"Avatar" Number One Again, Tops $1B Worldwide 

James Cameron must be feeling like the king of the world again! For the third-straight weekend, "Avatar" ruled the box office. This past weekend, the sci-fi epic made $68.3 million to be the No. 1 film of the New Year!

But worldwide? "Avatar" has made $1.02 billion with domestic total of $352.1 million and international haul of $670 million!

"Avatar" was Cameron's first feature since 1997's "Titanic" which earned $1.8 billion worldwide.

Cameron is the only filmmaker to direct two movies that have topped $1 billion.

The other films that have topped $1 billion besides "Titanic" and "Avatar" are "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King" at $1.13 billion, "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest" at $1.06 billion, and "The Dark Knight" at just over $1 billion. "Avatar" is slowly inching past "The Return of the King" which will make Cameron have the top two biggest blockbusters worldwide!

King of the world indeed!

In a repeat of the Christmas box office weekend, "Sherlock Holmes" remained at No. 2 with $38.4 million lifting its domestic total to $140.7 million. At No. 3 was "Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel" with $36.6 million, $157.3 million total domestic take.

According to Hollywood.com, total domestic box office take for 2009 came in at $1.42 billion, the most in the last five years BUT below the record set in 2002 of $1.6 billion.

Here's the estimated list of the Top 10 Box office Films for weekend of Jan. 1, 2010:

1. "Avatar," $68.3 million.
2. "Sherlock Holmes," $38.4 million.
3. "Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel," $36.6 million.
4. "It's Complicated," $18.7 million.
5. "The Blind Side," $12.7 million.
6. "Up in the Air," $11.4 million.
7. "The Princess and the Frog," $10 million.
8. "Did You Hear About the Morgans?", $5.2 million.
9. "Nine," $4.3 million.
10. "Invictus," $4.1 million.

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Sandra Bullock Voted Top Star of 2009! See the Complete Top 10 List! 

Quigley Publishing Company has released its 78th Annual Poll of Exhibitors and Sandra Bullock has been voted the Top Money-Making Star of 2009.

Bullock is the first female to win since Julia Roberts in 1999. She appeared in two of the biggest films of 2009 namely "The Blind Side" and "The Proposal." Okay, we already forgave her for the abysmal "All About Steve."

(Check out my fun interview with Bullock for "The Proposal" right here)

The Quigley Poll, conducted each year since 1932, is an annual survey of motion picture theatre owners and film buyers, which asks them to vote for the ten stars that they believe generated the most box-office revenue for their theatres during the year. It has been long regarded as one of the most reliable indicators of a Star’s real box-office draw because the selections are done by people whose livelihood depends on choosing the films that will bring audiences to their theatres. The Quigley Poll appears annually in Quigley Publishing Company’s International Motion Picture Almanac and at www.quigleypublishing.com.

And the Top 10 Stars of 2009 are:

#1 Sandra Bullock
#2 Johnny Depp
#3 Matt Damon
#4 George Clooney
#5 Robert Downey Jr.
#6 Tom Hanks
#7 Meryl Streep
#8 Brad Pitt
#9 Shia LaBeouf
#10 Denzel Washington

The Stars of Tomorrow for 2009 are Carey Mulligan (she'll be nominated for a Best Actress Oscar for her breakthrough performance in "An Education") and Taylor Lautner aka Jacob Black in "The Twilight Saga: New Moon."

Exhibitors chose the Stars of Tomorrow, one actor and one actress, who they feel will be Top Money-Makers in the years to come.

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Top 10 Best Films of the Decade (2000-2009)! Did Your Favorite Movie Appear On My List?  

With 2010 on the horizon, we say goodbye to the decade. At the movies, crime and fantasy dominated the last 10 years. It was also the decade of Heath Ledger with his phenomenal turns in “The Dark Knight” and “Brokeback Mountain.”

We also saw our favorite auteurs putting their creative stamps on filmmaking. From the Coen brothers to Quentin Tarantino, the cinema was alive and well thanks to their auteurship.

Even though it was hard to whittle it down to just 10 movies, here are my picks of the Top 10 Best Films of the Decade from No. 10 to the best of the best! Read More...

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James McAvoy to Star as Ian Fleming? 

Pajiba.com revealed that Palmstar Entertainment and Animus Films are developing a biopic based on the life of Ian Fleming. Currently titled "Ian Fleming," the movie will be about the man who created James Bond.

Based on the book "Ian Fleming: The Man Behind James Bond" by Andrew Lycett, the script by Mark Brown will focus on how Fleming got inspired to write the Secret Agent 007 character.

The best part? James McAvoy is supposed to be attached in the lead role as Fleming. This is a great casting choice for McAvoy can do edgy action ("Wanted") and give his character its much needed heart ("Atonement").

The film is an independent feature, and right now, no distributor is attached yet. The project is currently searching for a director.

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Michael Jackson's "Thriller" Makes the National Film Registry List 

Michael Jackson's 1983 video "Thriller" is among the 25 motion pictures that have been selected this year for preservation by Librarian of Congress James H. Billington.

The Hollywood Reporter tells us:

Under the terms of the National Film Preservation Act, each year the Librarian of Congress names 25 films to the registry that are "culturally, historically or aesthetically" significant, to be preserved for all time. These films are not selected as the "best" American films of all time; rather, they are chosen as works of enduring importance to American culture.

So now, "Thriller" is one of the 525 films since the Registry's inception to be preserved and honored as a significant element of our history.

Here's the complete list of 2009 selections:

Dog Day Afternoon (1975)
The Exiles (1961)
Heroes All (1920)
Hot Dogs for Gauguin (1972)
The Incredible Shrinking Man (1957)
Jezebel (1938)
The Jungle (1967)
The Lead Shoes (1949)
Little Nemo (1911)
Mabel's Blunder (1914)
The Mark of Zorro (1940)
Mrs. Miniver (1942)
The Muppet Movie (1979)
Once Upon a Time in the West (1968)
Pillow Talk (1959)
Precious Images (1986)
Quasi at the Quackadero (1975)
The Red Book (1994)
The Revenge of the Pancho Villa (1930-36)
Scratch and Crow (1995)
Stark Love (1927)
The Story of G.I. Joe (1945)
A Study in Reds (1932)
Thriller (1983)
Under Western Stars (1938)

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