Senior Editor
01.04.10 19 Comments

(“They may take our lives, but they’ll never take our freedom, because this, this is our independence day, meow meow I’m king of the cat-monkeys, coo coo ka choo.”)

Over the weekend, Avatar passed Dark Knight to become the fifth movie in history to earn more than $1 billion worldwide (domestically, Dark Knight still leads by about $180m).  Number one all-time is Titanic, and now that Avatar stands at number four, James Cameron has directed two of the five (see the top five after the jump).  Sources say that upon hearing the news, he barbecued a unicorn over a slow-burning pit of $100 dollar bills, and after his personal chef finished it with a fine truffle and komodo-dragon sauce, a high-priced call girl spit it into his mouth while she pleasured herself with a gold bar.  And then the block quotes came:

“Avatar” has an advantage over those other billion-dollar movies: About 75 percent of its domestic business has come from theaters showing it in 3-D [which costs more].
[Overall] the year was strong but not a modern record-breaker for number of tickets sold. According to Hollywood.com, domestic admissions came in at 1.42 billion in 2009, the most in the last five years, though well below the modern record of 1.6 billion in 2002.
In Hollywood’s glory years of the 1930s and ’40s, before television eroded the movie audience, estimated movie attendance ran as high as 4 billion some years.
“Leave it to James Cameron to do this. To not only set the technical world on fire, the visual world on fire, but also the box-office world on fire 12 years after `Titanic,'” said Paul Dergarabedian, box-office analyst for Hollywood.com. [ABCNews]

Gee, Paul, that is some brilliant analysis.  “So you’re saying he did it by setting things on fire…” Michael Bay muttered to himself while quietly petting his cheetah.


  1. Titanic (1997) — $1,842.9 million worldwide, $600.8 domestic
  2. Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (2003) — $1,119.1 million worldwide, $377 domestic
  3. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest (2006) — $1,066.2 million worldwide, $423.3 domestic
  4. Avatar (2009) — $1,018.8 million worldwide, $352.1 domestic
  5. The Dark Knight (2008) — $1,001.9 million worldwide, $533. 3 domestic [Source]

This weekend:

Film Weekend Per Total
1 Avatar $68,300,000 (-9.7%) $19,734 $352,111,000
2 Sherlock Holmes $38,385,000 (-38.5%) $10,586 $140,675,000
3 Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel $36,600,000 (-25.1%) $9,768 $157,345,000
4 It’s Complicated $18,700,000 (-15.4%) $6,455 $59,105,000
5 The Blind Side $12,650,000 (+10.3%) $4,323 $209,052,000
6 Up in the Air $11,350,000 (+0.7%) $5,989 $45,020,000
7 The Princess and the Frog $10,013,000 (+11.2%) $3,009 $86,085,000
8 Did You Hear About the Morgans? $5,200,000 (+4.0%) $1,913 $25,620,000
9 Nine $4,250,000 (-22.1%) $3,010 $14,047,000
10 Invictus $4,130,000 (+2.1%) $1,903 $30,755,000

Yeah, so America loves Sandra Bullock (*shrug*) and somehow Did You Hear About the Morgans? made more money than it did last week.  There must be something about a fish-out-of-water story that continues to resonates with the common man.  (*has Blackberry stolen by eagle*)

[via CHUD]

Around The Web