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

16 Comments

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

Author: Nix

Editor/Writer at BeyondHollywood.com. Likes: long walks on the beach and Kevin Costner post-apocalyptic movies. Dislikes: 3D, shaky cam, and shaky cam in 3D. Got a site issue? Wanna submit Movie/TV news? Or to email me in regards to anything on the site, you can do so at nix (at) beyondhollywood.com.
  • j.james

    Still with the budget of the film (unofficial or not) this movie has to be seen as somewhat of a bust given the amount it will make compared to the cost. The domestic #’s will be solid for the 2nd week but after that i do not see this having that much steam (especially with a more family appealing Sherlock Holmes coming out on christmas with several know stars). Avatar killed itself by using the terms “will change how movies are viewed forever” and preaching this film as the second coming. By building itself up so much with over-zelis terms, the bar was raised too high as far as peoples expectations were concerned (atleast my own) Your digging yourself into a big hole with those words. I was expecting a viewing experiance unlike any in my life. I mean thats what they said it was going to be right? Don’t get me wrong,It had amazing CG and effects,top of the line, but isn’t that kind of expected with big budget extravaganza’s in todays industry. A lack of strong acting performances hindered by its lack of star power and a medicore/simple plot, didn’t make me think ” WOW, never going to see something like this again”. Its nice, but not THE viewing experiance of my lifetime.

    • Mike

      J. James … honestly you seem soooo stuck up. Honestly do think that, partially just because of your own shallow expectation to be satisfied. The Avatar was different set aside to any movie I’ve ever witnessed and you talk about spiffy effects and money… Money such an annoying extravagance to peoples prophetic minds today always preach… much so like that of my own but ever so I have conscience unlike that of many others. I respect your opinion for what it is … a perception but to mine I see a lack of focus in that that is yours. Please don’t let me be mistaken I understand that money matters when it comes to movies but I also understand the plot of this movie and I myself loved it. Perhaps we have different personalities, different motives of our own daily goals, but perhaps having seen this movie we have been altered electronically nay chemically in our brains to live … differently. I know that movies are made for money but having seen this movie btw in 3D I would propose that this movie like the Mona Lisa was made for gross but was created from an artist’s perspective. Perhaps one might slander me for rendering comparative to Da Vinci and for that I apologize but I must comply although The Mona Lisa is thought to be one of the greatest works of art in history Da Vinci in person might have a completely different focus on what is his greatest work. I say this meaning that although this movie’s hype was tidal like a wave of unimaginatablitity perhaps the artist is humble. Like Nirvana hating Smells Like Teen Spirit because of it’s popularity or Clapton’s over sickening fear of not living up to his last performance. Give credit where credit is do because something are not simply made for you. And now I will not edit any of this in the hope that you will have to puzzle to what some of this means and that by doing so you will learn a little piece of my brain as I’ve learned yours.

  • j.james

    Still with the budget of the film (unofficial or not) this movie has to be seen as somewhat of a bust given the amount it will make compared to the cost. The domestic #’s will be solid for the 2nd week but after that i do not see this having that much steam (especially with a more family appealing Sherlock Holmes coming out on christmas with several know stars). Avatar killed itself by using the terms “will change how movies are viewed forever” and preaching this film as the second coming. By building itself up so much with over-zelis terms, the bar was raised too high as far as peoples expectations were concerned (atleast my own) Your digging yourself into a big hole with those words. I was expecting a viewing experiance unlike any in my life. I mean thats what they said it was going to be right? Don’t get me wrong,It had amazing CG and effects,top of the line, but isn’t that kind of expected with big budget extravaganza’s in todays industry. A lack of strong acting performances hindered by its lack of star power and a medicore/simple plot, didn’t make me think ” WOW, never going to see something like this again”. Its nice, but not THE viewing experiance of my lifetime.

