Stephen Lang in Avatar (Mark Fellman / 20th Century Fox)
According to the Box Office Mojo chart for Wed., December 23, Avatar continued its $16 million-a-weekday run. Although James Cameron’s sci-fi epic didn’t break any records as far as I know, it did add $16.4 million to its domestic take, which now totals $125.9m.
Nineteen movies have had better Wednesdays than Avatar (remember that the chart hasn’t been adjusted for inflation), but most of those further up the list had their opening day on a Wednesday. Yesterday was Day 6 for Avatar, which was released last Friday. Only two non-opening movies earned more than Avatar on a Wed.: Transformers at #6 (Day 2) and The Dark Knight at #15 ($18.3 million on Day 6).
Per screen, Avatar actually scored better than The Dark Knight: $4,764 vs. $4,209, but that can be partly explained because of higher ticket prices and the fact that Avatar is playing in nearly 900 fewer screens. All things being equal, the fewer the theaters the greater the chance of higher average numbers.
Among the other blockbusters that fared better than Avatar on a Wednesday are Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen at #1 ($62.0m), Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince at #2 ($58.1 million), Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix at #3 ($44.2 million), The Dark Knight at #15, Independence Day at #18 ($17.4 million), and the new release Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel at #13 ($18.8m).
Once again, bear in mind that the above figures have not been adjusted for inflation and that Avatar tickets tend to be costlier because of 3D/IMAX premiums.
Avatar stars Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver, Stephen Lang, Giovanni Ribisi, and Laz Alonso. James Cameron both directed and wrote the screenplay. I personally doubt it that his directing expletives at a fan, though caught on camera (was that a set-up?), will somehow dim either Avatar’s box office prospects or Cameron’s chances at the Oscars.