×

Moviegoers embrace ‘Dear John’

Film nabs Screen Gems record with $13.8 million.

Sony-Screen Gems’ big-screen adaptation of Nicholas Sparks romance novel “Dear John” unseated Fox’s record-breaking tentpole “Avatar” in its eighth Friday, earning $13.8 million at 2,969.

First day for the young femme film reps the best ever for a Screen Gems film and for a pic unspooling during Super Bowl weekend – a frame when distribs carefully program films, ideally toward teens and females, knowing that a huge quadrant of moviegoers will be glued to the Big Game on Sunday.

“Dear John” also marks an opening day high for a Sparks’ lit adaptation, generating in one day, what most of his pics gross in a weekend; the last two films based on the author’s material, 2008’s “Nights in Rodanthe” and “The Notebook,” charted opening weekends just north of $13 million.

“Dear John” is the fifth Sparks novel to make it to the multiplex, starting with “Message in a Bottle” which grossed a $16.8 million opening weekend in February 1999. The next feature based on a Sparks book is Disney’s “The Last Song,” starring Miley Cyrus, which will bow on March 31.

Previous opening champ for Screen Gems was 2005’s horror-thriller “The Exorcism of Emily Rose” which generated $11.3 million on its first day and $30.1 in its first weekend.

“Dear John,” based on Sparks’ 2006 tome, follows a soldier played by Channing Tatum who returns home and falls for an idealistic college girl played by Amanda Seyfried. Film was produced and financed by Relativity Media and carries a thrifty estimated negative cost of $25 million.

Though slipping 18% to No. 2 from a week ago, Fox’s “Avatar” grossed $6.1 million from 3,000 locales and could still see a decent weekend gross by the end of Sunday. The Oscar-nominated film currently counts a domestic gross of $612.6 million.

In third, Lionsgate’s actioner “From Paris With Love” starring John Travolta and Jonathan Rhys Meyers, collected an estimated $3 million off 2,994 in third. “Paris” was helmed by French director Pierre Morel whose shoot-em up film a year ago “Taken” scored the previous opening day high over Super Bowl weekend with $9.4 million.

Disney’s 2008 3D film “Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert Tour” owns the title as the biggest Super Bowl weekend opener ever with a three-day haul of $31.1 million.

Warner Bros.’ Mel Gibson pic “Edge of Darkness” took fourth with $2.3 million, a 59% decline in its second Friday and an eight-day domestic B.O. of $24.4 million.

Disney’s romantic comedy “When in Rome” posted $2 million off 2,456, down 54% in its second Friday and counting an eight-day cume of $17.4 million.

In sixth, Fox’s “The Tooth Fairy” grossed $1.6 million off 3,218, down 28% with a domestic B.O. in its third Friday of $29.5 million.

Warner Bros.’ “The Book of Eli” took seventh with $1.5 million off 2,820, down 39% with a domestic B.O. in its fourth Friday of $78.8 million.

Fox Searchlight’s Oscar contender “Crazy Heart” jumped into eighth with $1.08 million. Pic’s 90% jump stems from its expansion from 239 sites to 819 locales. The current cume for “Crazy” stands at $8.6 million.

At the onset of its third weekend, the new competish pushed Sony-Screen Gems “Legion”down to ninth with $1.06 million, down 48% at 2,339 with an estimated domestic B.O. of $32.3 million.

Warner Bros.’ “Sherlock Holmes” remained in the top 10 with an estimated $785, 000 off 1,805, down 35% for a Stateside gross just dollars away from the double-century mark — $199.7 million.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon

    Film News Roundup: Stephen King's 'Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon' Movie in the Works

    In today’s film news roundup, a Stephen King horror movie is in the works, “Downton Abbey” is seeing strong sales and a project about Revolutionary War soldier Deborah Sampson is in development. KING ADAPTATION Stephen King’s “The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon” has been set up as a movie at George A. Romero’s Sanibel Films, [...]

  • Moviepass

    MoviePass Confirms Security Issue With Customer Records

    MoviePass, the struggling movie ticket subscription service, has confirmed a security issue may have exposed customers’ records. In a statement, MoviePass said Wednesday that the security lapse was recently discovered and its system was immediately secured. Reports of the data breach first surfaced Tuesday through the Tech Crunch site, which alleged that tens of thousands [...]

  • Matthew Modine

    Matthew Modine Accused of Violating Labor Laws With Campaign Videos

    Matthew Modine has been accused by SAG-AFTRA president Gabrielle Carteris of violating federal laws in his campaign to unseat Carteris. The production of three campaign videos for Modine by the for-profit New York Film Academy — on whose board Modine sits — has been blasted by Carteris for alleged violations of federal labor law prohibiting [...]

  • Ready or Not Movie

    'Ready or Not,' 'Angel Has Fallen' Enter Box Office Race

    Three more contenders are joining what has lately been a hostile box office arena. Can anyone emerge from August victorious? Fox Searchlight’s “Ready or Not,” a black comedy about a diabolical game of hide-and-seek, will debut in 2,244 North American theaters on Wednesday. The low-budget film is expected to earn upwards of $6.5 million over [...]

  • Rules Don't Apply

    Warren Beatty and Arnon Milchan Settle Suit Over 'Rules Don't Apply' Flop

    Arnon Milchan and Warren Beatty have settled their two-year legal battle over the disastrous release of “Rules Don’t Apply,” Beatty’s period drama about Howard Hughes. Milchan’s attorneys have filed a notice with the court dismissing his suit against Beatty. Terms of the settlement were not disclosed. Milchan’s company, New Regency, sued Beatty and other investors [...]

  • Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro attends a

    Bolsonaro LGBTQI Outburst, Subsidy Freeze, Stirs Outrage

    Ramping up the drive into censorship in Brazil, its Minister of Citizenship, Omar Terra, has suspended a call for applications for governmental TV funding – until new criteria are established for its application. The country’s secretary for culture, Henrique Pires, who reports to Terra, has resigned in protest of the incentive freeze. The suspension, for [...]

  • Adam Brody'Ready or Not' film premiere,

    Adam Brody to Executive Produce, Star in 'The Kid Detective'

    “Ready or Not’s” Adam Brody has signed on to star in “The Kid Detective.” Sophie Nelisse will co-star in the dramedy from writer-director Evan Morgan. Brody will star as a once-celebrated kid detective, now 31, who continues to solve the same trivial mysteries between hangovers and bouts of self-pity until a 16-year-old client (Nelisse) brings [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content