'Avatar' continues to dominate the box office with $13.3 mil on Friday

A trio of new releases failed to topple James Cameron’s Avatar, which claimed the top spot at the box office for the fourth weekend in a row. The 3-D epic earned $13.3 million on Friday, bringing its domestic total to a staggering $393.8 million, according to early estimates. By the end of Saturday, Avatar should pass Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, which grossed $402.1 million, to become the highest grossing film released in 2009. Additionally, Avatar is likely to soar by Spider-Man on Saturday to become the eighth-highest grossing film of all time domestically.

Second place went to the new Ethan Hawke vampire flick Daybreakers, which drained $5.9 million on Friday. Right behind it was Sherlock Holmes, dropping 66 percent for $5.1 million in its third week. The action film’s domestic take has reached $153.7 million, which indicates, through deductive reasoning, that we should be seeing more of Robert Downey Jr.’s Holmes in the years to come. In fourth place was another holdover, Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel, which earned $3.6 million to bring its cumulative gross to $165.4 million.

The weekend’s two other new releases, the Ireland-set romantic comedy Leap Year and the Michael Cera teen comedy Youth in Revolt, will not be remembered for their box-office prowess. The former grossed $3.3 million for fifth place, while the latter picked up $2.7 million for seventh place. Friday’s figures are below, and check back here on Sunday for the complete box office report.

1. Avatar — $13.3 mil
2. Daybreakers — $5.9 mil
3. Sherlock Holmes — $5.1 mil
4. Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel — $3.6 mil
5. Leap Year — $3.3 mil

SUNDAY UPDATE: Avatar is No. 1 (again!) with $48.5 million

Comments (109 total) Add your comment
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  • Kyle

    That sucks for Youth In Revolt it looks kinda good 2!!!

    • Telly B

      I’m so glad that Cera flopped yet again. Maybe that will tell him what we all know: he is a one-trick pony who plays the same one-note character in all of his films, and people are sick of it…

      • Kim

        I couldn’t agree with you more.

      • wino

        so true. i like the kid but he is a one trick pony….after a while, the charm wears off. how many movies can one make basically playing the same character? sorry, i do not want adam sandler 2.0 on my theater screen.

      • Koobie

        He’s no Gary Oldman, that’s for sure.

    • Cole9219

      Youth in Revolt was hilarious. Wayyyy better that The Hangover.

      • Movie Expert

        I didn’t even need to see Youth in Revolt to tell u that it was not funnier/better than The Hangover.

  • Sean

    Wooooo about to cross the big $400 mil!

  • Chris

    The only reason Avatar is making so much money so easy is because it is in 3D and IMAX. The tickets cost more than regular movies. It wasn’t even offered in 2D where I live. Unfair advantage.

    • Kat

      I think AVATAR is making so much money because it’s GREAT!!! Beautiful, exciting, heart felt, soulful, fascinating and wonderful.

    • Vince

      I can almost hear you whining now. Sorry, but at this point, even a stupid excuse like that one cannot undermine Avatar’s success.

    • Telly B

      LOL!!! Quite the opposite. The fact that people are willing to pay higher prices prove that the film is indeed amazing!

      • johnny

        Good point. An obvious one as well, yet some people are still unable to grasp it.

      • Shamrock

        That makes no sense. It is going by total sales not number of people. If 2 people by a 15 dollar ticket for 3-D and 3 people buy $10 tickets for a regular movie, same amount of money but more people saw the regular movie.

      • Marcos

        What people also have to remember about Avatar is that because it was made for a 3D release, it was released in about 1000 less screens then something like transformers or the batman film. Where it may have an advantage in 3D rates, it loses in total screens. Bottom line, its second biggest film ever and has a word of mouth factor that probably hasn’t been seen in a long time.

      • whataretard

        thats like saying iphones arent popular because they cost more.

      • Nallu

        Just as the move makes more money from less tickets, you should acknowledge that the move collects less money due to less shows per day (the movie is almost twice as long as other flicks).

      • AcaseofGeo

        OK Shamrock, I get your point. But its at 400 freakin million. So go ahead and subtract the extra $$$ it makes from 3D and I think you’ll still find this is a MAJOR BLOCKBUSTER seen by MANY PEOPLE. (I haven’t seen it yet; I just hate extremely flawed arguments).

      • Eddie

        Could you people stop fanboying different major studio movies? It’s pathetic. You’re rooting for a product, the enjoyment of which has nothing to do with how well the movie does. At least with sports it’s more fun to watch a winning team. If it’s a good movie, enjoy it. If it isn’t, don’t. I don’t see what is so hard about that.

