Box Office Report: `Avatar' blasts off with $232.2 million worldwide

Canadian director, James Cameron's sci-fi epic Avatar grossed $73 million domestically and $159.2 million overseas, for a $232.2 million worldwide total. Reportedly, the film cost $240 million to make. Earlier this week, Avatar, was nominated for Best Picture (drama) and Best Director (James Cameron), by the Golden Globes. The film also received some criticism that it is trans-bi-homophobic.

AP reports:
"Avatar" stars Sam Worthington and Zoe Saldana in a love story amid human-alien conflict on a distant moon in the 22nd century. The film fell short of the record for December debuts of $77.2 million set two years ago by Will Smith's "I Am Legend." But it did break the record for a film opening in 3-D, previously held by last summer's "Up" with $68.1 million. "Avatar" was a test case for the future of digital 3-D projection, which until now has been a hit with audiences mainly on animated family films. "What they spent on this movie was totally justified, and they're going to more than earn it back," said Paul Dergarabedian, box-office analyst for Hollywood.com.

No one expects "Avatar" to be another "Titanic," which started with a modest $28.6 million opening weekend domestically but held on at No. 1 for months. The film finished with a record $600 million domestically and $1.8 billion worldwide. Before "Avatar" opened, Cameron had said the movie might not have a "slam-dunk opening weekend" but that its profitability hinged on how well it held up in subsequent weekends. Unlike other Hollywood franchises, which usually are based on comic books, TV shows, toys or other existing stories and ideas, "Avatar" was an original tale whose concept was not pre-sold to audiences.

Weekend Box Office:

1. "Avatar," $73 million.
2. "The Princess and the Frog," $12.2 million.
3. "The Blind Side," $10 million.
4. "Did You Hear About the Morgans?", $7 million.
5. "The Twilight Saga" New Moon," $4.4 million.
6. "Invictus," $4.2 million.
7. "Disney's a Christmas Carol," $3.4 million.
8. "Up in the Air," $3.1 million.
9. "Brothers," $2.6 million.
10. "Old Dogs," $2.3 million.

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