‘Avatar’ orbits near record territory at the box office

Director James Cameron arrives at the premiere of 'Avatar,' at the Grauman's Chinese Theatre, in the Hollywood section of Los Angeles, California on December 16, 2009.
Director James Cameron arrives at the premiere of 'Avatar,' at the Grauman's Chinese Theatre, in the Hollywood section of Los Angeles, California on December 16, 2009. ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images

The space fantasy ‘Avatar’ orbits near record territory at the box office. KPCC’s Shirley Jahad has more.

The James Cameron 3-D sci-fi saga pulled in more than 73-million dollars domestically. That is more than any other opening except “I Am Legend” starring Will Smith two years ago. Avatar is also the biggest opening ever for a 3D movie. Worldwide the film brought in more than 232 million. That makes distributor 20th Century Fox happy. It cost more than 400-million to make the special effects based film. Cameron hasn’t released a film in more than a decade since ‘Titanic.’ ‘Avatar’ includes a love story set in a backdrop of conflict between humans and aliens. It blew away the competition. By contrast, the hand drawn animated Disney movie ‘the Princess and the Frog’ came in second with 12 million dollars. ‘The Blind Side’ was third with 10 million.

Sony's "Did You Hear About The Morgans?'' debuted in 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.

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