Weekend Recap: Dear John unseats Avatar


Wow did I underestimate you, ladies. Dear John had the biggest opening by far for a Nicholas Spark’s novel adaptation and probably one of the biggest opening weekends for a straight-up romance (no comedy) film. Not only did it take down Avatar finally, but it straight up dominated, making back its entire production budget and then a few million.

This is the kind of success that grabs some attention from producers who want to know how they too can make a hit out of a low-budget romance. The one answer they’ve always known about is screen rights to a Nicholas Spark novel. I think the second one is Channing Tatum.

I do have to give equal credit to Amanda Seyfried because she’s talented and recognized among most women moviegoers and especially teens, but the ladies of a younger generation have always loved Tatum. Combine that with the fact that most 2010 releases have been action/horror/thriller movies along with two rom com duds (When in Rome and Leap Year) and women haven’t had an excuse to see much unless they’re into seeing Oscar movies.

  1. Dear John – $30.4 M (weekend) … $30.4 M (gross)
  2. Avatar – $22.8 M … $629.3 M
  3. From Paris With Love – $8.1 M … $8.1 M
  4. Edge of Darkness – $6.8 M … $28.9 M
  5. The Tooth Fairy – $6.6 M … $34.4 M
  6. When in Rome – $5.5 M … $20.9 M
  7. The Book of Eli – $4.7 M … $82 M
  8. Crazy Heart – $3.5 M … $11.1M
  9. Legion – $3.4 M … $34.7 M
  10. Sherlock Holmes – $2.5 M … $201.5 M

I think Cameron, Fox and everyone involved with Avatar can say they’re pretty happy with that first-place run. Avatar only declined 25 percent too, so it’s not like the bottom finally fell out or anything. It will still see the Top 10 for many weeks to come, although it should get a nice shove down after the big releases hit this coming holiday weekend.

Flopping completely was From Paris With Love. Third place maybe, but $8 million? Yuck. Kiss John Travolta’s career as anything but the butt of a joke goodbye. The film could be out of theaters before the end of the month at this rate.

Another thing worth checking is how the Oscar films fared after nominations this past week. The expanded Crazy Heart jumped into the Top 10, helping the $7-million picture make some good profit. Although not noticeably, An Education, which also expanded, is in the green domestically as well. The Blind Side and Up in the Air also saw tinier declines than usual.


You can be the first one to leave a comment.

Leave a Comment