Box Office: Avatar is King of the World wth $73 Million Opening

That’s it? Just $73 million? How much did “Titanic” make again? Just kidding. Compared to his last film, any number would have seemed inadequate. “Avatar”, the self-proclaimed king of the world’s first feature-length movie in 12 years (“Titanic” came out in 1997) opened to the tune of $73 million at the domestic box office, but brought in $159 million Internationally, giving it a worldwide total of $232 million in just its first week of release. Official numbers have the film costing $300 million to produce, though unofficial numbers peg it somewhere in the $500 million dollar range. Still, $232 in the first week ain’t bad, and given the film’s universally heralded industry-busting special effects, “Avatar” would seem to have long legs ahead of it, one of the primary reasons why Cameron’s “Titanic” did so well 12 years ago.

With the monster that is “Avatar” scheduled to open this week, only one studio film dared challenge it for supremacy. Sony chose to go with the Sarah Jessica Parker counter-programming romantic comedy “Did You Hear About the Morgans?”, which opened in fourth place with $7 million. Other, smaller films opening this week included the musical “Nine”, which bowed in just four screens, the same number that hosted “Crazy Heart”, while “The Young Victoria” added 20 screens into the mix.

Last week’s #1, Disney’s animated “The Princess and the Frog” fell to second place with $12 million, giving it $44.7 in four weeks, with last week being its first real wide release. 2009’s surprise hit, the Sandra Bullock football movie “The Blind Side” continues to make noise at the box office, slipping down just one spot to #3 with another solid $10 million haul, giving it $164 million in five weeks of release. Clint Eastwood’s rugby movie, meanwhile, fell three spots to #6 in its second week. The film has only grossed $15.8 million so far.

Box Office Top 10 (via) [Italics Denotes New Release]:

# TITLE WEEKEND RECEIPT TOTAL BOX OFFICE WEEKS
.1 Avatar $73,000,000 $73,000,000 1
.2 The Princess and the Frog $12,224,000 $44,756,000 4
.3 The Blind Side $10,030,000 $164,734,000 5
.4 Did You Hear About the Morgans? $7,000,000 $7,000,000 1
.5 The Twilight Saga: New Moon $4,370,000 $274,561,000 5
.6 Invictus $4,170,000 $15,845,000 2
.7 A Christmas Carol (2009) $3,419,000 $130,789,000 7
.8 Up in the Air $3,100,000 $8,106,000 3
.9 Brothers $2,630,000 $22,091,000 3
.10 Old Dogs $2,289,000 $43,574,000 4