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"Avatar" is a box-office hit



"Avatar"
"Avatar"wildaboutmovies.com
James Cameron's film "Avatar" had a great weekend as it took in $41.3 million to shoot past "Star Wars" as the No. 3 movie on the all-time domestic box office charts.


"Avatar" has been number one for the fifth-straight weekend, raising its domestic total to $491.8 million and estimates say that it will likely top $500 million after revenues are counted on the Martin Luther King Day holiday.

"Avatar" lifted its worlwide total to $1.6 billion, second only to Cameron's last movie, 1997's "Titanic," at $1.8 billion. "One guy makes two movies in 10 years, and they're by far the biggest movies of all time. That's remarkable," said Chris Aronson, head of distribution for the studio.


"Avatar" now is closing in on "The Dark Knight," No. 2 domestically with $533.3 million. After that, only Cameron's "Titanic" at $600 million will remain ahead of "Avatar" domestically.


Like "Titanic," which dominated the Academy Awards 12 years ago, "Avatar" is expected to remain aloft in the box office charts as Oscar season progresses. "Avatar" was up for best drama at Sunday's Golden Globes and is considered a likely best-picture nominee when Oscar nominations come out Feb. 2.


Even if "Avatar" sets a new revenue record, it's doubtful it would sell as many tickets as "Titanic" or "Star Wars" did because of today's higher admission prices.


"Titanic" sold about 130 million tickets domestically based on average ticket prices of about $4.60 back in 1997 and 1998. Based on today's average domestic price of about $7.50, "Avatar" would be at around half that mark.


Here were the top-sellers from last weekend:


1. "Avatar," $41.3 million.

2. "The Book of Eli," $31.6 million.

3. "The Lovely Bones," $17.1 million.

4. "Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel," $11.5 million.

5. "Sherlock Holmes," $9.8 million.

6. "The Spy Next Door," $9.7 million.

7. "It's Complicated," $7.7 million.

8. "Leap Year," $5.8 million.

9. "The Blind Side," $5.6 million.

10. "Up in the Air," $5.5 million.

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