It was a another good weekend to be a movie as audiences idled their holiday weekend at the theater. While most newer movies see a 40% to 50% decline on their second and third weekends out, nothing in the top ten dropped by more than 40% and some even saw an unusual increase. Following the biggest ever December in 2009, the first weekend in January proved to be a winner as well, coming in more than 50% higher than the usual first weekend take.

The top film for a third weekend in a row was Avatar, which dropped only 10% from last week to bank $350 million. Although it is still $40 million behind where The Dark Knight was at the same release time, the movie's weekend successes have been putting it into the potential running for one of the all time biggest earners. It still has a long way to go to reach the $500+ million earned by Dark Knight or the $600 million record holder Titanic. The question now is whether the success it has enjoyed over the holidays will last into the new year.

Last weekend's newcomers Sherlock Holmes, Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakuel and It's Complicated also performed well, holding on to their second through fourth spots respectively and dropping little from last weekend.

Despite a small drop in the number of its screenings, The Princess and the Frog enjoyed an increase in its sales, earing 11% more than last weekend. The Blind Side also increased its sales by just over 10% along with an increase in its screenings. That movie, already in its seventh week of release, crossed the $200 million mark over the weekend, a huge achievement for relatively small time movie made on a humble $29 million budget.

Current movies enjoyed a break from the competition this weekend, but as January rolls forward eleven new movies will make their debut in just four weeks as a new decade of films joust for your theater dollars.

For the full weekend total check out the chart below:

Avatar $68,300,000 - Total: $352,111,000 LW: 1 WR: 3
THTRS: 3,461
Sherlock Holmes $38,385,000 - Total: $140,675,000 LW: 2 WR: 2
THTRS: 3,626
Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel $36,600,000 - Total: $157,345,000 LW: 3 WR: 2
THTRS: 3,747
It's Complicated $18,700,000 - Total: $59,105,000 LW: 4 WR: 2
THTRS: 2,897
The Blind Side $12,650,000 - Total: $209,052,000 LW: 5 WR: 7
THTRS: 2,926
Up in the Air $11,350,000 - Total: $45,020,000 LW: 6 WR: 5
THTRS: 1,895
The Princess and the Frog $10,013,000 - Total: $86,085,000 LW: 7 WR: 6
THTRS: 3,328
Did You Hear About the Morgans? $5,200,000 - Total: $25,620,000 LW: 9 WR: 3
THTRS: 2,718
Nine $4,250,000 - Total: $14,047,000 LW: 8 WR: 3
THTRS: 1,412
Invictus $4,130,000 - Total: $30,755,000 LW: 10 WR: 4
THTRS: 2,170

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