"Avatar" storms weekend box office

13:43, December 21, 2009      

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Cast members Zoe Saldana (L) and Sam Worthington pose at the premiere of "Avatar" at the Mann's Grauman Chinese theatre in Hollywood, California December 16, 2009. The movie opens in the U.S. on December 18. (Xinhua/Agencies Photo)

James Cameron's "Avatar" is off to a hot start at the box office in North America, although chilly weather is keeping many East Coast residents away from the movies, according to numbers released on Sunday.

Hollywood.com said the film, produced by Fox, will have the best opening ever for a 3-D movie: 73 million dollars in North America with a worldwide total of 232 million opening weekend.

But the movie is not setting other records, and terrible weather on the East Coast has been blamed. Attendance at the film dropped by 75 percent from Friday to Saturday in the Washington D.C. area, and by 57 percent in the Philadelphia region.

"Avatar" is the story of an ex-Marine who finds himself thrust into hostilities on an alien planet filled with exotic life forms.

Disney's animated romantic comedy "The Princess and The Frog," - featuring the first-ever African-American female royalty, - is projected in the second place with 12.2 million dollars this weekend, and 44.7 million during its four-week box office run.

Warner Bros' "The Blind Side" secured the third place slot, with an estimated 10.3 million dollars this weekend and 164.7 million during its five-week run.

Sony's "Did You Hear About The Morgans?" debuted in the fourth place, with 7 million in projected sales.

Rounding out the 10 most-popular films this weekend in the United States and Canada, as predicted by Hollywood.com, are:

-- "The Twilight Saga: New Moon," Summit, 4.4 million this weekend, 274.6 million over five weeks;

-- "Invictus," Warner Bros., 4.2 million this weekend, 15.8 million over two weeks;

-- "Disney's A Christmas Carol," Disney, 3.4 million this weekend, 130.7 million over seven weeks;

-- "Up In The Air," Paramount, 3.1 million this weekend, 8.1 million over three weeks;

-- "Brothers," Lionsgate, 2.6 million this weekend, 22.1 million over three weeks and

-- "Old Dogs," Disney, 2.3 million this weekend, 43.6 million over four weeks.

Source: Xinhua
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