Biggest Christmas Weekend Ever Winner: Avatar

Avatar and Sherlock Holmes along with a few other movies pushed the box office to score the biggest Christmas weekend payday in history.

Numbers in millions:

1. Avatar – $75 million ($212.2 total)
2. Sherlock Holmes – $65.4 ($65.4 total)
3. Alvin & The Chipmunks: The Squeakquel – $50.2 ($77.1 total)
4. It’s Complicated – $22.1 ($22.1 total)
5. Up In The Air – $11.6 ($24.5 total)
6. The Blind Side – $11.3 ( $184.3 total)
7. The Princess and the Frog – $8.7 ($63.3 total)
8. Nine – $5.5 ( $5.9 total)
9. Did You Hear About The Morgans? – $5.0 ($15.5 total)
10. Invictus – $4.4 ($23.3 total)

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40 thoughts on “Biggest Christmas Weekend Ever Winner: Avatar

  1. I hate the argument that Avatar’s story lacks originality. There’s a bible verse that states “There’s nothing new under the sun.” (Ecc. 1:9). And that was written almost 2000 yrs ago. So why are we still so offended that particular aspects of a story resemble aspects of a previous story?

    Yes it follows the formula of “Dances with Wolves”. It also has traits of “The Matrix”. It has traits of any story regarding military oppression, overcoming physical handicap/adversity, discovering the beauty of foreign culture, etc., etc., etc.

    If I were to present you with a cake that I had personally baked, you could look at my dish and say, “I’ve had sugar before. I’ve had eggs before. I’ve had milk before. There’s nothing in this cake that I have not tasted at a previous point in my life.”

    And while that may be true, it does not rule out the possibility that the particular fashion in which I have combined these familiar ingredients has created the best cake you have ever tasted.

    If you watch Avatar and don’t like it, that’s fine. That’s your opinion. But don’t dismiss it out-of-hand simply because it “lacks originality.”

    You would be doing yourself a great disservice.

  2. Avatar is only 20 million away from surpassing Transformers 2 foreign box office gross. It has 200 mil before it’s passes it domestic gross, but it’s only 2 weeks old with a 3 percent drop in week two. I remember John saying it had no chance of surpassing TF2. I wonder if he’ll admit he was wrong. Cameron Rules!

  3. Screw dances with wolves,this movie is an exact replica of “FernGully: The last rainforest”, and animated movie from the 90s. wow, evything from the visual imagery (the tree lighting up as they walk), the ‘bulldozer’ taking down the forest, the hometree idea to the interconnectedness of the forest and it fighting back man, seriously lol. I’m sure FernGully wasn’t the first one, but the parallels are eerie.

    Having said that it was the right story for the movie and the worl JC created. Quality film IMO, and a great moviegoing experience (which is the most important thing).

  4. I am not suprised that it’s making a lot of money, although the amount it earned (worldwide) in such a short period of time is remarkable. IMO if you ask anyone if they went to see this for the story they’d say no. I was entertained by Avatar as was anyone else that liked it. I watched TF2 for the robots and TDK for Heath Ledger’s Joker. They were entertaining. That’s all I want from a “big” movie and nothing more.

  5. I think the whole dances with wolves discussion was a bit over played. Yes there was a very familiar story with very familiar themes and yes the movie was a bit more preachy than I would have liked, but it was one of those movie experiences that you MUST see in 3D and on a big screen otherwise you are really missing out on something spectacular imo..

    It was really just a fun film to sitback and get taken away from a few hours. Visual eye candy with a decent enough story to buy into.

  6. I liked Avatar very much. Would give it an 8. The story was familiar, but that didn’t bother me at all. I thought the visuals were stunning and vibrant and VERY immersive. And at the risk of sounding like a total girl — except, hey…I AM a total girl — I loved the relationship between Jake and Neytiri. Neytiri, in particular, was probably my favorite part of the whole movie. She was awesome. Zoe Saldana was awesome.

    Most of the time when I was watching, I didn’t feel like I was watching “animation.” The only time the disconnect clicked back on was during SOME scenes in which the Na’vi or Avatars were sharing screen time with the humans. But that wasn’t all scenes…just some scenes. I thought the performance capture technology was convincing, and I loved that the Na’vi (and Avatars) had such fluid, subtle facial expressions.

    Great movie for me. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Best Movie Evah?? Not for me, but I can appreciate that others might think so.

  7. I felt the effects were amazing and the story just the same and with the length of the movie the story really does push things along because if not for story then after just an hour the effects and no story we would have nothing else to watch. In my opinion I would have been so bored after an hour if Avatar was just a spec movie showing off the new techniques in Jame Cameron’s technology.

  8. I’m betting 60 million gross for Avatar next week. I don’t see this movie dropping to 50% of its 77 million opening . Might be duplicating Titanic’s feat back in 1998. Jim Cameron is a master storyteller.

