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Weekend B.O.: In Seventh Week, Avatar Beats Edge of Darkness

Weekend B.O.: In Seventh Week, Avatar Beats Edge of Darkness

Thompson on Hollywood

At the weekend box office, Avatar grossed another $30-million, beating all comers for the 7th weekend in a row, including Mel Gibson’s return to the screen in thriller Edge of Darkness, which despite earning mixed reviews scored $17 million. Avatar only needs a little more than $6 million to overtake Titanic as top domestic b.o.-grosser, and should do so by mid-week. Patrick Goldstein puts Avatar‘s grosses in perspective, adjusting for inflation. Another question: does Avatar‘s rolling b.o. success help or hurt with Oscar voters?

For his part, Harrison Ford should retire here and now. He sounded like death warmed over at the Globes, and has no clue what movies to do, clearly, having agreed to co-star with Brendan Fraser in the widely-panned Extraordinary Measures. The movie dipped 57% after its weak $7 million opening, and has totaled $10.4 million to date. CBS Films is off to a rocky start. Tom Vaughn’s last film? What Happens in Vegas.

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Since when do we measure success by ignoring the financial aspect and only by counting items sold? Especially when strictly looking at attendance will ignore other aspects – the amount of competition for eyeballs, the number of times released, etc. Success is usually measured in profit, not items sold.

Most of the films in the adjusted for inflation lists that Goldstein’s article refers to have those kind of benefits built in. How many times did Star Wars get released into the theaters for it’s gross? Gone With the Wind has also been released numerous times, and didn’t have to compete with home theaters, video games or the Internet.

And it’s yet another article that fails to notice that when Avatar passes Titanic on the gross receipt list, it will also be somewhere around #15 on just about any adjusted for inflation list that I’ve seen published. And it still will likely dominate through at least the end of February.

The gross receipt list list skews things in one direction. The adjusted for inflation list skews it in another. The “truth”, if there is such a thing here, is someplace in the middle. No matter what, Avatar is doing well. As well, if not better, than most any movie released in the last 30 years.


I can’t think of a movie that was pushed more than ‘Extraordinary Measures’ between its trailer every time I went to the movies and seemingly incessant commercials on TV. Other than the Twilight movies also can’t think of one that caught my fancy less. Just hope it doesn’t show up on one of my airplane flights.


There really is no such thing as “putting Avatar’s box office gross in perspective”. Even when its finished, the movie will have made probably 2.5 billion, which is more than Titanic’s gross adjusted for inflation. The fact a movie can do what Avatar has done so far is stunning, considering all the entertainment options there are in this day of age for kids. You have to remember, higher prices=lower demand. Yet, Avatar continues to have incredibly high demand. Not only that, but its the most pirated film of all time, and yet can still beat Titanic…WOW! As far as box office helping or hurting it at the Oscars, it will actually help. The Hurt Locker is actually the one that will be hurt by its incredibly low box office. It would be the lowest grossing film of all time to win, and probably the first money LOSER, not winner to win the award. It would be extremely anti-climactic to say the least, especially with the biggest audience in years cheering on Avatar.

alan green

EM has a very movie of the week feel. could be it fits with cbs films’ strategy to exhibit movies on tv, showtime, etc. their upcoming films, beastly and back up plan have the same vibe (as EM) — relatively low-budget, broad, very genre, like it could have been originally written for tv and was fluffed up as a feature-length ‘show’, represents rolling the dice at box office but may appeal to couples/families on cable/tv.

it’s not necessarily such a loss. or, at least, not necessarily a bad strategy. agreed — these movies don’t seem to have what it takes to succeed at box office but may turn a profit when offered on other venues. i hear cbs films uses cbs radio/tv infrastructure to cut marketing costs. makes sense, as far as that goes

they gotta do something — dvds are so yesterday

the thing about EM (from the trailers) is — nobody could have seriously thought this could compete in theaters. same applies to back up plan (though BUP should have a better chance at box office than EM had). makes me believe someone’s plan may be working despite box office failure

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