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Friday, January 8, 2010

"Avatar" is now No. 2 at worldwide Box Office

Source: Variety

Only three weeks into its release, 20th Century Fox's "Avatar" has become the No. 2 grossing film of all time at the worldwide box office, cuming $1.14 billion through Wednesday.

James Cameron has only himself to beat now, since "Titanic" is No. 1 at $1.8 billion.

"Avatar's" domestic cume was $374.4 million through Wednesday; foreign haul, $760.9 million. That bests the $1.1 billion scored by "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King."

Box office observers expect "Avatar" to remain a potent force as it heads into its fourth weekend, likely grossing north of $100 million globally. Film could help lead another record-breaking frame.

Male-driven "Daybreakers" opens in 2,523 runs; "Leap Year," 2,511; and "Youth in Revolt," 1,873.

"Avatar" isn't the only strong holdover posing trouble for the competish: Warner Bros.' "Sherlock Holmes" and Fox's "Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel" continue to play strongly, even as kids head back to school.

Among prestige pictures, Weinstein's Rob Marshall musical "Nine" will be cutting back on its theater count, from 1,412 to 1,060. Film has been struggling since expanding nationwide on Christmas Day, with a cume of $14.9 million through Wednesday.

Conversely, Paramount's Jason Reitman-directed "Up in the Air" has fared better since going wide on Dec. 25, cuming $46.9 million through Wednesday. "Up in the Air" is adding 305 theaters.

The first crop of 2010 specialty titles debuts with comedy "Crazy on the Outside," starring Tim Allen, Sigourney Weaver, Jeanne Tripplehorn, Kelsey Grammer and Ray Liotta. Allen directed the pic, which Freestyle opens in 74 theaters.

Freestyle also opens exploitation actioner "Bitch Slap" in three theaters in N.Y., L.A. and San Francisco. And Matthew Broderick stars in Magnolia's limited release "Wonderful World."

Several docus debut, including "Waiting for Armageddon," distributed by First Run, and "In Search of Memory," from Icarus Films. Both films open in one theater in New York.

Tracking is solid for "Daybreakers," a futuristic tale about a researcher in the future who tries to find the cure for an unknown plague that turns people into vampires.

Historically, January has been a favorite time for genre fare, although studios have begun using the corridor for comedy as well.

Dimension's "Youth in Revolt," directed by Miguel Arteta and also starring Portia Doubleday, is about a young man trying to lose his virginity. It's based on the cult novel by C.D. Payne.

Both "Daybreakers" and "Youth in Revolt" are rated R.

"Leap Year" could have a tougher time than the other new entries, according to tracking, although carrying the more lenient PG rating could help. Comedy, also starring Kaitlin Olson, was fully financed and produced by Spyglass. U is distributing, while the studio and Relativity Media shared marketing costs. Relativity's portion was $19 million.

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