Dear John Knocks Avatar Out of First

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The ComingSoon.net Box Office Report has been updated with studio estimates for the weekend. Click here for the full box office estimates of the top 12 films and then check back on Monday for the final figures based on actual box office.

Screen Gems’ new drama Dear John, starring Channing Tatum and Amanda Seyfried, took the industry by surprise and kept James Cameron’s Avatar from topping the domestic box office for an eighth straight time. Directed by Lasse Hallstrom and based on the Nicholas Sparks novel, Dear John earned an estimated $32.4 million from 2,969 theaters, a strong average of $10,913 per theater. The film was made for about $25 million and the studio said its audiences were 84% female and two-thirds were under the age of 21. Screen Gems had hoped for an opening of about $20 million for the movie, which set a new Super Bowl weekend record, surpassing 2008’s Hannah Montana & Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert Tour ($31.1 million).

Despite being knocked down to second place, 20th Century Fox’s Avatar added another $23.6 million, which is a new record for a film’s eighth weekend, surpassing Titanic‘s previous record of $23 million. The huge blockbuster has reached $630.1 million domestically. Internationally, Avatar earned $76 million this weekend to push its overseas total to $1.580 billion. The film’s worldwide total has now reached $2.210 billion.

Lionsgate’s new actioner From Paris With Love, starring John Travolta and Jonathan Rhys Meyers, opened in third to a disappointing $8.1 million from 2,722 theaters.

Mel Gibson suspense thriller Edge of Darkness dropped 59.3% its second weekend and down to fourth place. The $80 million-budgeted Warner Bros. release earned $7 million and has collected $29.1 million so far.

Fox’s Tooth Fairy rounded out the top five with $6.5 million. The $48 million Dwayne Johnson family comedy is at $34.3 million after three weeks.

Touchstone’s When in Rome, with Kristen Bell and Josh Duhamel, took in $5.5 million its second weekend, a drop of 55.4%. The comedy has made a total of $20.9 million.

Click here for the full box office results of the top 12 films.

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