SHOW BIZ: Weekend Movie Box Office Update: January 1 - January 3, 2009
|Rank||Film||Distributor||Weekend Total||# Of Screens
|1||Avatar||20th Century Fox||$68,300,000
||Sherlock Holmes||Warner Brothers||$38,385,000
|3||Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Sqweakquel||20th Century Fox
|5||The Blind Side
For more information, access the complete chart on boxofficemojo.com.
1. "Avatar:" A paraplegic ex-marine finds a new life on the distant planet of Pandora, only to find himself battling humankind alongside the planet's indigenous Na'vi race in this ambitious digital 3D sci-fi epic from Academy Award-winning Titanic director James Cameron. The film, which marks Cameron's first dramatic feature since 1997's Titanic, follows Jake Sully (Sam Worthington), a war veteran who gets called to the depths of space to pick up the job of his slain twin brother for the scientific arm of a megacorporation looking to mine the planet of Pandora for a valued ore. Unfortunately the biggest deposit of the prized substance lies underneath the home of the Na'vi, a ten-foot-tall, blue-skinned native tribe who have been at war with the security arm of the company, lead by Col. Miles Quaritch (Stephen Lang). Because of the planet's hostile atmosphere, humans have genetically grown half-alien/half-human bodies which they can jack their consciousnesses into and explore the world in. Since Jake's brother already had an incredibly expensive Avatar grown for him, he's able to connect with it using the same DNA code and experience first-hand the joys of Pandora while giving the scientific team, led by Grace Augustine (Sigourney Weaver) and Norm Spellman (Joel David Moore), some well-needed protection against the planet's more hostile forces. On a chance meeting after getting separated from his team, Jake's Avatar is rescued by Neytiri (Zoe Saldana), a Na'vi princess, who brings him into her tribe in order to give the humans a second chance at relating to this new environment. When word gets out of his increasing time with the alien species, Quaritch enlists Jake to do some reconnaissance for the company, as they'd like to persuade the tribe to move their home before taking more drastic measures to harness the treasure hidden below. Yet as Jake becomes one with the tribe and begins to understand the secrets of Pandora, his conscience is torn between his new adopted world and the wheelchair-bound one awaiting him when the psychic connection to his Avatar is broken. Soon battle lines are drawn and Jake needs to decide which side he will fight on when the time comes. - Jeremy Wheeler, All Movie Guide
2. "Sherlock Holmes" Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's famous super-sleuth, Sherlock Holmes, gets an update with this adaptation of Lionel Wigram's comic book series by writer/director Guy Ritchie (RocknRolla) starring Robert Downey Jr. as the titular detective, with Jude Law stepping into the shoes of his sidekick, Dr. Watson. Heading up the rest of the cast are RocknRolla's Mark Strong as the film's villain, Blackwood, and Rachel McAdams portraying the love interest, Irene Adler. - Jason Buchanan, All Movie Guide
3. "Alvin and the Chipmunks" Alvin, Simon, and Theodore are back in director Tim Hill's computer-animation/live-action hybrid following the further adventures of the world's most adorable singing trio. Songwriter Dave Seville (Jason Lee) has been struggling to gain recognition in the music industry for some time, and despite the fact that his former college roommate (David Cross) is now a high-profile powerbroker at Jett Records, Dave still can't manage to get a break. Things soon start to look up, however, when Dave discovers three singing chipmunks hiding out in the branches of a Christmas tree in Jett Records' world headquarters. Realizing that these woodland crooners cold prove to be his ticket to the big time, Dave does his best to transform Alvin (Justin Long), Simon (Matthew Gray Gubler), and Theodore (Jesse McCartney) into the next great pop sensation. As adorable and talented as they may be, though, these bouncy little critters aren't quite domesticated just yet; they still have a wild streak in them a mile wide, and it isn't long before Dave's life, home, and career are in utter chaos. But staying mad at such lovable little creatures is next to impossible, no matter what kind of mischief they might get into. - Jason Buchanan, All Movie Guide
4. "It's Complicated" Writer/director Nancy Meyers ('Something's Gotta Give,' 'The Holiday') directs Meryl Streep, Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin in 'It's Complicated,' a comedy about love, divorce and everything in between. Jane (Streep) is the mother of three grown kids, owns a thriving Santa Barbara bakery/restaurant and has--after a decade of divorce--an amicable relationship with her ex-husband, attorney Jake (Baldwin). But when Jane and Jake find themselves out of town for their son's college graduation, things start to get complicated. An innocent meal together turns into the unimaginable--an affair. With Jake remarried to the much younger Agness (Lake Bell), Jane is now, of all things, the other woman. Caught in the middle of their renewed romance is Adam (Martin), an architect hired to remodel Jane's kitchen. Healing from a divorce of his own, Adam starts to fall for Jane, but soon realizes he's become part of a love triangle. Should Jane and Jake move on with their lives, or is love truly lovelier the second time around? It's...complicated. - Moviefone.com
5. "The Blind Side:" Taken in by a well-to-do family and offered a second chance at life, a homeless teen grows to become the star athlete projected to be the first pick at the NFL draft in this sports-themed comedy drama inspired by author Michael Lewis' best-seller The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game. Michael Oher was living on the streets when he was welcomed into the home of a conservative suburban family, but over time he matured into a talented athlete. As the NFL draft approaches, fans and sports radio personalities alike speculate that Oher will be the hottest pick of the year. Sandra Bullock stars in a film written and directed by John Lee Hancock (The Rookie, The Alamo). - Jason Buchanan, All Movie Guide
More On: 20th Century Fox, Warner Brothers, boxofficemojo.com, James Cameron, Sam Worth, Stephen Lang, Sigourney Weaver, David Moore.