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‘Avatar’ Is No. 1 Movie in Highest-Grossing Film Weekend

By December 27, 2009Newswires

‘Avatar’ Is No. 1 Movie in Highest-Grossing Film Weekend Ever
by Esme E. Deprez and Linda Sandler

Dec. 27 (Bloomberg) — “Avatar,” James Cameron’s 3-D science-fiction adventure for News Corp., was the top film in the U.S. and Canada with $75 million in sales as Hollywood posted its highest-grossing weekend ever. Receipts totaled $278 million.

“Avatar,” from Twentieth Century Fox, has taken in $212.3 million in two weeks, and the film’s $77 million opening weekend set a record for a 3-D movie in the U.S, said Attendance at U.S. theaters rose an estimated 4.5 percent this year, with 1.4 billion tickets sold, the most since 2004, the Los Angeles-based researcher said.

This year’s rise in attendance is impressive given that an estimated 515 movies were released in U.S. theaters, the lowest in four years, and down from 2007’s high of 631, Bock said.

Hollywood is turning to 3-D films to bolster attendance and ticket sales. Cinemas on average charge about $3 more per ticket for a 3-D movie. The number of 3-D releases will climb to 50 by 2012 from more than 35 this year, Bock said.

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