Home > Vulture News > FLOP POP FIZZLE, The Obligatory Weekend B.O. Report: ‘Avatar’ Racks Up $1.3B Worldwide, ‘Daybreakers’ Leads The Pack Of Disappointing New Releases

FLOP POP FIZZLE, The Obligatory Weekend B.O. Report: ‘Avatar’ Racks Up $1.3B Worldwide, ‘Daybreakers’ Leads The Pack Of Disappointing New Releases


Without real competition from any of the new releases, Avatar was the audience favorite for the fourth week in a row. The big blue blockbuster took in another $48M, bringing its domestic total to $430M. Its performance worldwide continues to be phenomenal, and has been helped along by the fact that movie attendance in countries like Spain, which broke all previous attendance records in 2009, is on the rise.

Surprisingly or not, outside of the U.S., Cameron’s epic has made the most money in France. High grosses there and elsewhere have contributed to its current worldwide total of $1.33B. Avatar still has a ways to go to catch up to the $1.8B total that Titanic accumulated in 1998. If Hollywood continues to release movies as disappointing as this week’s crop, that may not be too difficult.

The post-apocolyptic vampire thriller Daybreakers starring Ethan Hawke and Willem Dafoe debuted in fourth, taking in $15M. The figures aren’t bad, considering it was up against intense competition from the likes of Avatar, Sherlock Holmes and The Squeakquel, along with the fact that it had the dubious distinction of being a vampire movie that didn’t feature a shirtless performance by Taylor Lautner.

Also in its favor, in terms of generating a profit, is its very low $20M production budget, and according to star Ethan Hawke, its short 90 minute running time. In an interview with the LA Times, he says movies that outstay their welcome may be driving potential audiences from going to the multiplex:

I don’t know what has happened to movies, but lately every movie is at least 20 minutes too long. It used to be that if you were three hours long it was because it was epic — a movie about Gandhi; something with very important subject matters. Now, it doesn’t matter what you’re making a movie about; everyone thinks their movie is so brilliant that it has to be three hours long. Not to be critical but . . . well, we all know which movies those are. . . . “

Clocking in at 97 minutes, length doesn’t seem to have been among the reasons that would explain why the Amy Adams vehicle Leap Year opened in sixth place. The culprit was most likely an awkward marketing campaign which featured the tagline:

Anna planned to propose to her boyfriend on February 29th. This is not her boyfriend.

in addition to poor tracking and even worse reviews. Another reason may be that the audiences that made last year’s dismal romantic comedies like The Ugly Truth and The Proposal big hits, have learned their lesson and decided to stay away.

Michael Cera‘s Youth in Revolt fared the worst of the new crop, opening in ninth place with $7M. Not exactly a surprise, since its production company, Dimension, had put it on the shelf and that Cera’s most recent starring vehicles, such as Year One and Paper Heart, have also underperformed in theaters. The teen comedy has garnered mostly positive responses from critics, with both Cera and costar, Portia Doubleday, singled out for praise for their performances in the film.


1. Avatar (Fox) $48.5M, Cume $429M

2. Sherlock Holmes (Warner Bros.) $16.6M, $165M

3. Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel (Fox) $16.3M, $178M

4. Daybreakers (Lionsgate) $15M

5. It’s Complicated (Universal) $11M, Cume $76.4M

6. Leap Year (Universal) $9.17M

7. The Blind Side (Warner Bros.) $7.75M, Cume $219M

8. Up in the Air (Cold Spring) $7.1M, Cume $54.7M

9. Youth in Revolt (Dimension) $7M

10. The Princess and the Frog (Disney) $4.7M, Cume $92.6M


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

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