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Whisper Numbers: Avatar marches towards the $400 million mark.

Since smashing into theaters three weeks ago, the sci-fi epic Avatar [AVATR] has show little signs of letting up.  The phenomenal buzz on its 3D special effects has turned Avatar into a must-see event film.  Non-viewers risk being left out off the conversation.  Avatar is also getting repeat customers, many returning for the 3D version after first seeing it in 2D.   With the holidays over, Avatar is unlikely to maintain its less than 10% weekend drop-off.  Even with a decline around 35% though, Avatar should easily stay on top of the box office at about $45 million.

With work and school back in session, Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel [ALVN2] and Sherlock Holmes [SHOLM] are both going to suffer a more traditional drop-off in its third weekend.  As the more family-oriented film, Chipmunks is likely to hold better and overtake Holmes for second place, $18 million to $16 million. 

Of the weekend’s three new wide releases, Daybreakers [DAYBR] has the best shot at breaking the holdovers’ grip of the box office. Lionsgate has effectively marketed the R-rated vampire thriller as a cross between Blade and The Matrix.  The Ethan Hawke [EHAWK] starred could stake $15 million from 2523 theaters.

The contrived romantic comedy Leap Year [LEPYR] is targeted strictly at young women who turned Bride Wars and 27 Dresses into past January hits.  However, lead stars Amy Adams [AMADA] and Matthew Goode [MTGOO] are more known for their indie cred than box office draw. Landing in 2511 locations, Leap Year could earn $11 million.

Are moviegoers tired of Michael Cera [MCERA] yet?  Dimension will find out with the R-rated comedy Youth in Revolt [YRVLT]. Cera opened Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist to $11 million with the more teen-friendly PG-13 rating. Debuting in1873 theaters, Youth in Revolt could score $9 million.

That’s the whisper from the trading floor.




Tag(s): AVATR, ALVN2, SHOLM, DAYBR, EHAWK, LEPYR, AMADA, MTGOO, MCERA, YRVLT

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By Box Office Whisperer on Thursday, January 7, 2010 @ 04:23 PM 4979 views

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