This Christmas weekend was the biggest weekend the box office has ever seen thanks to the alignment of three very big stars: James Cameron, Robert Downey Jr., and Alvin the Chipmunk.

With over $260 million banked between the top twelve films, audiences spent more cash in a single weekend than ever before, beating out the $253 million that rolled in when The Dark Knight debuted last summer. Not only is that exceptional for any weekend, it's amazing that it occurred when no single movie earned more than $100 million.

James Cameron's Avatar was number one a second weekend in a row, and is finally catching up with its underperformance last weekend. The $75 million it banked along with its solid run over the last week brings its total to $212 million, the amount where it should probably be (most blockbusters hit the $200 million mark around ten to fourteen days in).

It's still yet to be seen if the special effects fest can hold this level of performance or if this weekend's repeat success is merely a correction. New Year's weekend will tell the tale.

Robert Downey Jr.'s turn as Sherlock Holmes banked a solid $65 million, coming in second place behind the blue CG aliens. The Alvin and the Chipmunks sequel took in $50 million for a solid third. Both movie performed higher than expected, which helped this Christmas to be a very Merry one indeed for studios.

The weekend's final newcomer, It's Complicated, opened at a very distant fourth with $22 million. That's a pale debut compared with its blockbuster company, but not bad for a romantic company that rests its hopes on sexually frustrated chemistry between two actors in their fifties.

For the full weekend totals, check out the chart below:

Avatar $75,000,000  -  Total: $212,268,000 LW: 1     WR: 2    
THTRS: 3,456
Sherlock Holmes * $65,380,000  -  Total: $65,380,000 LW: N     WR: 1    
THTRS: 3,626
Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel * $50,200,000  -  Total: $77,051,000 LW: N     WR: 1    
THTRS: 3,700
It's Complicated * $22,114,000  -  Total: $22,114,000 LW: N     WR: 1    
THTRS: 2,887
Up in the Air $11,755,000  -  Total: $24,518,000 LW: 8     WR: 4    
THTRS: 1,895
The Blind Side $11,730,000  -  Total: $184,387,000 LW: 3     WR: 6    
THTRS: 2,766
The Princess and the Frog $8,683,000  -  Total: $63,357,000 LW: 2     WR: 5    
THTRS: 3,475
Nine $5,544,000  -  Total: $5,922,000 LW: 20     WR: 2    
THTRS: 1,412
Did You Hear About the Morgans? $5,000,000  -  Total: $15,597,000 LW: 4     WR: 2    
THTRS: 2,718
Invictus $4,390,000  -  Total: $23,365,000 LW: 6     WR: 3    
THTRS: 2,160

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