Doommongers were predicting that James Cameron’s ridiculously expensive Avatar was going to have a struggle to make a profit. It needs to take $600 million worldwide just to break even (to cover its production, distribution and marketing costs) which is big target.
Well, Fox should be happy with the movie's performance in its first weekend – it's already over a third of the way to that target in just three days. And that's despite major snow storms in the US affecting its takings.
So while the film didn't break any US box office records, it did record the second biggest December opening in the US with an impressive $73 million. Worldwide it took $225 million.
Even more encouragingly the film is getting excellent results in exit polls, with audiences generally giving it an A or A+. This suggests the film will have good word of mouth, and consequently should continue to perform well, rather than seeing its takings plummet. Also, Fox is looking on the bright side over the snow storms – if people were kept away from cinemas this weekend, then hopefully they'll make it to the muliplexes in future weeks, which should also help keep the film's box office healthy for the next few weeks.
The idea that Avatar might emulate Cameron’s last film, Titanic, and see its box office rise in subsequent weeks is unlikely, though.
Having said all that, Avatar could tank in the coming weeks, but it'd be nice if the doommongers were wrong.