Happy Martin Luther King Day, James Cameron! Not even Denzel Washington and The Book of Eli could stop Avatar from a fifth straight weekend on top of the box office. What’s more, the $491 million domestic haul officially passed the $460 million haul of Star Wars to make this the third biggest domestic box office in history. The next targets: the $533 million haul of The Dark Knight and the $600 million of the current record holder Titanic.

For the latest Avatar challenger, The Book of Eli, the weekend unfolded in typical fashion. It won Friday night with a haul of $11,700,000, ahead of Avatar’s $10,400,000. And then, just like what happened to Sherlock Holmes and Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel, that was it — and Avatar was back on top the next day. Part of what is impressive about Avatar’s run is the fact that they have been up against some serious box-office challengers the last few weeks and have still prevailed. It’s going to keep getting tougher in the weeks to come — Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and The Tooth Fairy rolls out next weekend and might end up being the movie that finally knocks Avatar out of first place for good. Or it may not.

The $41 million haul by Avatar is a record for a movie in its fifth weekend of release, beating Titanic by about $11 million. As far as worldwide gross is concerned, Titanic’s box office record increasingly looks to be in serious trouble. Avatar’s worldwide haul, based on the numbers posted at Box Office Mojo, now stands at $1,602,168,000 while Titanic’s record is $1,842,879,955.

As for the Top Ten this holiday weekend (MLK Day numbers yet to come), here it is:

  1. Avatar – $41,300,000
  2. The Book of Eli – $31,615,000
  3. The Lovely Bones – $17,060,000
  4. Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel – $11,500,000
  5. Sherlock Holmes – $9,825,000
  6. The Spy Next Door – $9,700,000
  7. It’s Complicated – $7,672,000
  8. Leap Year – $5,828,000
  9. The Blind Side – $5,565,000
  10. Up in the Air – $5,460,000

I guess there’s more I could say, but what else is there, really? I think it’s fair to say we are witnessing some history happening here at the box office. Some major history.

We’ll see you later this week and see if we can figure out whether Avatar will be able to keep going and topple some more major box office records.


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