"Avatar" leads box office, despite blizzard

By December 21, 2009Newswires

"Avatar" leads box office, despite blizzard

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – "Titanic" director James Cameron`s "Avatar," a 3-D extravaganza hyped as a giant leap in cinematic prowess, ruled the worldwide box office during its first weekend even as North American sales were hit by an enormous snow storm, its distributor said on Sunday.

The film — one of the most expensive ever made — earned an estimated $232.2 million from North America and 106 foreign markets, according to News Corp`s 20th Century Fox, provisionally the ninth-biggest opening of all time.

Moviegoers in the United States and Canada chipped in $73 million, far short of enthusiastic forecasts in the $85 million range. Top contributors to the $159.2 million foreign total included Russia ($21 million), France ($19 million) and the U.K. ($14.2 million).

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