Can you imagine if “Dear John” had only been in 3-D? Yes, the adaptation of the Nicolas Sparks best-seller had a record-breaking Super Bowl opening weekend with $32.4 million, but somewhere an executive is wondering how much more they could have made if the tearjerker was in three dimensions. That’s what Hollywood has come to these days. In any event, the picture also made history for knocking none other than “Avatar” from its seven week run as box office king.
No one is crying for 20th Century Fox or James Cameron, however. “Avatar” pulled in another estimated $23.6 million over the 3-day and has a new domestic cume of $630.1 million. The Oscar contender seems like a sure bet to pass $700 million, but how much higher remains to be seen. “Alice in Wonderland” will take a majority of its 3-D and IMAX screens less than a month from now which should severely curtail it’s grosses. As for “Dear John,” the Channing Tatum/Amanda Seyfried hit could easily surpass the $80 million mark Sparks’ beloved “The Notebook” found during the summer of 2004 and is another example of the potent power of young females at the box office.
In third place, was the John Travolta thriller “From Paris With Love” with only $8.1 million. This is Travolta’s third disappointment at the box office in a row after “The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3” and “Old Dogs.” And with Disney putting the breaks on the expected “Wild Hogs 2,” it’s unclear where he goes to jumpstart a career full of comebacks. It does seem, however, that the screen icon wasn’t helped by a title that sounded more like a romance than the action movie “Paris” really is.
Fourth place went to Mel Gibson’s “Edge of Darkness” which found just $7 million in its second weekend and a new running total of $29.1 million. Warner Bros.’ hopes for a strong hold akin to last year’s similarly themed “Taken” have quickly evaporated as the thriller should top out at $45 million at best. Gibson’s next flick is Jodie Foster’s dark comedy “The Beaver” which will be released later this year.
“Tooth Fairy’s” wishes came true as it stayed in the top five with another $6.5 million. The Dwayne Johnson kid flick has a new cume of $34.3 million and could end up with $45-50 million when all is said and done.
Among other releases, “Crazy Heart” expanded to 819 theaters and grossed $3.65 million to finally break into the top 10. The Fox Searchlight drama hopes to ride its three Oscar nominations including Best Actor, Best Supporting Actress and Best Original Song to an impressive gross. With $11.1 million so far, it has a shot of banking a good haul up to and past the Academy Awards. Especially since the film reportedly only cost $7 million to make.
This weekend’s estimates are bit tenuous considering moviegoing will be hard to gauge based on Super Bowl Sunday. However, you can pretty much bet that if the big game’s ratings are lower than normal these box office numbers will be higher when finals are released on Monday (and vice versa).
Next week three big movies hit the multiplex: “Valentine’s Day,” “The Wolfman” and “Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief.”