    • Mike

      J. James … honestly you seem soooo stuck up. Honestly do think that, partially just because of your own shallow expectation to be satisfied. The Avatar was different set aside to any movie I’ve ever witnessed and you talk about spiffy effects and money… Money such an annoying extravagance to peoples prophetic minds today always preach… much so like that of my own but ever so I have conscience unlike that of many others. I respect your opinion for what it is … a perception but to mine I see a lack of focus in that that is yours. Please don’t let me be mistaken I understand that money matters when it comes to movies but I also understand the plot of this movie and I myself loved it. Perhaps we have different personalities, different motives of our own daily goals, but perhaps having seen this movie we have been altered electronically nay chemically in our brains to live … differently. I know that movies are made for money but having seen this movie btw in 3D I would propose that this movie like the Mona Lisa was made for gross but was created from an artist’s perspective. Perhaps one might slander me for rendering comparative to Da Vinci and for that I apologize but I must comply although The Mona Lisa is thought to be one of the greatest works of art in history Da Vinci in person might have a completely different focus on what is his greatest work. I say this meaning that although this movie’s hype was tidal like a wave of unimaginatablitity perhaps the artist is humble. Like Nirvana hating Smells Like Teen Spirit because of it’s popularity or Clapton’s over sickening fear of not living up to his last performance. Give credit where credit is do because something are not simply made for you. And now I will not edit any of this in the hope that you will have to puzzle to what some of this means and that by doing so you will learn a little piece of my brain as I’ve learned yours.

  • L-J

    My kids and I saw it – they all want to see it again (and I must confess that I wouldn’t mind either). We probably will see Sherlock as well but I seriously doubt that any of us will go back a second time for that.

    Avatar’s acting was good enough. Sure thae story was predictable – action movie stories usually are – so what? We all came for the spectacle not subtle plot intricacies.

  • L-J

    My kids and I saw it – they all want to see it again (and I must confess that I wouldn’t mind either). We probably will see Sherlock as well but I seriously doubt that any of us will go back a second time for that.

    Avatar’s acting was good enough. Sure thae story was predictable – action movie stories usually are – so what? We all came for the spectacle not subtle plot intricacies.

  • j.james

    @ Mike…WAHHAAAAAHAHAHAA…LOL…wow dude…your lost bro, lol…Stop huffing raid homie.I wasn’t saying money is the key to the success of film, but it certainly has to be when you spend what is rumored as 500 mil altogather. 73 mil was rather weak from what was expected, it didn’t need to break the bank in order for ME to like it, but it did for the ones who spent several hundred mil on it.The comparative to Nirvana,cracked me up.. You don’t spend 10-12 years of your life working on something calling it your “masterpiece”, drop 260 mil, and have your friends brag about how your the greatest thing since sliced bread, and then hate what you have done and say it was all in the name of “art”..He’s not that independant of a director..This is still the dude that made the story of the Titanic a love story. Cobain hated everything they did and the fact that he was a celebrity because of it..he hated the notion of celebrity..Cameron on the other hand thinks everything he does is gold and has people telling him he is..he knows who he is and what he has done and because of that he thinks that garners respect and success.. Bottomline is i liked the film..thats it..It wasn’t the greatest thing i have ever seen..that not a slight..thats the truth..sorry it didn’t change my life and have an impact on it as deeply as it did yours. BTW i also never said Holmes was going to be good nor did i imply that because i think that it will make more money this week,that would make it a great film….to the studios execs perception of success is judged in $$$$ earned

