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DEAR JOHN Topples AVATAR At The Box Office

by Roy February 8, 2010 at 9:57 pm Comments

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Finally, in its 8th weekend of release, Avatar was knocked from its perch atop the box office by Dear John’s surprising $30.5 million opening.

Avatar came in second with a solid $22.9 million, but Dear John’s counter-programming on Super Bowl weekend worked wonders as its 84% female audience breakdown led it to become the second-highest grossing Super Bowl opening ever, behind only the Hannah Montana concert film. Meanwhile, James Cameron’s latest declined by a mere 27% to bring its domestic total to $629.3 million (its worldwide total is north of $2.2 billion, by the way), so I don’t think anyone’s worried about this particular coup.

From Paris with Love proved a little too crazy for most audiences, coming in 3rd with an underwhelming $8.2 million. Edge of Darkness plummeted 60% in its second weekend, falling to 4th place with $6.9 million and bringing its total to $28.9 million in 10 days. Tooth Fairy rounded out the top 5 with $6.6 million.

The ambitious British crime thriller Red Riding Trilogy opened in limited release with a decent $14,526 haul across 1 venue. Much-buzzed about indie horror film Frozen also bowed at 106 screens to the tune of $131,395, or a much more disappointing $1,240 per-theater average.

Next week, a trio of high-profile releases will jostle for position at the box office. Chris Columbus’ next children’s fantasy epic Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief will compete with an A-list ensemble in the timely Valentine’s Day, as well as with Universal’s much-anticipated horror icon relaunch, The Wolfman. Seeing how it’ll be Valentine’s Day weekend, Valentine’s Day will probably cruise to an obligatory win, followed by the broader Percy Jackson and trailed by the hard-R The Wolfman. That’s actually the reverse order of how much I want to see those movies. The record stands at 7 for 13.

Check out the rest of the top 12 below, or head on over to Box Office Mojo for the full weekend chart:

New releases highlighted in yellow

TW LW Title (click to view) Studio Weekend Gross % Change Theater Count / Change Average Total Gross Budget* Week #
1 N Dear John SGem $30,468,614 - 2,969 - $10,262 $30,468,614 $25 1
2 1 Avatar Fox $22,850,881 -26.9% 3,000 -74 $7,617 $629,344,204 - 8
3 N From Paris with Love LGF $8,158,860 - 2,722 - $2,997 $8,158,860 $52 1
4 2 Edge of Darkness WB $6,855,371 -60.2% 3,066 - $2,236 $28,947,851 $80 2
5 4 Tooth Fairy Fox $6,629,595 -33.7% 3,218 -127 $2,060 $34,462,568 $48 3
6 3 When in Rome BV $5,549,129 -55.1% 2,456 - $2,259 $20,944,734 - 2
7 5 The Book of Eli WB $4,717,335 -47.0% 2,820 -255 $1,673 $82,045,140 $80 4
8 14 Crazy Heart FoxS $3,567,671 +54.5% 819 +580 $4,356 $11,105,401 $7 8
9 6 Legion (2010) SGem $3,453,651 -51.9% 2,339 -137 $1,477 $34,731,934 $26 3
10 8 Sherlock Holmes WB $2,535,174 -43.9% 1,805 -445 $1,405 $201,484,470 $90 7
11 11 The Blind Side WB $2,503,224 -17.1% 1,740 -11 $1,439 $241,529,593 $29 12
12 12 Up in the Air Par. $2,283,113 -18.5% 1,547 +117 $1,476 $76,616,959 $25 10
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