    1. I loved Avatar (gave it an 8.5 in my review)… but come one… let’s call a spade a spade… the strength of Avatar certainly isn’t in the “storytelling”.

      1. IMO the story was the weakest part of the film. I mean I could predict a lot of what was gonna happen, and it was pretty much just a copy and paste of “Dances With Wolves”. Great film, though.

  9. Not to take anything from Avatar, but I imagine a large part of its excellent holdover has to due with the blizzard during its first week of release and the Christmas holidays. Most of the east coast was snowed in last weekend, so I’m guessing a lot of those people went out to see the movie this weekend. Had there been no blizzard I’d be willing to bet that Avatar would have opened close to or gone over $100 mil and dropped to around $45 or $50 this weekend. The same amount of money just spread out a little differently. Interested in seeing what it does during it’s 3rd week of release. I could be totally wrong.

  10. Avatar will make around 1.2 billion minimum . For the 615 million dollars this Jim Cameron flick made as of 12/27/09, roughly 9 days after opening day is TRULY PHENOMENAL. Sequel sequel sequel, Mr. Cameron!

  11. I found absolutely nothing wrong with Avatar’s story and writing, and the effects were stunning. I really don’t understand all the hate it’s getting here.

    1. I really don’t think you understand how the internet works. Once something is very popular or some on is up, people love to hate on it for the sake of being “cool” and different and generally above it all. Welcome to the net.

      1. True… F%&k Them…. And yea to see this film on 3D was so special I cannot imagine watching it any other way. I will buy it In Blue Ray 3D for sure And I agree with John Review 99% the only thing was Dances with Wolves was completely original. When I read the synopsis 3 years ago I got impression it was an Idea I had for a film and it reminded me of Pocahonist and some other things. It is just about what white Man did too the Natives of this land. Maybe I am assuming everyone is to stupid to see that.

      2. Yeah I only hate it because it’s popular.funny I could have sworn dark knight was popular and star wars. And lots of the rings. And the beatles. All things I love.

      3. or … some of us develop a hatred for a few select Hollywood productions that somehow, in spite of poor quality, bad script writing, underdeveloped characters, and laughable unintentional parodies of other films – gets so incredibly hyped by the news media that its mass marketed bilge does well at the box office.

        Just go see Sherlock Holmes instead.

      4. FZero is completely wrong.

        Sorry, you’ll just have to accept that not everyone agrees with your opinion, and just because someone disagrees with you doesn’t mean they’re “just doing it to be cool”.

        I loved Avatar… but not everyone does, and some of them for some good reasons.

        Your opinion is not the ONLY valid opinion my friend

  12. I enjoyed the crap outta Avatar, some say the story is too simple and predictable but I like Cameron’s style and storytelling.

    No surprise the numbers are so big. jsut seems like the timing was right for this movie.

  13. For a film to get similar $$$ in its second week it must be getting some very good word-of-mouth-advertising (ie: people are enjoying the film and telling their friends about it).

    1. Avatar is a terrible terrible film. Laughable dialogue with a lay script and lame fake looking characters. Worst film of the year

      1. I’m with you on that one.

        Avatar blew. It copied Dances with Wolves. It copied The Last Samurai. It apparently copied Delgo. And yet, had the dumbest script writing you could ask for resulting in two-dimensional characters and cheesy dialogue.

        The “western culture guy who rejects everything to assimilate into the noble, savage, tree-hugging, earth goddess worshipping natives and then fights with them against his own very bad, evil, western imperialist corporate cohorts” is a story that’s been done so many times before that Avatar’s version should bore anyone with minimal theater-going experience.

        (really cool video game graphics though)

      2. No Alfie, Giant Shark VS Killer Squid is the worst film of the year. Avatar is science at least appreciate it for that. I understand if u give it a average or below average but “the worst film of the year” = you have a grudge against the film for some reason and are a hater.

    2. I find your comment about avatar truly offensive to all the bad movies out there this year. GI Joe, 2012 are very much contenders in amoungst big movies. Law abiding citizens is also trying very hard to win the worst movie of the year honors. This is not mentioning small indie masterpieces such as Transylmania. With bad dialogue, predicable script, poor acting, kinda cool effects, Avatar is best compared to Star Wars. Not true greats like Ballistic, Manos, The Hottie & the Nottie etc.

  14. Woah. Avatar has 615 million worldwide already. After ten days. I think I remember a certain former owner of this place mr campea saying avatar won’t get anywhere transformers 2 numbers???
    I can’t believe people hav taken to avatar like this. The film is terrible.

      1. Rodney do u think it can be TF2 domestic box office? I think it will most def beat it worldwide? Its a better movie then tf2 it deserves to even though im not a fan of the directors personality. Great work on the site and the stub as well and twitter. later

      2. That’s what I said.

        Films tend to drop off significantly week after week. And after 2 weeks Avatar is showing simliar numbers. While the worldwide numbers will drop, but in the long run it might come close if not inch past it.

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