Home > Movies > FLOP POP FIZZLE, The Obligatory Weekend B.O. Report: ‘Avatar’ Holds Back ‘Legion’; Comes Close To Sinking ‘Titanic’ Box Office Record With $1.836B Worldwide Total

FLOP POP FIZZLE, The Obligatory Weekend B.O. Report: ‘Avatar’ Holds Back ‘Legion’; Comes Close To Sinking ‘Titanic’ Box Office Record With $1.836B Worldwide Total

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None of the new releases had what it takes to break Avatar ‘s stronghold on the box office. The blockbuster 3D epic took in another $36M, bringing its current worldwide total to $1.836B and closer to surpassing Titanic‘s record as the highest grossing movie of all time. Before the movie’s release in December director James Cameron had expressed concern over whether the female demographic that made Titanic a worldwide phenomenon would give Avatar a chance. He told Vanity Fair:

Our biggest challenge right now is letting females, in either younger or older quadrants, understand that this is a movie for them as well. It’s not like Titanic, where it’s obvious—you know, you’ve got Kate and Leo staring into each other’s eyes on posters. Avatar sort of plays in the ad materials as a boy’s movie, which I don’t think it is, but what do I know about it.

Turns out blue people are the new Taylor Lautner.

Legion is the second religious themed movie in a row to land in the number 2 spot. Its $18M take is all the more impressive considering the movie’s low end $26M budget. A well directed marketing campaign managed to spark significant audience interest, with TV ads in heavy rotation that focused on the CGI rendered effects depicting the end of world. Recent crises dominating the news may also factor into why ticket buyers seem to be clamoring for end of the world fare like 2012 and Legion. Director Scott Stewart told the Hollywood Reporter’s Heatvision blog that the apocalyptic theme was what drew him to the project. He said:

There’s also a lot of crazy things going on in the world. And I know we’re egotistical to think we’re living in unprecedented times, but … we’re living in unprecedented times. I’m going to say it. Look at the craziness that is happening around the world and you think, ‘Are we heading over a precipice?’ As a filmmaker it’s fun to ponder that.

Unlike his previous kid friendly vehicles like The Game Plan and Escape to Witch Mountain, Dwayne Johnson‘s (aka The Rock) latest movie, The Tooth Fairy, wasn’t produced by Walt Disney Pictures. Even though the studio behind it was Fox this time, it was still a reworking of the Disney formula. Opening in fourth place with $14.5M amidst tough competition, the high concept comedy should be a modest success and do similar numbers to what Johnson’s previous movies targeting the same demographic have done. Johnson talked about his unlikely success in family films in an interview with Cinematical. He said:

Success wasn’t as important to me as much as the experience was, so oftentimes in success, that often breeds material coming out of that particular genre. So getting into the family genre was important to me, and I was just waiting for the right opportunity to come along, and it came along with The Game Plan. The Game Plan was made at Disney, which we enjoyed success there, and that success bred Witch Mountain. But the interesting thing about Tooth Fairy was that it came to me about six years ago and I loved the idea then, but I hadn’t been in the comedy genre at all and ultimately at that point I believe it went to Jack Black. For whatever reason, it fell apart, and then it came back to me, so it was always just a matter of working in as many different genres as possible, and in the family genre we’ve had some great success.

Despite ads touting its similarity to the $200M phenomenon The Blind Side, the drama Extraordinary Measures, starring Harrison Ford and Brendan Fraser, was a disappointment, opening in seventh place with $7M. Ford’s glum appearances on talk shows like David Letterman‘s, where he monotonously talked about what an enlightening experience the movie was, surely didn’t help matters.

According to the New York Daily News, Fraser is furious with his management and CBS Films over withholding information about the release date. The actor finally found out when the movie would be released in an email from 13 year old Allison Crowley, one of the daughters of the couple that the movie is based on.

Both [my agent and the studio] got grief for that, absolutely. I called them and said, ‘Guess how I found out when the movie opens? 13-year-old Megan Crowley.

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1. Avatar (Fox) $36M, Cume $553M

2. Legion (Screen Gems) $18.2M

3. The Book of Eli (Alcon) $17M, Cume $62M

4. Tooth Fairy (Fox) $14.5M

5. The Lovely Bones (Dreamworks) $8.8M, Cume $31.6M

6. Sherlock Holmes (Warner Bros.) $7.12M, Cume $192M

7. Extraordinary Measures (CBS Films) $7M

8. Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel (Fox) $6.5M, Cume $204M

9. It’s Complicated (Universal) $6.19M, Cume $98.6M

10. The Spy Next Door (Lionsgate) $4.75M, Cume $18.8

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*Bold indicates the weekend’s new releases.
Source: Box Office Mojo

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