3-D effects-fest 'Avatar' earns half of weekend ticket sales

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The Independent Culture

Long-awaited science-fiction adventure "Avatar" dominated the weekend boxoffice, with projected sales of 73 million dollars -- accounting for more than half of North American movie ticket sales, according to industry estimates Sunday.

(AFP) -

Long-awaited science-fiction adventure "Avatar" dominated the weekend boxoffice, with projected sales of 73 million dollars - accounting for more than half of North American movie ticket sales, according to industry estimates Sunday.

James Camerons's first film since 1997's Oscar-winning "Titanic," Avatar is a 3-D digital effects fest with a budget estimated at between 300 million dollars and 500 million dollars, making it the most expensive movie ever.

The movie, set in the year 2154, is a love story set on a distant planet, whose inhabitants are on the brink of war against Earth, took in about 58 percent of weekend box office revenue, according to industry tracker Exhibitor Relations.

Avatar dislodged Disney's "The Princess and the Frog," which earned 12 million dollars for second place.

In third place was "The Blind Side," a drama about a white couple who give an illiterate black teen a home and a new lease on life. The film scored 10 million dollars in its fifth week of release.

Fourth place went to the romantic comedy "Did You Hear About the Morgans?" in which Hugh Grant and Sarah Jessica Parker play an estranged couple who witness a mob hit and are placed in a witness protection program. The film grossed seven million dollars in its debut.

Fifth place went to "The Twilight Saga: New Moon," the vampire romance sequel adapted from Stephenie Meyer's phenomenally successful books, with 4.4 million dollars.

In sixth place with 4.2 million dollars was "Invictus" starring veteran actor Morgan Freeman, about how then-president of South Africa Nelson Mandela challenged the country's rugby team to win the 1995 World Cup.

Seventh place went to "Disney's A Christmas Carol," starring wacky comedy hero Jim Carrey claimed fifth place with earnings of 3.4 million dollars.

In eighth place was "Up In the Air," starring George Clooney in the acclaimed story of a corporate downsizer who starts to question his role in life.

The ninth spot went to "Brothers," a drama starring "Spider-Man" Tobey Maguire about the impact of the Afghanistan war on a conflicted US family, which earned 2.6 million dollars in its fourth week of release.

"Old Dogs," a Disney film starring John Travolta and Robin Williams, earned 2.3 million dollars to round out the top 10 films.

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