There was finally a new king for a day on Friday, when the brand-new sci-fi/thriller The Book Of Eli edged out Avatar for the #1 slot, but as the weekend wore on, James Cameron’s remorseless box-office juggernaut pulled ahead and won its fifth straight weekend with an astonishing $41.3 million in receipts. That left The Book Of Eli to finish second with a more than respectable $31.6 million, proving that people aren’t yet weary of apocalypse porn. The weekend’s biggest question mark was Peter Jackson’s The Lovely Bones, the wide release of which was pushed all the back to mid-January after the film was hit with scathing reviews and presumably deemed not competitive enough for the Christmas season. And though a third-place and $17 million doesn’t forge the path to recoup the film’s $100 million budget, it probably could have performed a lot worse under the circumstances. Meanwhile, the anemic Jackie Chan family comedy The Spy Next Door pulled in $9.7 million for sixth, which seems like a decent enough haul given the $1.50 that appears to have been spent on production costs. Between a modest theatrical take and the always-lucrative video market for kid-friendly live-action movies, it’ll likely be a winner in the end.
Very little happening in arthouse circles last weekend, with the week’s sole mini-major opening, the Tolstoy riff The Last Station, bringing in $27,000 per screen on three screens.
For more detailed numbers, visit Box Office Mojo.