By Ryan Parsons | Image property of 20th Century Fox, Variety
No surprise here. Avatar came out on top of the box office over the weekend with no other film even close. Not that there was any real comptetition, as no other studio tried opening wide against Avatar. Actually, one film did, and it didn't end well.
Box Office Report: Avatar
Avatar took in $73 million domestically and $159.2 million overseas, bringing the film's worldwide bow to $232.2 million. It would have done even better domestically, if it weren't for that crazy winter storm that hit a large chunk of the East Coast. Fox has no reason to worry, however, considering that Avatar is already breaking records (for them) and there are enough indicators suggesting that the film will perform just as strongly in its second frame.
First off, the weather. Hopefully the storm hovering over the East Coast will blow over, allowing people to get out to theaters next weekend; something many were unable to do this weekend. Another positive gauge is the film's CinemaScore. Moviegoers over the age of 25 gave the film an A rating, while those who were younger gave Avatar an even higher score of A+. This positive word of mouth should help keep moviegoers buying tickets weeks down the road.
Christmas will both hurt and help Avatar. While Christmas shopping likely prevented some from getting to the theaters this weekend, the holiday will allow more moviegoers to check out Avatar during its second weekend. So, yes, expect more sold-out theaters during the coming weekend.
With Avatar now out in theaters, does Fox have anything left to be worried about? Not really. The studio has unveiled that the film cost $280 million to produce after tax credits, with a significant marketing budget thrown on top of that. Seeing that they will likly recover all of this by their second weekend, Avatar was (most definitely) not the flop that some had expected. In fact, it's a terrific movie.
Thanks to Avatar, the weekend box office was up a whopping 51% over the same frame last year, when Yes Man and Seven Pounds opened to $18.3 million and $15 million, respectively.
56% of Avatar's opening take was credited to 3D showings, which means that 44% of moviegoers committed a sin by not seeing this movie in 3D.