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Box office: 'Avatar' wins again; 'Darkness' lands in second place

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avatar-sam-flyingWell, Mel Gibson has joined Denzel Washington and Dwayne Johnson on the list of stars that couldn’t stand up to Avatar’s box-office might. The film on track to cross Titanic’s domestic gross of $600 million in mere days took the top spot again this weekend, falling just 14 percent, which is a smaller drop-off than last weekend. Earning an additional $30 million, Avatar’s domestic total now stands at $594 million.

Gibson managed to eke out a solid second-place showing with his R-rated revenge drama Edge of Darkness. Earning an estimated $17.1 million, Darkness’s opening was a bit beneath the low-$20 million number that many industry insiders were predicting. But perhaps with its greatest audience being older males who don’t go to the movies that often, the number isn’t surprising. (There was a call from Jewish community leaders to boycott the film due to Gibson’s comments a few years ago. No word yet if that movement gained any traction.)

Third place belonged to Disney’s romantic comedy When in Rome, starring Kristen Bell and Josh Duhamel. which did better than expected with a $12 million take.

Holdovers dominated the rest of the weekend’s top 10. The Tooth Fairy didn’t open to spectacular numbers last weekend, but it held on really well in its second frame, dropping only 29 percent, earning the Dwayne Johnson-family film another $10 million. It now stands at $25 million for 10 days in release. Fifth place went to Washington’s Book of Eli. The R-rated post-apocalyptic drama has held on well since its January debut, dropping 44 percent its third weekend in theaters for a cume of $74 million. Legion took the hardest fall this session. Dropping a steep 61 percent, the Paul Bettany-Dennis Quaid drama earned only $6.8 million in its second weekend for a total take of $28.6 million. The Lovely Bones took the seventh slot with an additional $4.7 million. Its total take, after eight weeks in theaters, is $38 million. Sherlock Holmes held on to 8th place with $4.5 million and a total cume just shy of the $200 million mark. Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel took spot nine, with $4 million and a total take of $209 million, and tenth place went to Nancy Meyers’ It’s Complicated, which earned another $3.7 million, putting its overall cume at $104 million.

With Oscar nominations set to arrive Tuesday, it will be interesting to see how things change — if at all — at the box office. Have a great week, everyone.