I'm filling in for Eugene Novikov, who usually does the Weekend Box Office report, so forgive me if I don't get it exactly right. Having perused the reports from the last few weeks, I get the impression that this Avatar thing is something of a big deal, and that its mighty box-office haul is a thing of extraordinary magnitude.

James Cameron's azure juggernaut broke more records over the four-day holiday weekend. Its $54.6 million gross (that's Friday through Monday, not Friday through Sunday) is the best ever for any film over MLK Weekend. Its Friday-Sunday gross of $42.8 million is a new record for best fifth weekend, easily beating the $30 million that Titanic made its fifth time out. This was Avatar's fifth time in the No. 1 spot, too, making it the first film to accomplish that feat since The Sixth Sense in 1999. Oh, and it cracked the $500 million mark on its 32nd day of release, beating The Dark Knight's record of 45 days. At this point less than $100 million stands between Avatar and the all-time domestic box-office record.

Surprisingly, there were other films in theaters this weekend too. One of them was The Book of Eli, a new release starring Denzel Washington, which opened to a robust $38 million for the four-day weekend. Among Washington films, only American Gangster had a better opening. Peter Jackson's The Lovely Bones, going into wide release after a few weeks on just a handful of screens, landed in third place with $20.5 million over four days. And The Spy Next Door, in which Jackie Chan signifies that he's done being a respected movie star and would like to be a depressing embarrassment now, opened in fifth place with $13 million.

Oh, and while nobody was paying attention, Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel grossed almost $200 million. This is a record for a film with the word "squeakquel" in the title.

The top 10 after the jump.