Box office report for Dec. 28, 2009: Christmas weekend breaks records
Hollywood celebrated a very merry Christmas, with the estimated $278 million in box-office revenue over the weekend breaking the previous record of roughly $253 million set in July 2008, the weekend “The Dark Knight” was released.
According to the Associated Press, a diverse group of films drew big crowds to theaters over the weekend: James Cameron’s high-tech sci-fi “Avatar” notched a mighty second week take, while “Sherlock Holmes,” “Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel” and “It’s Complicated” all opened strongly
For the second straight weekend, “Avatar” top the box office, earning $75 million for 20th Century Fox, according to the AP. The movie saw only a 3 percent drop from its opening weekend total of $77.4 million; blockbusters usually drop 30 to 50 percent in their second weekend.
In its 10 days of release, “Avatar” has made $212 million domestically – and could be on its way to a worldwide gross of more than $1 billion, according to the AP.
“Sherlock Holmes,” Guy Ritchie’s (“Snatch”) action-packed reboot starring Robert Downey Jr. as Arthur Conan Doyle’s detective, came in second place. The Warner Bros. film opened with a weekend total of $65.4 million, including a record Christmas Day debut of $24.9 million.
The film is perfectly set up for a sequel, and with those numbers, it seems sure to earn a few follow-ups.
“Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel,” which opened Wednesday, took in $50.2 million on the weekend and $77.1 million in its five days of release. The sequel, also from Fox, earned $18.8 million on Wednesday alone. The “Squeakquel” likely will surpass the box-office take for the 2007 first film, which made $217 million.
Writer-director Nancy Meyers’ (“Something’s Gotta Give”) ”It’s Complicated,” a romantic comedy starring Meryl Streep, Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin, debuted at No. 4 with a solid $22.1 million. The audience for the Universal film was 72 percent female, according to the AP.
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