“Avatar 2”, “M3GAN” hold their own at the box office at the top

New movies like Plane and House Party couldn’t compete with Avatar: The Way of Water and killer doll horror M3GAN this weekend. The two holdovers topped the charts again on Sunday, according to studio estimates.

First up for the fifth straight weekend was James Cameron’s ‘Avatar’ sequel, grossing an estimated $31.1 million as of Sunday. That total is likely to increase to $38.5 million by the end of the Martin Luther King holiday on Monday. As of Sunday, the film’s domestic total is $562.9 million (13th-highest of all time) and the worldwide total is $1.89 billion. Avatar 2 needs to surpass $1.92 billion to trump Spider-Man: No Way Home, which is currently the sixth highest-grossing film of all time worldwide.

Second place went to Universal and Blumhouse’s “M3GAN,” which added $17.9 million in its second theatrical weekend through Sunday and an estimated $21.2 million including Monday. The modest-budget thriller, which reportedly cost $12 million to produce, has grossed $59.8 million in North America.

Universal also took third place with Puss in Boots: The Last Wish, which audiences continued to seek out in theaters, although it is currently available for home rentals. The family-friendly animated film added $13.4 million in its fourth weekend, bringing its domestic total to $110.3 million.

Columbia Pictures’ A Man Called Otto expanded to 3,802 theaters this weekend, adding $12.7 million through Sunday to reach fourth place. Directed by Marc Forster, the adaptation of A Man Called Ove, starring Tom Hanks, is proving to be something of a rarity in the cinema market in that it’s an adult-focused drama that’s doing well.

Gerard Butler’s action photo Plane, an acquisition by Lionsgate for release in North America, rounded out the top five with a better-than-expected $10 million in its first three days. In the film, Butler plays a pilot whose crash landing on an island is just the first of his problems. On the island, most of the passengers are taken hostage. “Plane” received above-average reviews with 75% positive reviews from critics on Rotten Tomatoes.

Sixth place went to the weekend’s second big new offering, “House Party,” a reboot of Reginald Hudlin’s 1994 hit that spawned multiple spinoffs. The film, which grossed $3.9 million at 1,400 locations as of Sunday, was originally slated as an HBO Max direct property, but Warner Bros. switched to a theatrical release as a gesture to audiences and exhibitors hungry for new films. The R-rated youth comedy was not well received by critics.

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Follow AP film writer Lindsey Bahr on Twitter: www.twitter.com/ldbahr.

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https://www.local10.com/entertainment/2023/01/15/avatar-2-m3gan-hold-onto-top-spots-at-the-box-office/ “Avatar 2”, “M3GAN” hold their own at the box office at the top

Sarah Y. Kim

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