“The Dark Knight” stood for a little over a year as the highest grossing domestic release of the 21st century. No more. James Cameron’s” “Avatar” passed it this weekend and “Titanic’s” overall $600 million mark is next on its hit list.
The Golden Globe winner for Best Motion Picture – Drama found another $36 million over the weekend — its sixth straight win in a row — for a new U.S. total of $552.7 million. Fox is quietly confident the Oscar frontrunner can hit the staggering $2 billion mark worldwide and at this point, only the strong tracking “Dear John” looks like it can knock it out of the top spot.
As for the newcomers, Paul Bettany’s action debut “Legion” opened in the second slot with $18.2 million. That has to be a tad disappointing or Screen Gems who were hoping to create a new franchise around the dismally reviewed flick and already have a second Bettany vehicle, “Priest,” in post-production.
Dwayne Johnson may be suffering from family flick fatigue. After the disappointing results of “Race to Witch Mountain,” Fox’s “The Tooth Fairy” found only $14.5 million under the covers Friday night. The consensus is that Johnson should spend some more time away from the kiddie flicks for awhile.
Even more disturbing, however, was CBS Films’ inaugural release “Extraordinary Measures.” The Harrison Ford/Brendan Fraser melodrama found only $7 million over the 3-day. Considering the massive amount of advertising CBS spent on the picture, this is a huge disappointment. For comparison, Overture Films debuted with “Mad Money” almost two years ago on the same weekend and grossed a similar $7.7 million. CBS is hoping for better results with the Jennifer Lopez “The Back-up Plan” and the teen fantasy “Beastly” over the rest of 2010.
Last week’s second place finisher “Book of Eli,” dropped only 48% from its debut for a good $17 million gross. With $62 million so far, “Eli” is well on its way to finishing in the profitable $80-90 million range.
Other notable cumes so far include “Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel” hitting $204.2 million, “Sherlock Holmes” at $191 million, “Up in the Air” at $69 million and “It’s Complicated” almost at the magic $100 million mark with $98 million.
Actual box office results are released on Monday.