By Ryan Parsons | Image property of 20th Century Fox, Variety
Though initial estimates had Avatar earning $73 million domestically over the weekend, the film instead made $77 million. Already taking advantage of good word of mouth -- not to mention the 3D medium -- the film saw only a minute drop in ticket sales form Saturday to Sunday.
Updated Box Office Report: Avatar
Avatar ended up taking $242.5 million worldwide, the best ever for a nonsequel. The film's domestic take of $77 million also makes Avatar the second best December opening ever; falling just short of I Am Legend's $77.2 million. While plenty blame the bad weather for Avatar performing less than what some had expected, or should I say dreamed, the new culprit to blame is 3D. That's right, moviegoers have listened to both the marketing and word of mouth. Those who have seen the film already are pushing others to see it in 3D, something that 20th Century Fox also wants. The only catch is that these showings have been sold out, forcing those who want to see the film to pass on 2D and wait for a showing to open up. So, less earnings up front, but much more down the road.
The first weekend is already evidence of this. While a typically film will see a drop ranging from 20%-50% between Friday and Saturday, Avatar only dropped 3% from Friday to Sunday. The film was even more miraculous overseas. Instead of dropping, Avatar increased 3% in ticket sales from Saturday to Sunday.
One can only wonder how the film is going to do in its second frame. The holiday and new competition that includes Sherlock Holmes should keep Fox on their toes.