Friday Box Office – AVATAR Opens With $27 Million

     December 19, 2009


I stayed silent on the box-office potential of James Cameron’s game-changing 3D release Avatar despite great temptation. If you are old enough to remember those “Titanic-Watch” columns from twelve years ago, you’ll understand my hesitation. History and word of mouth favored a huge opening for Avatar; but December can also be a tricky month to launch a blockbuster. And so I kept my mouth shut until there were solid numbers to report. Here they are: Avatar launched at midnight Friday on 2,000 3D and IMAX 3D locations where it grossed $3.5 million. The estimates for all of December 18th put the film at $27 million from its 3,452 theatres. That’s good enough for third on the all-time December opening list. Bad weather is likely to keep Saturday figures lower than expected, which means that the film may not reach its projected 3 day take of $80 million. But for anyone who is disappointed that Avatar did not demolish the box office right out of the gate, know this: this movie is going to be a BIG player well into January. Plus, it’s always a mistake to bet against James Cameron. More on Avatar plus full weekend coverage tomorrow.

Title Friday Total
1 Avatar $27,000,000 $27
2 The Princess & the Frog $3,400,000 $35.9
3 The Blind Side $3,200,000 $157.9
4 Did You Hear About the Morgans? $2,300,000 $2.3
5 New Moon $1,400,000 $271.6

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