Hollywood has a record Christmas weekend at box office during first-ever $10 billion year
It is just astounding how many people flocked to the movies over the Christmas Day weekend resulting in the first $280 million weekend in domestic box office history. The previous weekend best was the $260 million earned in July 2008 when The Dark Knight opened.
The record haul was due to a stellar second weekend for No. 1 film Avatar which grossed $75.6 million for a 10-day total of $212.3 million. The James Cameron-directed sci-fi epic has also earned $405 million in foreign markets for a worldwide total of $617 million so far.
Following close behind was Sherlock Holmes starring Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law which opened with $62.4 million in ticket sales, a record Christmas weekend bow. That was followed by Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel which had a weekend total of $49 million and has earned an astounding $75 million since opening on Dec. 23.
Then there was the Christmas Day release It’s Complicated, a romantic comedy starring Meryl Streep, Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin.
The film had an opening weekend gross of $22 million and was one of the biggest openings of Streep’s career. The only Streep films to have opened bigger are Mamma Mia! ($27.7 million) and The Devil Wears Prada ($27.5 million). She also appeared in Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events which had a $30 million opening but that was more of a Jim Carrey vehicle.
Streep was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for her performance in Complicated and will compete against herself because she’s also nominated for Julie & Julia.
In another milestone, domestic ticket sales for 2009 jumped the $10 billion mark for the first time ever, according to Variety. This caps a record-breaking year that is running 12 percent ahead of last year in revenue and 5 percent ahead in attendance.