8 items from 2009
Warner Bros.’ “Sherlock Holmes” couldn’t crack the case of the crowded Christmas boxoffice, outfoxed by Fox-distributed “Avatar” in its second weekend and the scifi actioner’s remarkable marketplace hold.
James Cameron’s motion capture-and-live action epic used positive word of mouth and premium ticket charges in 3D venues to concoct a nearly imperceptible 2% decline from week-earlier grosses, topping domestic rankings with an estimated $75 million for a 10-day cume of $212.3 million.
“Sherlock” started strongly Friday with an opening-day record of $24.8 million in Christmas green stuff, but the Robert Downey Jr. starrer lost a bit of its boxoffice shine on each of the subsequent two days for a still-impressive $65.4 million bow.
Fox’s animated feature “Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakuel” debuted in third with $50.2 million and a $77.1 cume since unspooling Wednesday. Universal’s romantic comedy “It’s Complicated” – starring Meryl Streep, Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin – debuted in fourth with a stronger-than-expected $22.1 million. »
- By Carl DiOrio
Wednesday Pm: First look at tonight's box office... Analysis coming... Top 10 1. Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel (Fox) Wed $19M [3,656 runs] New 2. Avatar (Fox) Wed $16M [3,456 runs] Week 1 3. The Princess And The Frog (Disney) Wed $2.4M [3,475 runs] Week 5 4. The Blind Side (Alcon/Warner Bros) Wed $2.3M [2,760 runs] Week 6 5. Up In The Air (Paramount) Wed $1.8M [1,895] Week 4 6. Did You Hear About The Morgans? (Sony) Wed $1.M [2,718] Week 1 7. A Christmas Carol (Disney) Wed $1.M [1,245] Week 8 8. New Moon (Summit) Wed $950K [1,593] Week 6 9. Invictus (Warner Bros) Wed $777K [2,160] Week 3 10. Brothers (Relativity/Lionsgate) Wed $500K [...] »
- Nikki Finke
The advent of Avatar obtained an estimated $73 million on approximately 7,000 screens at 3,452 sites over the weekend, claiming the highest-grossing opening ever for a movie that's neither a sequel, a remake nor a direct adaptation (though others had greater attendance). It was also the second highest-grossing December opening weekend after I Am Legend ($77.2 million). Overall weekend business surged 50 percent over the same weekend last year, but was down considerably from the comparable period in 2007, when I Am Legend and Alvin and the Chipmunks debuted.
With its advanced 3D presentation as a key selling point, Avatar handily set a new 3D opening weekend benchmark. Showing on 3,129 3D screens at 2,038 sites, the format accounted for an estimated $52 million of the gross. The previous highs were Up's $35.4 million and Monsters Vs. Aliens' $32.6 million. Included in the 3D total, were 179 IMAX runs, and, while IMAX won't report its cut until Monday, the company did »
- Brandon Gray
Update: 'Avatar' weekend earnings climb
But Fox still managed to shovel a blizzard's worth of business with the 3D release, which topped domestic rankings with an estimated $73 million through Sunday. The motion capture-and-live action hybrid bowed simultaneously in 106 international territories, where it rung up $159.2 million in foreign coin for a worldwide debut totaling $232.2 million.
The weekend's sole other wide opener -- Sony's romantic comedy "Did You Hear About the Morgans?" starring Hugh Grant and Sarah Jessica Parker -- fetched $7 million in fourth place. Disney's animated feature "The Princess and the Frog" fell 50% from its week-earlier wide debut to $12.2 million in second place with a $44.8 cume, while Warner Bros.' Clint Eastwood-directed "Invictus" dropped 52% in »
- By Carl DiOrio
This is the weekend we've all been waiting for. Avatar finally hits theaters and the results are sure to be spectacular. Tracking indicates the James Cameron extravaganza is playing like a sequel, rather than as a brand new piece of filmmaking based on nothing other than what rolls around inside Cameron's brain. With early reviews overwhelmingly positive, the film's audience is likely to be much broader than initially expected. Going up against this massive endeavor is Sony Pictures' Did You Hear About the Morgans starring Sarah Jessica Parker and Hugh Grant. The cynical "counter-programming" option for women doesn't seem to be working, »
- Nicole Sperling
The Sex & The City star got her clippers and files out and decided to clean him up.
She explains, "I did Hugh's nails every Tuesday. He's beautiful and chic and groomed, but he has a raggedy hand, nails that look like he clipped them with his teeth."
And she didn't stop with his hands - she also tidied up her co-star's toenails.
Parker adds, "I think if you're gonna be in a movie that America deserves a clean foot."
Grant admits he had no idea his nails were such a big issue: "We all have toenails like that in England." »
The onscreen couple were flabbergasted by Bart the bear's demands - and Grant jokes they felt like lesser stars as they stood by and watched the grizzly get constantly pampered by his handlers.
The British actor explains, "He wouldn't come out of his trailer until he had 12 cans of iced tea and had been hosed down from head to foot. And then the crew had to applaud and say, 'Yay, Bart, you're so great.'
"Sarah Jessica and I got jealous, so the crew had to do that for us as well."
And Grant tells Entertainment Weekly magazine, "If the bear was doing particularly well, its trainer would wrestle him on the floor in this crazy, wrestle-y cuddle. So I made (director) Marc (Lawrence) do that to me if I ever did a scene well." »
Parker and Grant are starring as an estranged high-powered New York couple who witness a murder and are placed in a witness-protection program in a small Wyoming town.
Moss will play Parker's executive assistant with a controlling and almost obsessive-compulsive personality.
Lawrence will be directing from his own script, which previously was untitled, with Liz Glotzer and Martin Shafer producing. Production is set to begin in May in New York.
The project is Moss' first feature role since appearing in AMC's awards darling "Mad Men." She was nominated for a 2009 SAG Award for outstanding performance by a female actor (drama) for her role as naive new girl-turned-savvy office player Peggy Olson. »
- By Borys Kit
8 items from 2009
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