Film Weekend Per Screen James Cameron
1 Avatar $30,000,000 (-14.1%) $9,759 $594,472,000
2 Edge of Darkness $17,120,000 $5,584 $17,120,000
3 When in Rome $12,065,000 $4,912 $12,065,000
4 The Tooth Fairy $10,000,000 (-28.6%) $2,990 $26,106,000
5 The Book of Eli $8,770,000 (-44.3%) $2,852 $74,373,000
6 Legion $6,800,000 (-61.1%) $2,746 $28,646,000
7 The Lovely Bones $4,735,000 (-43.8%) $1,795 $38,014,000
8 Sherlock Holmes $4,510,000 (-32.0%) $2,004 $197,596,000
9 Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel $4,000,000 (-37.5%) $1,584 $209,297,000
10 It’s Complicated $3,720,000 (-36.0%) $1,775 $104,027,000

This just in: My favorite line in Planet Terror, and possibly in Grindhouse entire is “Give him all the guns.” I like to apply it to when people are awesome, like a grade school teacher handing out gold stars. Currently, the winner of my “Give them all the guns” prize is: Remixers Classixx. I hate sending people to Myspace, but here’s their page, and I especially recommend their takes on Psychic City and Lisztomania.

Finally, Avatar faces some bad news. With the DGA and PGA going with The Hurt Locker, James Cameron’s sci-fi spectacle is no longer the front runner, and doesn’t seem to have the Viagra behind it to take it home. It is still possible that Inglourious Basterds could win as the actors (considered the largest branch of the Academy) went for it with the SAG awards, and that could divide up something and it’s possible Avatar could sneak in, but if the PGA and DGA went Hurt Locker, then the word is out and the academy is down for it. I don’t know who looked hotter at the DGAs: Kathryn Bigelow or Christina Hendricks. So not even joking. Anyway, if James Cameron is sad he won’t add to his Oscar collection, because he was hoping to – I don’t know – make a foot stool with them, or some sort of pinwheel, well, he’ll have to go back to the drawing board. And then he can comfort himself with the knowledge that he directed the first film to do more than $2 Billion dollars worldwide – a milestone it passed this weekend – and should be passing Titanic‘s domestic gross by, what? At this point it could be Wednesday. It all depends where the actuals shake out. It should also be the #1 picture next weekend, which means eventually I’m going to run out of things to say about the film. But $700, $750, and $800 Million are not out of the question. I thought Edge of Darkness might be the first wing clipper of this phenom, but it looks like it will be Percy Jackson, Valentine’s Day and The Wolfman that finally take it down. From the top spot. It’s going to play strong until March 5, and even then, who’s to say.

As for Mel Gibson and his sugar tits, the movie underperformed my expectations, but I think this is partly because the movie is supposedly awful and kind of insane, but not in a good way. I hear it ends well in a perfectly over the top fashion, but this is not enough to get the Taken heat. I don’t think it is a strike against Gibson qua actor, and Gibson still gets to direct what he wants, I think it’s more disappointing for the fans looking for some kick ass Mel Gibson. Instead it’s a January release for a reason. I do like the artwork, even if it’s a tad… simplistic? On the nose? Warner Brothers is looking at a $50 Million maximum unless something miraculous happens next weekend. Book of Eli is at $75, the question is if it can limp another $25 Million. My guess is it probably just gets there, just because by the end of next weekend it should be in the mid $80’s, and my guess is that Edge drops faster.

When in Rome looks like a piece of shit, but it opened big than I thought. Counter-programming gave it a little more of a push than I expected, though the end game won’t be great as there’s a date movie next weekend and then there’s Valentine’s Day the weekend after. Disney might be able to get it $40 Million or more, but then the question is how much anyone got paid. This could have been done on the cheap, so there’s that. Still, I don’t think there’s any winners here, though if Disney thought they had something, they were wrong. I was going to say “if Disney thought they had something, they wouldn’t release it in January” but this is actually a good time for Kate Hudson films. Side note: It’s weird how there’s star gossip and LA gossip about stars. Is it globally known that Harrison Ford is rumored to be a huge pothead? I don’t know if I heard that as much before I moved here. And then you hear stories about what a terrible actress Kate Hudson is, etc. Since I live in LA, I have no idea if this is gossip about famous people everywhere or actual insidery dirt. Frankly I don’t care, but it’s around and trafficked in.

The Tooth Fairy didn’t absolutely die, but it’s still done, and Legion is also done, even if they are still in theaters. At the end of the day The Tooth Fairy will probably make more money, but Legion was cheaper. Box Office Mojo finally has a production budget on The Lovely Bones, and it’s listed at $65 Million. I often say that the whole numbers racket is bullshit, and it is, to some extent, no one often knows how much is really made when all is said and done, and definitely no one knows what shit cost. I will say this, The Lovely Bones having a listed budget of $65 Million is one of the more bullshit things I’ve seen lately. An effects-driven film that sat on a shelf for a year, and had an emergency last minute recasting? Sure. I guess it’s a face-saver in light of a piss-poor domestic gross. Sherlock Holmes gets to $200, maybe next weekend, and Alvin 2 gets to the same gross as its predecessor.

Next weekend we’ll have faced the Oscar Nominees, but five pictures are obvious: The Hurt Locker, AvatarInglourious Basterds, Precious and Up in the Air.