Moviegoers shatter box-office record

Moviegoers shatter box-office record

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SALT LAKE CITY -- It was a record-setting Christmas weekend for movie theaters around the U.S. and Canada. The estimated $278 million in weekend box-office revenue broke the previous record of roughly $253 million set in July 2008, the weekend "The Dark Knight" was released.

"Avatar," the 3-D epic, topped them all, earning $75 million for 20th Century Fox, according to studio estimates Sunday.

But Megaplex Theaters Senior Vice President Blake Anderson says in their theaters "Sherlock Holmes" has been the best seller. That was closely followed by "Avatar," "The Princess and the Frog" and "Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel."

He also says this Holiday is unusual because of the number of movies selling large amounts of tickets.

Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to 1. "Avatar," $75 million. 2. "Sherlock Holmes," $65.4 million. 3. "Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel," $50.2 million. 4. ["It's Complicated,"]( $22.1 million. 5. ["Up in the Air,"]( $11.8 million. 6. ["The Blind Side,"]( $11.7 million. 7. "The Princess and the Frog," $8.7 million. 8. ["Nine,"]( $5.5 million. 9. ["Did You Hear About the Morgans?"]( $5 million. 10. ["Invictus,"]( $4.4 million.

"In years past there's been a "Harry Potter," a "Lord of the Rings," a "Twilight," but this particular season there's so many good movies that go all the way across the spectrum," Anderson says. "If one of them happens to be full or sold out, there's another option."

Anderson says for single-day ticket sales "Twilight" still holds the record in Utah, but he says overall this week leading into the New Year could be the best entire week they've ever seen based on pre-sale projections.

He says, "For us, this is going to be a record-breaking week. All five of our Megaplex theaters have been at capacity all weekend, and we fully expect that to continue as the holiday week continues."


(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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Randall Jeppesen


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