Mel Gibson shoots for a comeback in 'Edge of Darkness'Mel Gibson learned this weekend that American moviegoers are not as quick to forgive as he'd hoped. The Boston crime thriller 'Edge of Darkness,' which features Gibson in his first movie role since his drunk driving arrest and alleged anti-Semitic rant in 2006, grossed just $17.1 million over its opening weekend.

In contrast, the similarly themed 'Taken,' starring Liam Neeson, did $24.7 million on the same weekend last year. And 'Taken's' opening weekend was shortened by the fact that its target audience of young adult males took Sunday off to watch the Super Bowl.

'Edge of Darkness' certainly posed no threat to 'Avatar's' run at a seventh straight weekend atop the box office chart. James Cameron's sci-fi epic added another $30 million to a world-beating record that now stands at about $595 million; it is within two or three days of passing 'Titanic's' domestic box office record of $601 million. As if it needed more help, Tuesday's announced Oscar nominations are bound to give 'Avatar' more tailwind heading into its eighth weekend.