Giant Slayer: ‘Dear John’ Surprises At The Box Office

I swear I heard my keyboard purr when I typed that headline. Those of us who cover weekly box office totals have been in a rut for seven weeks, and like it or loathe it, Dear John gives us something new to talk about.

Despite tepid reviews, Dear John shocked prognosticators by soundly beating Avatar this weekend. Dear John hauled in $32 Million to win the weekend over Avatar, which made an additional $23.6 Million.

I didn’t see Dear John, but I do find it interesting that everyone continues to underestimate the female ticket draw. The book by Nicholas Sparks was very popular, and currently boasts a 4.5 reader’s rating on Barnes and Noble’s web site. Didn’t Hollywood learn anything from New Moon? Rabid female book fans = box office gold.

Side note, I was shocked to receive an email from my very own parents, who have not seen a movie in the theater in over 5 years, sharing that they saw a matinee of Avatar in 3D and loved it. I quote, “We both wanted to live in that forest.”  Um, what?

This coming from a couple who still enjoys dial-up internet. They voluntarily donned 3D glasses because they felt that this movie just had to be seen. I only mention this because this is precisely why the movie has made so much money.  There are people going to see it that don’t ever go to movies, and that is quite a feat.

Coming in third  was From Paris, With Love. Seems not that many people loved it after all, as it made a measly $8.1 Million on its opening weekend. With a budget of over $52 Million, it might be in for a bumpy ride. Likewise for Mel Gibson’s Edge of Darkness, which dropped 59% this weekend.  It now stands at $29 Million after two weeks, with a budget of over $80 Million.

Fox’s The Tooth Fairy only dropped 35% in its third week, and scored $6.5M, giving it  5th place this weekend.

Outside of the top five, it looks like Crazy Heart managed to take in $4.5 Million, Legion continued its drop with only $3.5 Million and The Lovely Bones came in at 10th place with $2.9 Million.

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