Box Office Actuals Are In: Avatar Upgraded (Again), This Time from $30M reported Sunday to $31.3M

Avatar’s extraordinary “legs” showed themselves again, today, as the Monday actuals came out and Avatar was upgraded from the previously estimated $30M for the weekend, to $31,280,029 — a drop of only 10.5% from the previous weekend.  The only drama at the moment is whether avatar, which is now only $5m short of catching Titanic’s record of $600.7M, will catch its sibling on Wednesday or Thursday.  Stay tuned.


~ by Michael Sellers on February 1, 2010.

4 Responses to “Box Office Actuals Are In: Avatar Upgraded (Again), This Time from $30M reported Sunday to $31.3M”

  1. I think Titanic was less hyped and applauded prior to its release than Avatar, and the idea that films have to score quickly and immediately after release has only crept into hollywood culture over the last decade or so. So I think Titanic was much more of a sleeper, a slowly evolving and growing phenomenon, whereas Avatar less so. So my gut would be that Avatar will start evolving much differently in a few weeks time, even though the figures are not yet giving that indication.

    Having said that, given the already impressive results so far, and given the rate of about $100m per week (minimum) for foreign box office, I don’t think $2,75 billion is unrealistic.

    Here in Europe, we’re less fussed about the US box office record, which seems to be quite the focus in the US (and on your blog), we’re more interested in overall global box office.

    • Well in my case the main reason for focusing on the US domestic numbers is that we have access to great data on the US … you can just go to Box Office Mojo and see what Titanic made each day of its release–what the dropoffs were from day to day, week to week, etc. And Avatar and Titanic were released on the same day — Friday before Christmas — so that creates even more of a ‘mirror’. It more difficult to compare or analyze the foreign performance because the foreign release pattern was completely different for Titanic and because we don’t have day by day foreign figures to work with. So for the foreign piece there is a lot more guesswork while, for me, on the US side you can really crunch numbers. I mean — three weeks ago, by laying them out side by side and then building a pretty simple model, I came up with Feb 4 as the day Avatar would surpass Titanic and it looks like I’m going to be right on. I couldn’t even begin to try to figure out the foreign like that …. just not enough data. By the way, for the record, in that post I said Feb 6 in the headline but in the body it says that the model actually shows it passing on Feb 4–I just took Feb 6 as a hedge, building in a pad of two days just in case it lost steam. But it didn’t — and looks like Feb 4 or maybe even Feb 3 will be “the day”. Using the same kind of model in which you lay them side by side and map the trends, it really looks to me

  2. I find it strange that very few people attempt to place a bet on how much Avatar will eventually gross. It seems like the only drama was about Avatar catching up with Titanic or not. Nobody seems to be fussed about guessing the final box office, which is to me the only interesting and essential question at this point.

    I think Avatar will go as far as $2.5 billion in total revenue (and beyond), especially given the relentless speed of the foreign box office (still almost $100m over one single weekend). With the Oscar race in sight (and nominations due today), this could also give another boost to the film.

    Time to place our bets.

    • I’ve been thinking the same thing. Here’s some food for thought. As of the end of the day Sunday (45th day) Avatar was at $595.7M in the US. As of its 45th day Titanic was at $308M and had earned 51% of its final total of $600.7M. Now — suppose Avatar is only at 51% of its final total, that means Avatar would be finishing a $1.160B in the US. Can it/will it do that? No. But it has been tracking very close to Titanic in “same days in release” in terms of day to day and week to week dropoffs. Titanic is slightly stronger, but its clear that Avatar is tracking more like Titanic than any other picture. If Avatar only does half as well from here on in as Titanic did in terms of pace of dropoff and ‘legs”, it will still end up at $875M or so in the US and the foreign seems almost certain to reach $2B (it’s at $1.446B now and keeps doing around 100m per week). I’m beginning to think that the combined US and Foreign total could reach $3B, and will in any event not be less than 2.75B.

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