ilm eekend er Screen otal
1 Dear John $32,400,000 $10,913 $32,400,000
2 Avatar $23,600,000 (-24.6%) $7,867 $630,093,000
3 From Paris with Love $8,120,000 $2,983 $8,120,000
4 Edge of Darkness $7,005,000 (-59.3%) $2,285 $29,097,000
5 Tooth Fairy $6,500,000 (-35.0%) $2,020 $34,333,000
6 When in Rome $5,504,000 (-55.4%) $2,241 $20,899,000
7 The Book of Eli $4,835,000 (-45.7%)  $1,715 $82,163,000
8 Crazy Heart $3,650,000 (+58.1%) $4,457 $11,188,000
9 Legion $3,400,000 (-52.6%) $1,454 $34,678,000
10 Sherlock Holmes $2,630,000 (-41.8%) $1,457 $201,579,000

This just in: Dragon Wars didn’t bother me like I think it did a lot of people, I think because I’ve seen enough movies with English actors in foreign films that I’m used to such terrible line readings, and bland actors. Once you get past that, it’s a modest giant monster movie, and they don’t make enough of those in my humble. So I enjoyed myself, also in the sense that I was drinking the whole time.

James Cameron, if he belonged to a tribe, would have to face some sort of demarcation for his failure. After being out for seven weeks, it finally ceded first place to a film called Dear John. Cameron is said to not be taking it well. The film has now made $630 Million domestically, and $2.2 Billion worldwide. It also took the highest grossing eighth weekend ever, just edging out Titanic. Now, next weekend Avatar would have to do more than $30 million to have the highest ninth week, and even though it’s a double holiday weekend (President’s Day, and Valentine’s), Avatar may actually be petering some. So, stopping somewhere over $700 Million might actually be the end game, say around $750-ish. Nothing to sniff at. But it looks like it’s going to slow down and stop sooner rather than later. Even if it only dropped less than 25%.

By dethroning Titanic, 1998’s Lost in Space earned an asterisk in film history. Though Avatar‘s run on top is anomalous for modern times, I don’t know if Dear John will have the same “stupid trivia question” infamy, because Avatar wasn’t on top for over three months. Regardless, that’s a huge opening, and the counter-programming worked. Though Nicholas Sparks based movies have done good business, this is the first to really pop out the gate. This also seems to be a right place, right time thing, as I don’t think Channing Tatum has that big a following, nor does Amanda Seyfried. That said, the film also will probably not get to $100 million, though it might settle in close to there. It also means that Avatar might be in fifth place by the end of next weekend. I don’t know how front loaded this is, but it feels more like a moment thing than anything else. Then again, I horribly underestimated this film, so teenage girl films aren’t really my wheelhouse (and isn’t everyone happy about that).

From Paris with Love definitely stank up the place, though. Not unexpected, it appeared to have none of the things that made Taken a runaway hit: actors people like, a clear plot, an obvious goal, etc. It’s the same problem that Edge of Darkness had, but that at least had Mel Gibson returning to form. That’s enough to get people out enough for the movie to hit over $40 Million (probably a $50 Million endgame).

Tooth Fairy, When in Rome, Legion, weak season, both will be walking away sometime next week. The Book of Eli will finish closer to $90 Million than $100, Crazy Heart is ramping up, could play strong for the next month, and Sherlock has now made $200 Million – not so bad. Heart seems to be the only picture to get an Oscar bump, but all the other pictures have been out for a while, and Heart is the only real expander. That will do it.