‘Dear John’ Topples ‘Avatar’ at the Friday Box-Office by $7 Million

I guess this shouldn’t surprise me as much as it does, considering when my sister got her Amazon Kindle on Christmas Day the first book she bought was Nicholas Sparks’s “Dear John” and practically had it finished by the end of the day. I mention this because Dear John, the filmed adaptation of Sparks’s book starring Channing Tatum and Amanda Seyfried, brought in an estimated $13.8 million on Friday from 2,969 theaters. This number marks the best opening day for a Screen Gems feature, for a Nicholas Sparks adaptation and a record opening day for a film on Super Bowl weekend.

One person guaranteed to be surprised by this result is our very own Box-Office Oracle, Laremy Legel, who predicted Dear John would only manage $14.7 million for the entire weekend. Oops. But really, despite my little personal story at the opening of this article, who could have predicted such a massive number? The question now is whether or not this is a number that will continue throughout the weekend… or…

Will Avatar make a comeback? Currently it’s in the hole by over $7 million as Avatar took in an estimated $6.1 million on Friday, and this is where things get tricky.

Looking at Dear John‘s numbers I am going to guess it ends around $33 million for the weekend, a number that is already higher than Avatar‘s number last weekend, which tells me Avatar‘s consecutive weeks as #1 at the box-office will end at seven. My guess is it will end around $26 million for the weekend, which still takes its total to $632 million so I don’t think Fox is complaining.

As for this weekend’s other new release, Lionsgate’s From Paris With Love came in third with $3 million and what is likely to be an $8-9 million weekend, an unfortunate number considering how much fun this film is. However, releasing a predominantly “guy” movie on Super Bowl weekend probably isn’t the best idea. Sort of like how releasing Dear John on Super Bowl weekend is a fantastic idea.

While Laremy predicted an Oscar bump for Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire and An Education (both Best Picture nominees and both receiving 447 and 685 theaters respectively. However, it looks like Fox Searchlight’s Crazy Heart is the only one getting a bump. Coincidentally it wasn’t nominated for Best Picture, but Jeff Bridges’s Oscar-nominated performance is certainly worth a watch. Crazy Heart say a 90% jump in business with an expansion of 239 theaters to 819, resulting in an estimated $1.08 million on Friday and a likely $3-4 million for the weekend.

Variety‘s report doesn’t include any of the other films getting a post-Oscar nomination bump so we’ll have to see how the bottom shakes out when Laremy is here on Super Bowl Sunday to deliver the complete results from the weekend box-office. For now, check out the Friday top ten below and let your feelings be known as Avatar looks to fall to #2.

  1. Dear John – $13.8 million
  2. Avatar – $6.1 million
  3. From Paris With Love – $3 million
  4. Edge of Darkness – $2.3 million
  5. When in Rome – $2 million
  6. The Tooth Fairy – $1.6 million
  7. The Book of Eli – $1.5 million
  8. Crazy Heart – $1.08 million
  9. Legion – $1.06 million
  10. Sherlock Holmes – $785,000


Marvel and DC