Honestly, I wasn’t gonna write one this week because it’s the same as the past six weeks: #1 is Avatar with roughly $30+ million, then two new releases, then the holdovers, and then the Blindside clinging for dear life at the bottom of the top 12.
Until I mentally stumbled upon an interesting tidbit. Worldwide–which includes both domestic and foreign cumulations–Avatar eclipsed the $2 billion dollar mark. Impressive by any rate, but get this (and this is what got me to post tonight): Last year, domestically, Paramount Pictures slate of 16 films including Transformers 2 and GI Joe, grossed $1.4 billion dollars. There’s really no link, I guess, but I think it’s ridiculous that a single movie has taken over the world to net more than 16 movies have made domestically. That boggles my mind, honestly. The only studio that netted more than Avatar’s worldwide gross last year was WB with around $2.1 billion and, fuck, let’s face it: Avatar’s still got some steam in its tank. It’s weekend by weekend drops have been, respectively, 1.8%, 9.4%, 26.6% (68 mill to 50 mill, still a good haul), 14.9%, 18.3%, and 14.1%. That’s ridiculous–I’m used to seeing drops of between 35-50 percent 2nd to 3rd weekend, and then a steady & steep decline thereafter. But Avatar, instead, has instead been lazily traipsing down that one really fucked up handicap ramp that weaves around about ten times before getting to its destination. In short, it’s basically making good money and will probably continue to do so for at least another two weeks. Especially next weekend when Dear John and From Paris with Love come out–two movies that, let’s face it, don’t look to be displacing Avatar atop all the charts.
This brings me to my next point, I guess: I had always looked at Titanic’s records as sort of unbreakable. In baseball terms, they’d be Bob Gibson’s season ERA mark of 1.12 (though, technically, a modern era record but whatever) or Moral Orel Hershiser’s mark of 59 consecutive scoreless innings. In sports, it’d be a rare feat to do the same thing twice–to beat your own unbeatable records–but in film, it’s might be even rarer. The fickleness of the market and the ability of both the artist, the collaborator, and the marketing team to tap into the collective social psyches of not only a single age group but all of them is an absolute marvel. James Cameron may not be the greatest filmmaker who ever lived, but, goddam does he have his finger on the pulse across two separate generations. Seriously, the last movie he released was an untouchable record–until his next movie was released. Every other movie was supposed to fall short, it seems. No movie was supposed to have its spectacle and its charm and its connection to an audience. But, of co9urse, James Cameron had to find a way. Of course he had to find a way. He seems to be the type of prick that constantly needs to outdo everyone else. He can’t just have the #1 movie of all time. He has to have both #1 and #2!
Anyway, I digress.
The two new releases this week, Edge of Darkness and When in Rome, debuted in #2 and 3 with $17 million and $13 million, respectively. The Book of Eli fell 44% (see, something normal), and Legion just kind of got exhausted and laid down to die with only 6.8 million.
Within the next few days (probably Tuesday), expect two things: Avatar becomes King of the Motherfucking Universe, and Sherlock Holmes will eke across the $200 million mark.
On Feb. 2nd, the Oscar announcement will go down. The best picture nominees will probably experience something similar to the “Colbert Bump.”
Enjoy your week.