Pic reaps $9.1 mil in sixth Friday; will pass 'Dark Knight' today

Auds continued to have “Avatar” fever as they shelled out ,$9.1 million to catch the film in its sixth Friday.

By the end of today, the peaceful N’avi people from “Avatar” will kick Batman’s butt at the box office as “Avatar,” currently counting a Stateside haul of $525.9 million, will surpass Warner Bros.’ “The Dark Knight” ($533.3 million) as the second highest grossing film of all time at the domestic B.O. Booked at 2,897 playdates, “Avatar” had a wonderful hold in the post Martin Luther King Jr. holiday sesh, dipping 12% from a week ago.

As of today, “Avatar” is $74.9 million shy of “Titanic’s” $600.8 million.

Many Golden Globe winners yesterday, in addition to “Avatar,” also experienced wonderful holds including “Crazy Heart” (+116%), “The Blind Side” (-22%), “Up in the Air” (-25%) and “Sherlock Holmes” (-30%).

Fox Searchlight expanded “Crazy Heart” yesterday from 47 to 93 sites where it made $355,000 and a per theater of $3,817. The cume for the Jeff Bridges starrer stands at $2.9 million at the onset of its sixth frame.

Sony-Screen Gems’ Bible-themed fantasy thriller “Legion” starring Paul Bettany as archangel Michael was the most prominent among new releases yesterday taking second with an estimated $6.7 million on 2,705 theaters. January has a history of being a launch pad for Screen Gems genre pics; the label’s opening day high for the month belonging to 2006’s “Underworld: Evolution” which minted $10.2 million.

Male moviegoers remained thirsty for R-rated actioners after “Legion,” as the demo also attended Warner Bros.’ “The Book of Eli.” In its second Friday, “Eli” fell 58% at 3,111, generating $4.9 million for an eight-day cume of $49.9 million.

Fox’s PG-rated Dwayne Johnson laffer “Tooth Fairy” collected $3.5 million in its first Friday from 3,344 and should see more matinee business throughout the weekend.

Paramount’s Peter Jackson femme-targeted thriller “The Lovely Bones” remained buoyant in the top five with an estimated $2.6 million, off 55% from a week ago with a domestic B.O. of $25.4 million.

CBS Films’ first release “Extraordinary Measures,” starring Harrison Ford and Brendon Fraser, bowed in sixth place with $2 million off 2,549. Moviegoers have enjoyed the drama giving it an A- Cinemascore.

Warner Bros.’ “Sherlock Holmes” took seventh in its fifth Friday with $1.97 million off 2,670. To date, “Holmes” has amassed a domestic B.O. of $186.4 million.

Universal’s “It’s Complicated” continued to charm adults in eighth, dipping 24% with $1.76 million at 2,301 locales. Through its fifth Friday, the Nancy Meyers romantic comedy has grossed $94.2 million.

“Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel” moved its total cume just under the $200 million mark on Friday, taking ninth with $1.4 million, down 42% from a week ago, on 2,973.

Sandra Bullock’s Golden Globe best actress drama win for “The Blind Side” assisted in keeping the film in the top 10 yesterday. “Side” bested several January holdovers, scoring $1.2 million on 1932 with a domestic B.O. in its tenth Friday of $230.7 million.

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