      • @eddie

        this is a fanboy blog lol

    • Jeannie

      I think I paid $10.50 to see Avatar in 3D, at a theater that charges $10 for a normal movie ticket.

      • hussein

        wow. i live in lebanon. and its $8.6 here for the 3-D. i thought it is the same price everywhere.

      • Eric

        Where i live its 7.50 during the day, 10 past 6PM for regular movies. Avatar was 10 all day. So you only spent more if you went in the day. I guess it might depend on if your theater just got 3D installed. My theaters had that for ages, so it already made back its money for buying the 3D theater. Some places jacked the prices because they need to make money on that.

      • RRJr

        Here in the Philippines, I paid PHP400.00 (USD8.76) for IMAX/3D over 2hrs 42mins movie. This afternoon I will watch again in a Digital Cinema in 3D (no IMAX in this part of the Philippines :-( )at PHP250.00 (USD 5.47)

      • eyeheartnyc

        Wow! Here in San Francisco, the 2D version of Avatar is $11, the 3D version is $15 and the 3D IMAX is $17. I think I need to move!

      • Sonya

        I paid $18 + fandango fees for online booking..around $20.50 for IMAX 3D @ Lincoln Theater NYC. And…I’m watching it again next weekend.

      • Mox

        Whoa! At the West Edmonton Mall Imax 3D was 17.50. Well worth the price though.

      • wino

        yeah, there wasnt much of a diff between avatar 3d and the other movies playing at my theater…i live in LA. 50 cents, to a dollar..i cant recall, but it was insignificant.

    • Kelsey

      I paid $9 for my IMAX/3D ticket. I think you’ll find that theaters that charge a high price for IMAX/3D have higher admissions prices in general.
      And if we’re going by individual moviegoers only, then doesn’t that diminish the box-office heft of movies like New Moon, which made money off of repeat viewings from a smaller core group, and not single viewings from the broader general public? Something to think about. I don’t recall anyone saying that New Moon was “cheating” because a few thousand people saw it 8-10 times, so why should Avatar be “cheating” when people are willing to pay more to see once?
      (For the record, I don’t see either situation as “cheating.)

    • Fred

      Nothing is fair in Hollywood…..top dog retains the rights to King of the World …..twice!!

    • Hannah

      Chris, if you or any other filmmaker think 3D/IMAX is an “unfair advantage,” feel free to do your own 3D/IMAX film and see if it makes similar money.
      I’m SICK TO DEATH of people whining about 3D/IMAX prices, when the film was MADE to be seen in 3D, when people are willing to pay for it, and when Cameron and his people spent YEARS (like, a decade) innovating and developing the technology necessary to make a movie like that possible. THEY put in the legwork, THEY innovated, why shouldn’t THEY see the benefit of it? It’s a lot easier to complain about someone’s else’s hard work and success than it is to do your own.

      • Gold Ticket

        This is very true and good to see acknowledgment for: Hard work ethic, artistic vision and stellar production values!! So rare to see a popular blockbuster that is also a masterpiece of cinema and storytelling all-in-one!

        I’m sure whatever numerical analysis is used in retrospect for Avatar’s BO statistics, it will hold up very well. Some may question how well Avatar may hold up later, but I think Avatar is the Usain Bolt of blockbusters at the moment breaking records etc and I think the emphasis will be on what the competition will be able to deliver next!

      • B-

        Also people forget The Dark Knight was released on IMAX as well. IMAX only accounts for 7% of Avatar’s total gross. So I dont get why people are hating so hard…

      • Sonya

        Not just that, I’m sick of people b******* about the lack of originality in the storyline. Did I care while watching the movie? Heck no! I was too busy admiring the visual perfection (yes visual PERFECTION & Technology..which is what the movie was all about in the first place) of the movie to think of mundane things like lack of original story..nobody ever said that about Spiderman/Batman or even Transformers.

        Had the movie flopped the critics would have moved on to another topic by now.

    • Mike

      No matter what dimension they’re shown in, ALL new films have “unfair advantage” in the box office wars because they’re not adjusted for inflation.

      • dusen

        No kidding! I’m surprised nobody else has mentioned that yet. No denying that any way you slice it, Avatar is a huge hit, but as long as tickets cost more and more each year, records will continue to be broken. See you all in 2020, when Transformers 6 hits the 2 billion mark (and tickets cost $50 each).

