million
3) Sherlock Holmes – $8 million
4) Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel – $7.9 million
5) The Lovely Bones – $7.2 million
And here are the actual numbers:
1) Avatar – $41.3 million
2) The Book of Eli – $31.6 million
3) The Lovely Bones – $17 million
4) Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel – $11.5 million
5) Sherlock Holmes – $9.8 million
My predictions were off by $28.4 million
Next week Avatar will continue to look to be the #1 film against Paul Bettany as an archangel trying to save humanity in Legion, Dwayne Johnson as a hockey player who becomes the Tooth Fairy, and Harrison Ford as a scientist helping to save the lives of Brendan Fraser’s kids in Extraordinary Measures. Opening in limited release is To Save A Life.
Check back next week for my predictions!