Weekend Receipts: Yup, It's Avatar

If it's Sunday afternoon, then it must be time to count another stack of cash generated by another stellar week of Avatar. The blockbuster soundly outgunned a few other effects spectacles (including one surprisingly strong-performing former awards hopeful) on its way to a fifth consecutive first place finish; read on to see just how soundly.

1. Avatar

Gross: $41,300,000 (Cume: $491,767,000)

Screens: 3,285 (PSA: $12,572)

Weeks: 5 (Change:-17.9%)

The Bank of James Cameron was the only such institution open this holiday weekend, inviting deposits from $9 to $16.50 at a time (depending on rates maintained your local branch). Expect another big Monday tomorrow as well, as shuttered schools and offices will help push Fox's account balance past the $500 million mark domestically. A ridiculous 18-percent drop portends another strong week ahead, probably aided tonight by some Golden Globe wins and eclipsing The Dark Knight for second-place all time by Saturday.

2. The Book of Eli

Gross: $31,615,000 (new)

Screens: 3,111 (PSA: $10,162)

Weeks: 1

Denzel Washington's R-rated apocalypse-vengeance tale had a terrific showing, proving again that anything remotely faith-based with a mainstream star has the potential to break through at the box office. Had the filmmakers simply included a college football angle as requested by Warner Bros., this could have been the film to knock off Avatar.

3. The Lovely Bones

Gross: $17,060,000 (Cume: $17,527,000)

Screens: 2,563 (PSA: $6,656)

Weeks: 6 (Change: +44,129.0%)

Paramount finally expanded Peter Jackson's critically drubbed afterlife drama, and the wait was worth it. Don't let the percentage change fool you -- Bones was on only three screens for the last month -- but that doesn't detract from the reality that even child abuse and murder can find commercial traction as long as it culminates in Peter Jackson's spectacularly garish, big-budget afterlife.

4. Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel

Gross: $11,500,000 (Cume: $192,592,000)

Screens: 3,296 (PSA: $3,489)

Weeks: 4 (Change: -30.6%)

America's discriminating underage moviegoers had to buy tickets to something if they were to have any chance of sneaking into The Book of Eli.

5. Sherlock Holmes

Gross: $9,825,000 (Cume: $180,018,000)

Screens: 3,173 (PSA: $3,096)

Weeks: 4 (Change: -40.8%)

Fun fact: With $180 million and counting, Sherlock Holmes officially doubles the highest-grossing product of a former husband of Madonna. Runner-up: Mystic River, which grossed $90 million in 2003. Congrats, Guy Ritchie!



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