  • j.james

    @ Mike…WAHHAAAAAHAHAHAA…LOL…wow dude…your lost bro, lol…Stop huffing raid homie.I wasn’t saying money is the key to the success of film, but it certainly has to be when you spend what is rumored as 500 mil altogather. 73 mil was rather weak from what was expected, it didn’t need to break the bank in order for ME to like it, but it did for the ones who spent several hundred mil on it.The comparative to Nirvana,cracked me up.. You don’t spend 10-12 years of your life working on something calling it your “masterpiece”, drop 260 mil, and have your friends brag about how your the greatest thing since sliced bread, and then hate what you have done and say it was all in the name of “art”..He’s not that independant of a director..This is still the dude that made the story of the Titanic a love story. Cobain hated everything they did and the fact that he was a celebrity because of it..he hated the notion of celebrity..Cameron on the other hand thinks everything he does is gold and has people telling him he is..he knows who he is and what he has done and because of that he thinks that garners respect and success.. Bottomline is i liked the film..thats it..It wasn’t the greatest thing i have ever seen..that not a slight..thats the truth..sorry it didn’t change my life and have an impact on it as deeply as it did yours. BTW i also never said Holmes was going to be good nor did i imply that because i think that it will make more money this week,that would make it a great film….to the studios execs perception of success is judged in $$$$ earned

  • Mike99

    Nix, Ill answer your question from the first sentence. Titanic made 28 million in its first weekend…might wanna check your facts before cracking jokes. Dont get me wrong i would still be surprised to see avatar top titanic.

    • http://www.beyondhollywood.com/ Nix

      It was, uh, a joke. As indicated by “Just kidding” three sentences later. Ahem.

  • Mike99

    Nix, Ill answer your question from the first sentence. Titanic made 28 million in its first weekend…might wanna check your facts before cracking jokes. Dont get me wrong i would still be surprised to see avatar top titanic.

    • http://www.beyondhollywood.com Nix

      It was, uh, a joke. As indicated by “Just kidding” three sentences later. Ahem.

  • ABD

    Thank you Mike99 for that. I share most of your sentiments about this movie and some of your sentiments towards J.James as i did find what he had to say a bit shallow and offensive. Not that i would have written what you had but i would have tried to defend this movie like you did but you are right to say that some things are not meant for everybody. For me personally, i was blown away by the Avatar storm. I had done a little reading on this movie before watching it (in 3D BTW) and having seen almost every single 3D movie that has graced our local cinemas, i had my own expectations of what kind of 3D experience this would be for me and boy was i so off the mark. This movie experience was beyond anything i had ever imagined and it set a whole new category for me in terms of expectations as i couldn’t think of any other movie experience to compare it to. I have been to see Avatar 2 times in 3D and once in the normal flat version out of curiosity and i plan to watch it at least 2 more times in 3D as it is way better than the normal version. Plus, once this movie leaves the cinemas, i know i will not be able to watch it again in 3D for a very long time. In summation, i don’t really care how much money they spent making this movie so long as people like James Cameron and his kind keep raising the bar for spectacular movie experiences, every dollar i spend going to watch and rewatch their movies in the cinemas is worth it. I believe i got more than my moneys worth for 2 and a half hours of extraordinary entertainment. Avatar rules 2009.

  • ABD

    Thank you Mike99 for that. I share most of your sentiments about this movie and some of your sentiments towards J.James as i did find what he had to say a bit shallow and offensive. Not that i would have written what you had but i would have tried to defend this movie like you did but you are right to say that some things are not meant for everybody. For me personally, i was blown away by the Avatar storm. I had done a little reading on this movie before watching it (in 3D BTW) and having seen almost every single 3D movie that has graced our local cinemas, i had my own expectations of what kind of 3D experience this would be for me and boy was i so off the mark. This movie experience was beyond anything i had ever imagined and it set a whole new category for me in terms of expectations as i couldn’t think of any other movie experience to compare it to. I have been to see Avatar 2 times in 3D and once in the normal flat version out of curiosity and i plan to watch it at least 2 more times in 3D as it is way better than the normal version. Plus, once this movie leaves the cinemas, i know i will not be able to watch it again in 3D for a very long time. In summation, i don’t really care how much money they spent making this movie so long as people like James Cameron and his kind keep raising the bar for spectacular movie experiences, every dollar i spend going to watch and rewatch their movies in the cinemas is worth it. I believe i got more than my moneys worth for 2 and a half hours of extraordinary entertainment. Avatar rules 2009.