We get it, America: you really love Avatar. For the seventh week in a row, the number one film in land belonged to James Cameron and the Planet Pandora. Enough already, everyone! Go see something else. As we do each Monday, here’s a breakdown of the top five at the box office.
1. Avatar: $30.1 million ($594.4 million total)
It’s not just that Avatar keeps dominating all other comers at the multiplex—keep in mind that 45 days into its release, Avatar almost doubled the opening of Mel Gibson’s Edge of Darkness—it’s that the film simply isn’t losing any of its audience. In weekend seven Avatar dipped only 14 percent and had a per theater average of almost $10,000. In weekend seven! Of course, the only other time we’ve ever seen anything like this is Titanic, and that Avatar is less than $7 million away from passing that film for the all-time domestic crown shouldn’t be surprising. James Cameron will likely unseat himself as King of America sometime on Tuesday (Avatar already passed Titanic globally, so the King of the World moniker still holds). The only bad news: After losing the DGA Award over the weekend to ex-wife Kathryn Bigelow, the chances of Mr. Cameron getting another Oscar appear to be dwindling by the day. We guess he’ll just cry himself to sleep on a giant bed covered in money.
2. Edge of Darkness: $17.1 million ($17.1 million total)
File the disappointing opening for Edge of Darkness under: People don’t forget. The last time Mel Gibson headlined a movie it was Signs in 2002, and that film opened with $60.1 million on the way to $227.9 million total. Eight years and a host of problems (adultery, anti-Semitism) have certainly dulled his star, and the opening of Edge of Darkness reflects that. Keep in mind that nearly a year ago to the weekend, the similarly themed Taken opened with $24.1 million. That Mr. Gibson couldn’t top that number is discouraging. That he couldn’t even top the opening of Legion, which grossed $17.5 million last weekend, is downright ugly.
3. When in Rome: $12 million ($12 million total)
At least When in Rome had a bigger opening than Leap Year? Shrug. The chances are good that you don’t know one person who will admit to seeing When in Rome this weekend, but as the saying goes: people love their crappy romantic comedies. Keep that in mind when Valentine’s Day unseats Avatar as the number one movie in America two weeks from now.
4. The Tooth Fairy: $10 million ($26.1 million total)
Which movie had the lowest depreciation in the top 10, non-Avatar division? Try The Tooth Fairy. The most surprising result of the weekend is that the Dwayne Johnson kiddie flick held up remarkably well, dropping just 29 percent and holding fourth place for the second straight week. While the expectations for this film probably haven’t been met, we doubt 20th Century Fox will mind that much. With $26.1 million already and what looks to be solid legs, The Tooth Fairy will make back its reported $48 million budget before it closes up shop.
5. The Book of Eli: $8.7 million ($74.3 million total)
The word to keep in mind for The Book of Eli is solid. How else to describe the post-apocalyptic film, which dipped just 44 percent in weekend three and now seems likely to gross at least $90 million? The results for Eli, and even Legion (down an alarming 61 percent, Legion landed in sixth place and has grossed $28.6 million overall), show there is a market for movies about the end of the world. And that makes us wonder: What would The Road have grossed had the Weinstein Company actually had enough money to market and release it into more than a handful of theaters? We have no problem calling The Road a casualty of the Great Recession.