Box Office: 'Avatar' seven-peats; Mel Gibson's 'Darkness' beats 'Rome'

mel-gibson-edge-of-darkness-320.jpgFrom the Los Angeles Times' Company Town.

Mel Gibson may not have the star power he used to, but he cannot be vanquished by a low-budget romantic comedy.

Thriller "Edge of Darkness," which marked the controversial star's return to the big screen after a 17-year absence, sold $17.1 million in tickets in the U.S. and Canada this weekend, according to an estimate from distributor Warner Bros. That's on the high end of expectations based on pre-release surveys and a decent start given that Warner paid $27 million for domestic distribution rights to GK Films, which financed the picture.

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Its only new competition, Walt Disney Studios' romantic comedy "When in Rome," starring Kristen Bell and Josh Duhamel, debuted to a less-impressive $12.1 million. The so-so start for the modestly budgeted picture was a bit better than other recent disappointing romantic comedies, such as "Leap Year," which started with just $9.2 million.

avatar-01-320.jpg"Avatar" continued its winning ways, as ticket sales declined a minuscule 14% to $30 million ...

More details at LA Times' Company Town.

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Related:

'Avatar' sinks 'Titanic's' box-office bounty
'Edge of Darkness' review
'When in Rome' review

Photo credit: Warner Bros.

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