As if it weren’t enough to win the top two honors at last night’s Golden Globes, Avatar made an estimated $55 million this Martin Luther King holiday weekend, bringing its monstrous cume to $505 million. The film is sure now to overtake Titanic’s domestic record-holding box-office take of $600 million. Warner Bros.’ Book of Eli gave Avatar a nice run for the first time in five weeks but ultimately wasn’t able to match the behemoth’s power. Still, the post-Apocalyptic drama earned a solid $38 million for the four-day frame.
Peter Jackson’s The Lovely Bones, which was hoping for some love from the awards community this year, had to settle for a solid box office in its first weekend in wide release, nabbing an estimated $20 million. Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel took the fourth spot, earning $15 million and raising its total take to $196 million. Fifth place,which looked like it belonged to Sherlock Holmes, seems now to be in the hands of Lionsgate’s new release The Spy Next Door, which brought in $13 million. It unseated the Robert Downey/Guy Ritchie partnership, which brought in an additional $12 million. With a fresh Golden Globe in Downey’s pocket, though, Sherlock’s $182 million might get to $200 million sooner than initially thought.
The rest of the top ten for the MLK holiday belonged to It’s Complicated in the seventh slot with $9.1 million; the Amy Adams-starrer Leap Year, which earned only $6.9 million for its second weekend in theaters, at No. 8; and Up in the Air at No. 9 with an estimated $6.6 million and a cume of $64 million. The tenth spot went to The Blind Side, which earned another $6.5 million in its 9th weekend of release. The film, which also nabbed a Globe for its leading lady Sandra Bullock, boasts a total box office take of close to $230 million. As impressive as Avatar’s tally is, the weekend as a whole was still down from last year’s holiday weekend, when Paul Blart: Mall Cop won the frame with $39 million. It was buoyed by strong showings from Gran Torino, My Bloody Valentine 3-D and Notorious.