BOX OFFICE BEAT DOWN: Dear John Beats Avatar with $32.4 Million
WEEKEND BOX OFFICE
1) Dear John - $32.4 million
2) Avatar - $23.6 million
3) From Paris With Love $8.1 million
4) Edge Of Darkness - $7 million
5) Tooth Fairy - $6.5 million
6) When In Rome $5.5 million
7) The Book Of Eli - $4.8 million
8) Crazy Heart $3.6 million
9) Legion - $3.4 million
10) Sherlock Holmes - $2.6 million
After eight long weeks atop the box office charts, James Cameron's 3D outer-space epic juggernaut Avatar has finally been unseated from the number one spot by newcomer Dear John. The film based on the novel by The Notebook author Nicholas Sparks and stars Channing Tatum and Amanda Seyfried as distant lovers earned $32.4 million in its opening weekend, which was enough to become the new box office champ and easily earn back its $25 million production cost. The movie opened in roughly 3000 theaters and earned almost $11,000 per theater. Coming in at number two for the first time ever was James Cameron's Avatar, which was nominated for nine Academy Awards this past week and now holds the record for highest grossing domestic and international movie of all time finally surpassing Cameron's other super-successful film, Titanic. Avatar dropped 24.6% this week and was shown in 74 less theaters than the week before, however it still managed to make roughly $7,867 per each of the film's 3,000 theaters earning $23.6 million in its eighth week and bringing its total box office earnings up to an unbelievable $630 million.
Opening in third place in its first week was the spy-genre meets buddy-cop film From Paris With Love starring John Travolta and Jonathan Ryhs Meyers. The movie, which was seen in 2,722 theaters made $2,983 per theater earning a total of $8.1 million in its first week. The Father's revenge film/political thriller Edge Of Darkness starring Mel Gibson, Ray Winston and Danny Huston, which was directed by Martin Campbell fell two spots to number four in its second week. The movie, which dropped 59.3% from its opening week made $2,285 in each of the 3,066 theaters that it played in earning an additional $7 million and brings the film's total gross to a little under $30 million, quite shy of the film's $80 million production budget. Finally, rounding out the top five this week was the children's film Tooth Fairy starring Dwayne Johnson as a reluctant recruit into the world of pillow visitors also starring Ashley Judd, Billy Crystal and Julie Andrews. The movie did drop 35.0% from the week before and was seen in 127 less theaters but still managed to make $2,020 per each of its 3,218 theaters for a weekend total of $6.5 million bringing its total gross to around $34.3 million in its third week on the charts.
Continuing to do well in limited release and no doubt helped by their multiple Academy Award Nominations this past week were the Oscar contenders Crazy Heart and The Last Station. First, Crazy Heart, the alcoholic-Country Music Singer redemption film starring Jeff Bridges, which earned him an Oscar Nomination for Best Actor (he's currently the front-runner) and co-stars screen-legend Robert Duvall and Maggie Gyllanhaal went up 58.1% from the week before. The film, which was seen in an additional 580 theaters made $4,457 per each of its 819 theaters for a total of $3.6 million in its eight week on the charts bringing the films total gross to around $8.1 million. Also doing extremely well in limited release is fellow Oscar bait The Last Station, director Michael Hoffman's new drama about the last year of famous Russian author Leo Tolstoy's life and starring Helen Mirren, Christopher Plummer, James McAvoy, Paul Giamatti and Kerry Condon. The film, which earned Oscar nominations for both Helen Mirren and Christopher Plummer this week rose an astonishing 337.8% from the previous week. Adding 42 theaters in its fourth week the film earned $7,275 per each of the 51 theaters that the it played in totaling $371,000 and bringing the films total gross to around $759,000.
Next weekend will see three new and highly anticipated films enter into wide release. First up is the long awaited retelling of the classic hairy-monster story, The Wolfman, featuring Oscar Winner Benicio Del Toro as the shaggy-man and co-starring Anthony Hopkins, Emily Blunt and Hugo Weaving. Also in wide release next week and just in time for the big holiday is the romantic comedy Valentine's Day starring an all-star cast that features Julia Roberts, Jessica Alba, Jessica Biel, Jennifer Garner, Anne Hathaway, Jamie Foxx, Ashton Kutcher, Topher Grace, Bradley Cooper, Taylor Lautner, Taylor Swift, Shirley MacLaine and Kathy Bates. Finally, opening next week is the Greek mythology adventure film Percy Jackson & the Olympians: Lightning Thief based on the popular children's book, directed by Chris Columbus and starring Logan Lerman, Pierce Brosnan, Uma Thurman, Sean Bean, Catherine Keener and Ray Winstone. So please check back in seven days to see who comes out on top at the box office next week.