Audiences are trekking to see James Cameron's science-fiction saga "Avatar," which has opened as the weekend's No. 1 film with $73 million domestically.
It's a strong start for a film opening in December, though it fell short of the $77.2 million record debut for the month set two years ago by Will Smith's "I Am Legend.
"Avatar" stars Sam Worthington and Zoe Saldana in a love story amid human-alien conflict on a distant moon in the 22nd century.
The previous weekend's No. 1 movie, the animated musical "The Princess and the Frog," slipped to second place with $12.2 million, raising its total to $44.8 million.
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