Nothing can stop the reign of Avatar. A scant 16-percent drop in its sixth weekend of release has helped James Cameron's sci-fi spectacle become the second highest-grossing movie of all time. In contrast, the new releases failed to make a significant mark, with the apocalyptic film Legion (2010) performing strongest with an estimated $18.2 million and a second place showing.
Avatar earned an additional $36 million this weekend, surpassing The Dark Knight's overall gross. If it continues to drop in the 20-percent range as it has the last few weekends -- this time it only fell 16 percent -- it's on track to is top Titanic by mid-February.
In contrast, none of the new releases are likely to have much of an afterlife. Legion may have bowed in second place, but it earned a dismal C- from exit pollster Cinemascore, meaning there is unlikely to be much positive word-of-mouth for this movie. Twentieth Century Fox's Tooth Fairy, scored better with audiences (it's Cinemascore is an A-) but with a $14.5 million gross -- and a fourth place debut -- that portends an inauspicious future for this family-friendly comedy starring Dwayne Johnson.
And then there is Extraordinary Measures. This debut film from nascent studio CBS Film didn't connect with audiences. Earning only $7 million for a three-day frame, the Harrison Ford/Brendan Fraser medical weepie landed in seventh place and will likely be out of the top 10 by next weekend when the Disney comedy When in Rome (2010) opens opposite Mel Gibson's R-rated revenge drama Edge of Darkness (2010).