Film Weekend Per Screen James Cameron
1 Shutter Island $40,200,000 $13,440 $40,200,000
2 Valentine’s Day $17,160,000 (-69.5%) $4,682 $87,422,000
3 Avatar $16,100,000 (-31.8%) $6,238 $687,821,000
4 Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief $15,300,000 (-51.0%) $4,505 $58,760,000
5 The Wolfman $9,846,000 (-68.7%) $3,055 $50,315,000
6 Dear John $7,300,000 (-54.6%) $2,384 $65,971,000
7 Tooth Fairy $4,500,000 (-25.7%) $1,784 $49,867,000
8 Crazy Heart $3,025,000 (-29.1%) $2,778  $21,585,000
9 From Paris with Love $2,500,000 (-54.5%) $1,082 $21,200,000
10 Edge of Darkness $2,210,000 (-54.4%) $1,043 $40,314,000

This just in: MEAT FARTS!

Martin Scorsese often gets the label “Greatest Living Director” and he’s of a lot of about ten guys who could wear that (you can make an argument for Jean-Luc Godard, Steven Spielberg, etc.). What you can’t argue is that’s he’s been all that successful, at least until now. Shutter Island is Scorsese’s biggest opening weekend ever, and that’s not a bad thing. Not a bad thing at all. His biggest movie so far is The Departed, which ended at $132 Million. Can this do that? Probably not. Word is deeply mixed on this and for everyone who says “the twist is obvious” there may be people who are actually surprised by it. You never know. The grand total will become apparent next weekend, when we’ll see if it drops over 50%. Right now around $100 Million is a safe bet, but actually getting to $100 might not be possible, especially if this drops 70% next weekend.

Speaking of, I went with an over 50% drop guess for Valentine’s Day, and it outperformed that (in the bad way). I thought the movie was an opening weekend phenomenon, but I didn’t expect it to do a horror drop. But there it is, outdropping The Wolfman. You can argue that the drop is somewhat inflated because of the holiday weekend, but then there’s Avatar dropping only 32%. Which is a lot for Avatar, but way more reasonable. I thought everything would hold a little better, but most of this stuff is flashing in a pan. Valentine’s Day should clear $100 Million, and always have a seasonal place in the television rotation. But after hitting nine digits maybe end of next weekend, it’s done done done. The Wolfman didn’t drop as hard by one percent, even if it’s the second worst drop, that’s still nearly 70% and no amount of leveling out gets that film to $80 Million, not at all. And even Percy dropped a little over 50%, which makes the climb to $100 harder, if not impossible.

Avatar should cross $700 Million next weekend or in the days prior to Alice in Wonderland, but how it does after that is unknown. Studios are pushing for more three dimensional screens, but Alice is going to open huge and die quick (from everything I am hearing). David Poland was speculating that the film was going to have a collapsed release window because of Disney wanting a strong quarter. My guess is they want it out quickly because it’s terrible. Theoretically, if Alice tanks after week 2, you could throw Avatar back on the 3-D screens, but by 3/19/10 you’re going to have enough films that maybe who cares? Especially if the film loses best picture, which it might, and if you’ve got How to Train Your Dragon 3/26. Honestly, I think it’s not worth it, Avatar is going to die, and Dragon the gets most of the screens.

Dear John might limp to an $80 Million finish, Tooth Fairy is hanging out, Crazy Heart is doing well enough and should get close to doubling its current total after Jeff Bridges wins his Oscar.

In comparison to last year, you have none of the crazy holding business of the quartet of Slumdog Millionaire, Gran Torino, Paul Blart: Mall Cop and Taken. Instead you have AvatarSherlock Holmes and Alvin 2 doing the majority of their business in 2010. The surprise, such as it is, is that we haven’t seen anything with legs that isn’t Avatar. Like everything, this is partly other films not sinking into pop culture, partly Avatar, partly the moon and sun. There’s been nothing for adults that isn’t Up in the Air or kind of crappy, like Edge of Darkness. 2010’s January was bigger than last year’s, but only by a little. Apples, oranges.