2. “Legion” ($18.2 million)
3. “The Book of Eli” ($17 million)
4. “Tooth Fairy” ($14.5 million)
5. “The Lovely Bones” ($8.8 million)
James Cameron’s “Avatar” easily won its sixth straight weekend at the box office, but the film’s victory over its current theatrical competitors is hardly the greatest cause for celebration — that distinction belongs to the Na’vi people’s victory over Gotham City’s personal superhero, as “Avatar” has officially surpassed Christopher Nolan’s “The Dark Knight” as the second highest grossing film of all time at the domestic box office.
With Batman out of the way, it’s now a matter of Cameron versus Cameron both on the domestic and worldwide battle fronts. “Avatar” is currently second behind “Titanic” in both markets, but that won’t last for long — “Avatar’s” weekend haul of $36 million, only a 15.9 percent drop from last weekend’s $54.4 million, leaves little doubt that “Titanic’s” domestic record of $600.8 million will crumble.
More importantly, “Avatar’s” worldwide total is now $1.836 billion to “Titanic’s” current $1.842 billion record, according to Box Office Mojo. At this point, it’s all but guaranteed that Cameron’s latest will be the new king of the worldwide box office — it’s just a matter of when and by how much.
In terms of the box office’s remaining top five competitors, Friday’s rankings held strong. “Legion” debuted in second place with $18.2 million, while “The Book of Eli” amassed a third place finish worth $17 million. After two weeks in theaters, Denzel Washington’s post-apocalyptic thriller has earned a domestic cumulative total of $62 million, well within the range of earning back its estimated $80 million budget.
Fourth and fifth place went to “Tooth Fairy” and Peter Jackson’s “The Lovely Bones,” respectively. The weekend’s other new release, “Extraordinary Measures,” landed softly in seventh place with only $7 million earned, indicating that the star power of Harrison Ford doesn’t mean what it used to amongst the moviegoing crowd.
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