Now with hot, buttered Add On.
As the deluge of Holiday releases rains down, the projected winners are:
1. Sherlock Holmes (Warner Bros) NEW Fri $25M [3,626 runs], Estimated Wkd $70M
2. Avatar (Fox) Week 2 - Cume $161.2M Wed $16.4M [3,452 runs], Thurs $11.3M (-31%), Fri $24M, Est Wkd $70M
3. Alvin & Chipmunks: The Squeakquel (Fox) NEW - Cume $38.8M Wed $19M [3,656 runs], Thurs $8M (-57%), Fri $12M, Est Wkd $43M
4. It's Complicated (Universal) NEW Fri $7.5M [2,886], Est Wkd $23M
5. (Tie) Up In The Air (Paramount) Week 4 - Cume $16.7M Wed $1.7M [1,895], Thurs $1.7M, Fri $4M, Est Wkd $14M
5. (Tie) Blind Side (Alcon/Warner Bros) Week 6 - Cume $176.6M Wed $2.2M [3,252 runs], Thurs $1.5M, Fri $4M, Est Wkd $14M
7. Nine (The Weinstein Co) Week 2 - Cume $345K Fri $2.2M [1,412], Est Wkd $7M
8. Princess And The Frog (Disney) Week 5 - Cume $61.6M Wed $2.4M [3,475 runs], Thurs $1.4M, Fri $2M, Est Wkd $7M
9. Did You Hear About The Morgans? (Sony) Week 2 - Cume $12.2M Wed $1.0M [2,718], Thurs $665K, Fri $1.6M, Est Wkd $5M
10. Invictus (Warner Bros) Week 3 - Cume $20.2M Wed $800K [2,125], Thurs $705K, Fri $1.3M, Wkd Est $4.2M
So what we've got is three animated features/animated hybrids in the Top Ten (Avatar, Alvin & Co., The Princess and the Frog). Having seen Sherlock Holmes this weekend, I can tell you there are generous dollops of digital effects and c.g. animation in that picture too. (The visualization of Victorian London and over-the-top action set pieces don't come cheap.)
Christmas Carol, now out of the top ten, will likely see its domestic gross top out somewhere between $140 and $150 million (roughly half its worldwide take). Carol's first-weekend multiple ($30 million) is a healthy 5X, so we can say that the film had staying power across the course of its run. I think the feature's immersive 3D helped it quite a lot.
Add On: And Mr. Holmes sets a holiday record ... with Avatar close behind. And Robert Downey goes from being a down and out, drug-addled problem child of Hollywood, to a bankable star with two tent-pole franchises under his belt. Not bad at all.
Add On Too: At the wire, what you need to know is:
1) Animation hybrid Avatar stayed on top for a second weekend (both in total revenue and per-theater averages) with $75 million. (The master sleuth was a strong second, collecting $65 million.)
2) Alvin scored himself $50.2 million and $77 million for his five-day opening.
3) The Princess and the Frog had the steepest drop of any Top Ten feature (-28.7%, not good) and has now collected $63.3 million.
4) Twelfth place Christmas Carol is fading in its eighth week, and stands now at $136 million. (It will probably end its domestic run at around $140 million.)
5) The Fantastic Mr. Fox, despite critical hossanahs, is now little more than a retinal after image, earning $18.3 million domestically against a $40 million budget.
Have yourself a short but zestful workweek.