James Cameron is nothing if not consistent. For a fourth straight week the King of the World saw Avatar top the charts, this time pulling in an estimated $48.5 million. That result gives the 3-D epic the biggest fourth weekend gross ever, surpassing the record previously held by—you guessed it—Titanic. Sadly, things weren’t as lucrative for the new releases: though Daybreakers cracked the top five, Leap Year and Youth in Revolt were both D.O.A, finishing 6th and 9th, respectively. As we do each Monday, here’s a breakdown of the top five at the box office.
1. Avatar: $48.5 million ($429 million total)
Deep breath time: after just 24 days, Avatar ranks as the highest grossing movie released in 2009 (see ya never, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen) and the seventh highest of all-time here in the states. Worldwide, it’s the second biggest movie ever, with just over $1.3 billion in total grosses. Though Titanic‘s domestic record of $600.8 million might be difficult to reach, there is a very real chance Avatar could surpass its global total of $1.8 billion. Even if you want to harp on the fact that so much of Avatar‘s success can be credited to the higher ticket prices of 3-D and IMAX—a whooping 80 percent of this weekend’s gross came from those formats—this thing is a still a runaway smash. In a related story, James Cameron is very, very, very rich.
2. Sherlock Holmes: $16.6 million ($165.1 million total)
When the actual numbers come out later today, there is a chance that Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel passes Sherlock Holmes, but for now Guy Ritchie’s film is a bridesmaid for the third week in a row. The 54 percent drop Holmes experienced&mdsah;on the heels of 41 percent last weekend—doesn’t bode well for long-term success, but it should still get to $200 million domestically and is almost certain to produce a successful sequel (just as long as Mr. Ritchie stays away from the ghastly CGI he overdosed on here). Question: have you ever seen a more under-the-radar blockbuster?
3. Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel: $16.3 million ($178.1 million total)
And speaking of under-the-radar… Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel has not only grossed more than Sherlock Holmes, but it has also already topped Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian, The Proposal and A Christmas Carol. Better still: sometime today, The Squeakquel will pass X-Men Origins: Wolverine, too. The moral? Never underestimate the drawing power of Jason Lee!
4. Daybreakers: $15 million ($15 million total)
If you’re like us, you’re wondering who exactly paid money to see Daybreakers over the weekend. Not that $15 million is anything to write home about, but for a film that almost went direct-to-DVD, this has to be considered a huge win. Vampires are so potent, that they even got people out to see this. If only Avatar had some, imagine how much it could have grossed.
5. It’s Complicated: $11 million ($76.3 million total)
Slowly but surely, It’s Complicated lurches towards $100 million-a number it should just barely reach. Faced with some competition from Leap Year ($9.1 million), It’s Complicated still only dropped 41 percent, meaning word of mouth is good, but no one really cares. That’s the problem with the older crowd It’s Complicated is targeting—they’ll just as soon Netflix it as they will pay money to see it in theaters. At any rate, we fully expect this film to rule TNT for years to come.