There's no stopping Avatar's "shock-and-awe" performance at the box office. For the fourth weekend in a row, James Cameron's sci-fi blockbuster was No. 1 with $48.5 million, according to early estimates by Hollywood.com Box Office. While the majority of holdovers plunged about 50 percent this weekend, Avatar slipped only 29 percent while crossing a series of milestones in the process. First, Avatar passed Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen to become 2009's highest grossing film. The 3-D epic also leaped over Spider-Man and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest to become America's seventh-highest grosser, and by the end of next weekend, Avatar is likely to jump four more spots to become No. 3 on the all-time list.
In second place (yes, people were seeing other movies too) was Sherlock Holmes, which sleuthed $16.6 million in its third weekend for a hearty cumulative gross of $165.2 million. Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel captured third place with $16.3 million, bringing its total to $178.2 million. Can you say Threequel? At No. 4 was the new Ethan Hawke vampire thriller Daybreakers with $15 million -- an impressive number considering the long-delayed film had a reported budget of just $20 million. The romantic comedy It's Complicated rounded out the top five with $11 million.
The weekend's other two new releases -- the Amy Adams romantic comedy Leap Year and the Michael Cera teen comedy Youth in Revolt -- debuted in sixth and ninth place with $9.2 million and $7 million, respectively. Those are decent numbers, especially considering that both films had budgets of less than $20 million. Still, after the multiplex closes for the night, the Na'vi can't help but tease poor Michael Cera, a.k.a. "the Sky Person who grossed only $7 million."