Avatar easily held onto to its box office crown in the first weekend of the New Year, kicking off 2010 by carrying on the record-setting pace set last year.
The overall box office take was up 8 percent over last year, hitting a record total $10.6 billion. Admissions were up about 4 percent to 1.41 billion, states The Hollywood Reporter.
The James Cameron film took in $68.3 million in the three-day New Year’s holiday weekend, bringing its domestic total to a whopping $352 million in just 17 days of release. The film is on track to become the highest-grossing film released in 2009, having only the $402 million earned by Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen still to top.
Avatar‘s overseas gross has been just as impressive, taking in $666.7 million and bringing the film’s worldwide total to just over $1 billion so far. That makes it easily the globe’s top-grossing film of the year, elevating it to the fourth all-time money-maker behind only Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest, The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King and, of course, Titanic.
The news also was good for the rest of the films in release, with Sherlock Holmes grossing $38 million over the weekend for a domestic total of $140 million, while Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel was just behind it with $36 million for the weekend and a $157 million domestic total.
Disney’s The Princess and the Frog finished the weekend in seventh place with $10 million, bringing its total to $86 million.
Other animated films still in release include Disney’s A Christmas Carol, which grossed $540,000 for the weekend to bring its total to $137 million. The movie has grossed $118 million overseas for a global total to date of $255 million.
Wes Anderson’s Fantastic Mr. Fox grossed about $482,000 in its eighth weekend of release to bring its domestic total to $19.1 million. Its international take to date is $2.4 million for a total of about $21.6 million.