Avatar. Number two with $23.6 million. Yadda-yadda, blah-bl— wait, WHAT?!
That’s right. After eight weeks of box-office dominance, James Cameron’s pet project finally fell to the likes of Nicholas Sparks. The girls turned out in droves to see Dear John, whose $32.4 million opening unseated the behemoth blockbuster with some good old-fashioned 2-D tear-jerking. The last big Sparks adaptation, The Notebook, opened to just $13 million but went on to earn more than $80 million as ideal summer counter-programming back in 2004; whatever the word of mouth is on John, though (fans of the book haven’t been kind), it faces more immediate competition from the star-studded, laugh-jerking likes of Valentine’s Day next week.
The weekend’s other new release, the male-skewing From Paris with Love, opened to $8.1 million — a fraction of what the director’s Taken managed last year and John Travolta’s weakest wide tally since 2000’s Lucky Numbers. Last week’s male-skewing Edge of Darkness took fourth place with $7 million, the kid-friendly Tooth Fairy came in right behind it with $6.5 million, and the retard-luring When in Rome landed in sixth with $5.5 million. The Book of Eli stuck around in seventh with $4.8 million, Crazy Heart got a nice $4.8 million boost due to its sure-fire Oscar nods and strategic expansion thereafter, Legion took in another $3.4 million, and Sherlock Holmes closed out the top ten with $2.6 million.