Rating: En Fuego
James Cameron launched "Avatar"
into a safe orbit as the film soared to No. 1 with $73 million domestically and $159.2 million overseas, for a $232.2 million worldwide total.
The film fell short of the record for December debuts of $77.2 million set two years ago by Will Smith's "I Am Legend." But it did break the record for a film opening in 3-D, previously held by last summer's "Up" with $68.1 million.
"What they spent on this movie was totally justified, and they're going to more than earn it back," said Paul Dergarabedian, box-office analyst for Hollywood.com.
The previous weekend's No. 1 movie, Disney's animated musical "The Princess and the Frog," slipped to second place with $12.2 million, raising its total to $44.8 million.
Before "Avatar" opened, Cameron had said the movie might not have a "slam-dunk opening weekend" but that its profitability hinged on how well it held up in subsequent weekends.
"I think it is the must-see film event of recent memory," Fox executive Aronson said. "I do believe it is a game-changing movie. It will change the way people think about movies, the way they see movies, what they want to see in movies."
Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Hollywood.com. Final figures will be released Monday.
1. Avatar - $73 million.
2. The Princess and the Frog - $12.2 million.
3. The Blind Side - $10 million.
4. Did You Hear About the Morgans? - $7 million.
5. The Twilight Saga 'New Moon' - $4.4 million.
6. Invictus - $4.2 million.
7. Disney's a Christmas Carol - $3.4 million.
8. Up in the Air - $3.1 million.
9. Brothers - $2.6 million.
10. Old Dogs - $2.3 million.
Source: www.CyberHollywood.ning. comwww.pampero.com