The holidays are over, but Avatar was relatively unfazed, defying "the bigger they are, the harder they fall" adage. Over the weekend, Avatar generated $50.3 million, breaking the record for biggest fourth weekend gross previously held by Titanic's $28.7 million. It was down just 27 percent, giving it the best hold among nationwide releases. Its IMAX venues alone were down 14 percent, accounting for an estimated $7.5 million of the weekend.
Internationally, Avatar also shattered the fourth week record, pulling in $150.5 million from 110 countries (essentially everywhere but Italy, where it opens Jan. 15). That was a bit more than the previous week, bolstered by its debut in China, where it made $41.4 million since Monday, setting records for opening week and single day there. Its foreign total shot up to $910.8 million mark, led by France ($101.4 million), Russia ($78.4 million and the country's all time No. 1 gross), Germany ($73.4 million), the United Kingdom ($67.1 million), Spain ($60.1 million and another all time No. 1) and Australia ($57.9 million, yet another all time No. 1). Throw in the domestic gross and Avatar's worldwide tally stood at $1.34 billion, marching ever closer to Titanic's $1.84 billion all time benchmark.
Back to domestic, while Avatar was down 27 percent, Sherlock Holmes and Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel had more typical 55 and 53 percent drops, respectively. Sherlock grossed $16.6 million, lifting its total to $165.2 million in 17 days, while Alvin made $16.6 million, raising its tally to $178.5 million in 19 days. Both pictures cracked the Top Ten of highest-grossing movies never to reach No. 1 on a weekend: Alvin ranks sixth, while Sherlock ranks tenth.
Three pictures opened nationwide but packed relatively little bite. Daybreakers harvested $15.1 million at 2,523 sites, ranking middle of the pack among vampire opening weekends and making less than 30 Days of Night and the Underworld series among similar movies. More modest, Leap Year drew $9.2 million at 2,511 sites, and Youth in Revolt nabbed $6.9 million at 1,873 sites.