Avatar Avatacks The World - Weeks 7, 8, 9, 10 | Avatar | The Twilight Saga: New Moon | The Blind Side

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Avatar Avatacks The World - Weeks 7, 8, 9, 10

The Twilight Saga: New Moon
The Blind Side
Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel
Sherlock Holmes
Um, did I forget to do something for the past four weeks? It's not like there have been any movies that have come out in the past month that have re-written the record books and have a chance to become the biggest blockbuster in history or anything like that. Oh wait… oops.

Well, I'm not sure much is going to change from now until next Tuesday when the pool is officially over, so I'm going to save the current leaderboard for then. I will, however, try to recap the last few weeks and then next week's email will be the season finale wrap-up that the biggest movie in the history of movies deserves!

Week 7

Avatar debuted to a very nice $77 million. This wasn't a spectacular opening. I Am Legend did even better two years ago and New Moon's opening was almost twice as large in November. Still, for those who thought Avatar would bomb (and there were many in Hollywood thinking this could be a disaster of Battlefield Earth proportions), it showed it should manage at least a $150 - $180 million total even with sharp declines. That's something John Travolta couldn't do when he played a ten-foot blue alien in BE.

That same weekend Did You Hear About the Morgans? opened to just over $8 million or about $50 million less than the Sex and the City movie. It seems taking the Manhattan girl out of Manhattan may not have been the best marketing strategy for Sarah Jessica Parker.

Week 8

The Christmas Weekend of 2009 is going to be remembered for a long time as the highest grossing theater weekend ever at $270 million. Two new films made over $60 million and yet it was Avatar's unimaginable 1.8% drop that allowed it to make another $75 million. It was the smallest drop ever for a film that had made that much in its first weekend and now that Avatar had made $212 million in just 10 days, it was clear this was no regular blockbuster film. It took a second week to prove it's point, but James Cameron showed all the doubters that he knows how to get people to go buy a movie ticket better than anyone else in the world.

Those "other" two films? Sherlock Holmes blew away my expectations and had a huge $62 million debut. Meanwhile, Alvin and the Chipmunks 2 showed Disney that "kids" movies can actually to gargantuan numbers. While The Princess & The Frog took 3 weeks to make $63 million, the rodent trio cracked $75 million in 5 days. Maybe instead of hiring Randy Newman to write songs as if he was Harry Connick Jr., the Mousehouse should've paid the Chipmunks manager Dave to punch up their soundtrack.

Week 9

The "holy crapness" of Avatar continued as it had another redonkulous 9.4% drop, made $68 million in its third weekend, and had now accumulated $352 million in 17 days (and, yes, jumped passed New Moon as the #1 film of the season in the process). All this from a film where I don't know a single person that "loved" the movie!

I thought the flick was "good not great" at best. I also know why I went to go see the movie. I often joke that my two components for seeing a movie are if it has aliens and if something explodes. This had it both! I knew this was a no-brainer ticket-purchase for me, but why the heck is everyone else going to see it?

Still, I applaud the Cameron and his crew for putting the movie together in the way they wanted to do it and for Fox for coughing up the cash for them to do it (and not giving it to Chris Carter so he could make another coma-inducing X-Files movie).

Sherlock and Alvin continued to serve holiday cheer and raced to totals of $138 and $155 million respectively. Clearly it looks like the three smashes of Christmas Weekend are going to be on the Top Five list for sure.

Week 10

I watched all four NFL playoff games last weekend and there was not a single Avatar commercial. Given that the film still made $50 million in its 4th weekend, it seems they made a good decision to not waste another single dime in advertising so they'll just have bigger piles of money to jump into.

The film has now made over $430 million dollars in 24 days. That means this movie has been averaging almost $18 million a day at the box-office! What the heck are these hard economic times I keep hearing about on the news?! Of course, I forget, the Na'vi on Pandora don't have a monetary system, so their economy has just been fine all along.

By the way, speaking of films that did "bomb" this season, let's bring up the already forgotten about musical Nine. The Weinstein Company gave the director $85 million to make a movie with Daniel Day-Lewis and a who's who's cast of top female talent. The result after four weeks: $16 million. Well done, everyone. Money well spent.

Next Week

OK, the final verdict and leaderboard of the season will be all set after MLK Day weekend. Be prepared… And if you didn't have Avatar anywhere in your top five, it will most likely have been a Blue Christmas for you after all.

by Matt Neuenburg on 12/30/2009

Movies Mentioned in this Post: Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel, Avatar, Sherlock Holmes, The Blind Side, The Twilight Saga: New Moon
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