The Box-Office Top Five
For the sixth weekend in a row, "Avatar" easily won first place at the box office. But the industry is no longer watching the film's competition with its current cinematic rivals. Instead, James Cameron's epic was focused squarely on the records previously established by Christopher Nolan's "The Dark Knight" and Cameron's own "Titanic," leading to the fall of one and the near defeat of the other.
Domestically, "Avatar" surpassed "The Dark Knight" as the second-highest-grossing film of all time with a cumulative total of $552.8 million. With Gotham City's greatest officially out of the way, "Titanic" is expected to lose out in the final showdown any day now, as it already has in overseas sales.
The remaining box-office players battled one another on a completely different level of competition, with the angelic actioner "Legion" debuting in second place with $18.2 million. Denzel Washington's post-apocalyptic thriller "The Book of Eli" took home a $17 million bronze medal, putting the film's domestic total at $62 million. "The Tooth Fairy," the family-friendly comedy starring Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, earned $14.5 million for fourth place, while Peter Jackson's "The Lovely Bones" rounded out the top five with $8.8 million.
The weekend's other major new release, "Extraordinary Measures," fell short with a $7 million seventh-place finish. It's a disappointing debut for CBS Films as a new movie studio and also for stars Brendan Fraser and Harrison Ford, both of whom are used to stronger box-office results.
Mel Gibson makes his leading-man comeback in next weekend's "Edge of Darkness," the action thriller directed by "Green Lantern" helmer Martin Campbell. Kristen Bell and Josh Duhamel's romantic comedy "When in Rome" also bows next weekend.
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