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Every Creature Was Stirring, To Get Out of the House

By William Goss | Box Office Round-Ups | December 28, 2009 |

By William Goss | Box Office Round-Ups | December 28, 2009 |

The greatest detective around and the most irritating pop stars ever may have had more screens to themselves this holiday weekend than the “game-changer” could claim, but with the benefit of bloated 3-D/IMAX ticket prices, James Cameron’s Avatar still came out on top with $75 million. Within ten days, it’s already raked in $200 million domestic and twice that worldwide, meaning it might make its massive budget back yet.

Sherlock Holmes was no slouch itself, taking second place with $65.4 million and claiming the title of biggest Christmas opening from former champ Meet the Fockers, and with Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel taking in $50 million over the weekend and $77 million over the past five days, it comes as no surprise that 2009 is on track to have an even bigger box office than last year.

It’s Complicated’s $22 million in fourth place is in line with most of Meryl Streep’s other openings (Julie & Julia: $20 million opening, $94 million total / Mamma Mia!: $27 million opening, $144 million total / The Devil Wears Prada: $27 million opening, $125 million total). Up in the Air added over 1,700 screens and earned over $11.75 million more in fifth place, with The Blind Side right behind it with $11.73 million in sixth place.

The Princess and the Frog did fall to seventh place from second in the wake of the Chipmunks with $8.7 million; Did You Hear About the Morgans? slipped down to ninth in the wake of the Streep with $5 million. In between at eighth place was Nine, which added 1,400+ screens but only took in $5.5 million. (In comparison, director Rob Marshall’s Chicago took in $8.2 million on a mere 616 screens when it went wide.)

Rounding out the top ten was a similar sure-thing-until-people-saw-it, Invictus, with $4.4 million over the weekend and $23 million to date, which puts it around Blood Work territory for director Clint Eastwood. I’m telling you, if he’d just sprung for filming the rugby matches in 3-D …

(Due to the holiday, reviews for the Alvin and the Chipmunks sequel, It’s Complicated, Nine and The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus have been delayed, but will be posted early this week.)

(Oh, and since nothing new is opening next week, there won’t be a new Box Office Round-Up with which to open the New Year. See ya on the 10th!)

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