    • Chip H

      Raw tickets, adjusted for inflation, etc., etc., Avatar is doing *extremely* well for a film that’s not even been out a month. The last time I posted something in this vein was Thursday, and Avatar was the 89th best attended film *ever* in the U.S.. Now it’s Saturday and it’s ranked 78th for best attended ever. In two days, it’s jumped another 9 places. No matter how you measure it, it’s kicking much ass, so the whiners need to sit back, wait for it to (finally) leave the theaters, and then see if there’s any nitpicking left to do, because all this explaining away just makes you look silly.

    • jack

      I admit, Avatar is a 4 star 3D movie. But take away the 3D, and it’s 2 1/2 star at best. I reccomended to my friends to see it, but only in 3D, otherwise, it wouldn’t even be worth a DVD rental.

    • Daniel

      Still people are willing to go see it in spite of the higher ticket prices. That’s saying something.

    • dood

      look at the gross however and divide it by the avg. price which is 14 bucks. 1 billion / 14 = 71,428,571 times people have seen avatar. Thats why. Either way I personally don’t care about gross cuz either way the prices keep inflating. Nothing will top Gone With the Wind. I think if adjusted for inflation it wouldve made like 2.5 billion or some crazy shit. Crap movie but thats a HUGE gross.

  • larry

    Avatar is the best movie of all-time, sorry critics you can’t mess this one up. Seen it 4-times at 3-d prices and it was worth it.

    • A


    • dougqq

      Ive seen it three times. twice in 3d. definitely worth it.

    • T. Toleman

      Saw it for the sixth time today. I’ve only seen it in 3-D. Yes, I am a nerd, dweeb, dork, loser, and geek who had far too much time and money on his hands. Btw,see it in 3-D because that’s what the filmmakers intended.Always works out just a little better that way.

  • Deb

    I’m just happy that an exceptional movie is going to surpass that waste of time that was Transformers 2.

    • A

      It’s sickening that Transformers 2 was that high.

      • james

        Wasn’t sickening at all I actually rooted for it to get high $402 baby. Oh yeah here’s another sickening thing for you Transformers 2 is the biggest selling DVD of 2009 only behind Twilight.

      • AcaseofGeo

        So James, why not just say its the SECOND best-selling DVD of 2009 instead of overhyping your point and then having to put a qualifier in there. Horrible movie.

      • james

        Well its just the same thing really don’t get mad just because of its success.

  • ken

    saw avatar last weekend and i thought it was an amazing movie.even the wife liked it and she hates sci-fi.i would love to see it in an i-max theater.

    • Daryl Zer0

      Most of Cameron’s films are romances disguised as actions movies. The romance, for the women, the action, for the guys. Everybody wins. I’m surprised more studios don’t learn to replicate this simple concept as well.
      So it doesn’t surprise me your wife liked it.

      I loved the special effects. The story was a good message that I wish was more original and interesting. But I don’t care that much. I will see it again in 3-d when the crowds die down.

  • Celia

    Tranformers 2 was not the highest grossing film of 2009. Harry Potter was…as of December 31st, 2009. But that doesn’t matter, clearly Avatar has broken every record anyways. Crazy!

    • A

      No it hasn’t

      • Mystery

        Transformers 2 is the highest DOMESTICALLY of 2009. Harry Potter & The Half-Blood Prince is, actually was, the highest WORLDWIDE until Avatar eclipsed it.

    • Shamrock

      Domestically, Transformers 2 was the highest grossing movie of 2009.

    • Ryan

      And exactly what are you going off of? We’re obviously talking domestic here, and domestically, HP only made 301 million as opposed to Trans2’s 401 million. And if today is backwards day, then your totally right.

      • @Ryan

        Both HP6’s international record and TF2’s domestic record are toast, but what would you rather be? #1 in the U.S. with $830 million worldwide, or #2 in the U.S. with $930 million worldwide?
        The days of the U.S. holding total box-office supremacy are over, as shown by Avatar’s massive overseas haul, especially.

    • Celia

      I know they were talking about the domestic gross, but it still seems strange to me to completely ignore the international gross. It just doesn’t feels right. I always go by the Worldwide gross, because that’s the REAL number.

  • barock

    Micheal Cera needs to go away and Amy Adams should examine Jennifer Garner’s film career to avoid making this mistake again

    • GoMe!

      Amy Adams makes one bad film and it’s the end o her career?
      Amy has been nominated for an oscar twice? That beats Jennifer by 2!
      I think Jennifer needs to examen Amy!

