BOX OFFICE BEAT DOWN: ‘Dear John’ Beats ‘Avatar’ with $32.4 Million

The film adaptation of Nicholas Sparks beloved book unseats James Cameron's 3D epic after eight weeks atop the charts.
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BOX OFFICE BEAT DOWN: ‘Dear John’ Beats ‘Avatar’ with $32.4 Million


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.

Dear John was released February 5th, 2010.

Avatar was released December 18th, 2009.

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  • bondy0191 • 6 years ago

    after seeing the trailer of this film,i expected it to do well but not this well.sopy films always do well as there are more woman than men


    • johnnyblaze09 • 6 years ago

      Too bad... Avatar was shown in less 74 theaters, maybe people here saw the movie already. Still this one is at top... Could dominate back next weekend...mX


      • illuminati • 6 years ago

        "love is in the air, it's every where i look around" Commercial love that is! Pity AVATAR got dethroned to something unworthy as this.

        But so close to Vday its no surprize. It's amazing how typical cliched sh*te like notebook and this will cause women to swoon!

        lol, Josh.


        • kingbrady • 6 years ago

          Now its gonna be the biggest new release to be #1 every weekend, Dear John then Wolfman, then Shutter Island


          • dan1 • 6 years ago

            7 weekends on top, Avatar had a great run. Looking forward to Wolfman now, thank god its rated R.


            • shuabert • 6 years ago

              Mushy, you break my heart. I thought we were pals.


              • ringwraither • 6 years ago

                Dear John?? Never heard of it...


                • zgcorleone072 • 6 years ago

                  It's about time that something beat out Avatar, but a movie like Dear John, what the f*ck?


                  • warhawk613 • 6 years ago

                    What a twist lol


                    • jonspidey07 • 6 years ago

                      had to happen sooner or later

                      not alot of good flicks have been out since Avatar

                      I wish though they would take a break from the Nicholas Sparks novels

                      come on, nothing is gonna be as good as the Notebook!

                      that movie came out when I was 14 and I still watch it

                      ps: Channing Tatum and Amanda Seyfried look really miscast together


                      • darkdream • 6 years ago

                        i agree with war-machine it is about god damn time


                        • thekingofamerica • 6 years ago

                          Thats's because everyone and their mom has already seen Avatar


                          • the-fallen • 6 years ago

                            About time


                            • shuabert • 6 years ago

                              Leap Year?


                              • moviemaniack1993 • 6 years ago

                                I forgot to mention the DVD Screener is now out for Avatar also and the fanboys etc will know how to get it rendering seeing it in theaters obsolete.


                                • moviemaniack1993 • 6 years ago

                                  Well can you really be that surprised? I saw this coming. Riding off the coattails that its the next Notebook and the fact that there hasn't been a chick flick in some time (I don't count When in Rome) it was blatantly obvious it was going to be beat. Add the fact that it is Superbowl weekend and of course it would dominate. I'm glad it was the champ for 7 weeks though. First time since Titanic in '97. Pretty incredible.


                                  • indianajones • 6 years ago

                                    I expected Percy Jackson to beat it but finally it's over.


                                    • mushy • 6 years ago

                                      WHY ARE YOU ONLINE, AHOLE!!!

                                      EAT SOME PINWHEELS IN REDLANDS AND SHUT IT!!!

                                      How do you like those M&M cookies?



                                      • brian • 6 years ago

                                        Zip it Mushy. I guess you haven't heard about Dear John 2 in 3D coming out next year? Deert!


                                        • mushy • 6 years ago


                                          And it's not even in 3D!

                                          I told you that AVATAR was dogSH*T!

                                          Josh is moron.

                                          - M '10


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