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‘Avatar’ poised for a $200-million weekend

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‘AVATAR’ COUNTDOWN: 2 DAYS

Ben Fritz at our sister blog, Company Town, goes inside the numbers on ‘Avatar’ and its opening weekend. This is a bit of bonus coverage in our blue-in-the-face, 30-day countdown...

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One of the most expensive movies of all time is poised for a huge box office debut this weekend, though nowhere close to the biggest ever.

Avatar’ will likely gross about $80 million from Friday through Sunday in the U.S. and Canada, according to several people who have seen pre-release public surveys. Thanks to largely positive reviews, however, the people said the movie could easily outperform what polling currently indicates and end up even higher.

People close to the studio said executives are concerned about managing expectations for their costly picture going into the weekend. Fox’s domestic distribution president Bruce Snyder said he expects the movie to open to $50 million to $60 million.

Overseas, where the James Cameron-directed 3-D spectacle is opening this week in 106 countries, including every major market except Italy, Japan and China, it will likely sell more than $100 million worth of tickets and could easily collect around $150 million.

That will put ‘Avatar’ among the 20 biggest worldwide launches ever...

THERE’S MORE, READ THE REST

-- Ben Fritz

THE COUNTDOWN: 30 DAYS OF AVATAR

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Michelle Rodriguez says ‘Avatar’ was like making ‘Star Wars’

Jon Landau on wild budget reports: ‘They’re all false’

‘Avatar’ star Zoe Saldana says movie will match the hype: ‘This is big’

Jim Cameron, cinema prophet? ‘Moving a mountain is nothing’

Sam Worthington looks for ‘Avatar’s’ humanity: ‘I don’t want to be a cartoon’

Giovanni Ribisi pretty much loves Jim Cameron

James Cameron on ‘Avatar’: Like ‘Matrix,’ it opens doorways

VIDEO: ‘Avatar’ interviews with Sigourney Weaver and Jon Landau

WANT MORE? READ ALL OF OUR ‘AVATAR’ COVERAGE



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