  • Matt1

    Avatar’s gonna make $40million in it’s 4th weekend!!
    Inflated prices or not, when I go to the theater in mid-January and see lines of people waiting for a movie that sold-out hours beforehand… That’s just freakin amazing!
    Wanted to take my girlfriend to see it in IMAX but it was sold-out almost 2 hours before so we saw Dr. Parnasuss instead… She thought it was o.k. but I that it was REALLY well done.

    • Vince

      Very good point. It is a good feeling to see people flocking to the cinemas for Avatar. I’ve seen the film three times already (twice in IMAX 3D and once in regular 3D), and each showing was followed by cheers and applause from the audience, which is often a rare occurrence when it comes to movies. All of this hype and the great word of mouth really does remind me of what it was like when Titanic ruled the world.

  • heather

    There’s no stopping this MONSTER of a movie.


  • MikeVee

    My son saw Avatar in digital 3D and Imax 3D. He said Imax 3D did not have better picture quality, it was sometimes blurry. Can any one comment on that?

    • Gold Ticket

      No expert on 3D but from own experience a few things all add up: IMAX had a bigger screen and big specs so overall felt like less light was lost. Digital 3D Real-D smaller specks and screen but a little crisper picture but a little darker I thought?
      But main thing, a big screen and good seats (not front or sides if you can as the 3D does poke out and the far side or extreme angle will make the picture bleed a bit) & also excited audience were buzzing by the end for atmosphere!
      Imax felt better for me, but I’m sure the experiences are very close so long as the other conditions are worked out ok.
      Hope that’s informative if not definitive?!

    • Bill

      I actually saw it in digital 3D last night after having seen it twice in IMAX 3D, and the digital 3D actually was the better visual experience. I am no expert on the subject, but supposedly only movies filmed with IMAX cameras actually look like they are supposed to in IMAX theaters, or something like that.

      • Ricky

        Yeah, the film they use for IMAX movies are about twice the size of regular 35 mm? or whatever size common for non IMAX movies. It was as long and wide as index cards. When your source is small and you enlarge it to the size of IMAX screens, all the blurriness/defects/specks etc will be greatly enhanced. It’s like watching standard def TV programming on a HDTV…it looks horrible.

    • Chris

      I was just saying this very thing as I caught Avatar a second time in IMAX as opposed to seeing it in digital 3D the first time. I found that the digital 3D version to be more crisp, more clean, and most of all more vivid. I don’t know if has something to do with the size of the Imax screen in general or it just happen to be that particular IMAX screen. In any case I found the digital 3d version to be a more pleasurable viewing experience

    • B-

      IMAX glasses were too big and clunky and I was wishing I just saw it in regular 3D or even 2D at times. If u look at the IMAX 3D a certain way, it got blurry. I had to sit straight the whole time and look straight on. I couldnt really tilt my head or get comfortable in my seat. And the glasses didnt fit me.

    • Sonya

      I’ve seen it on IMAX 3D and Regular 3D myself but somehow I thought something was missing in the Reg 3D..think it was sound quality and grandeur (screen size). Given a choice I’ll watch it on IMAX 3D again.

  • nima

    avatar is grate , amazing. I never saw anything like it. you should see it in theater. dont miss your chance

  • David

    Youth in Revolt is a very funny movie. It only cost $18 million to make. So it doesn’t have to make much to recoup its costs.

    • Telly B

      Youth In Revolt cost 18 million, plus marketing and distribution, minus the chunk that theatres exhibitors keep. It won’t even gross 35 million dollars, so you can kiss any profits goodbye…

  • Joy

    I saw Avatar on IMAX 3-D and I enjoyed the movie better when I moved to a higher seat looking down at the movie.

  • John

    With all the boo-hooing about ticket prices helping to boost Avatar’s totals, let’s not forget that when adjusted for ticket price inflation, the top grossing movie of all time is… you guessed it, Gone With the Wind, at over $1.5 billion.

    • Matt1

      Ummm… exactly how does $1.5 billion equal more than Titanic’s $1.8 billion?? Check your math bro.

      • JDMiami

        the 1.5 billion for Gone With the Wind is domestic adjusted for inflation, the 1.8 for Titanic is world wide. Titanic adjusted for inflation domestic is somewhere in the 900 million range

      • Hannah

        Um, Matt, you would ALSO adjust Titanic’s gross. Like the other guy said, what would be $1.5 billion for Gone With the Wind (and I believe this is DOMESTIC) would only be like $900 million for Titanic.
        The $1.8 million for Titanic is 1. not adjusted for inflation and 2. worldwide.
        And it does no good to wax on about inflation when not also considering factors like piracy, home theaters, DVDs, VHS, increased number of releases, marketing, etc. There’s MUCH more going on than JUST inflation.

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