Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Dear John: Congratulations on Knocking Off a Giant Blue Behemoth


Originally, I had expected Mel Gibson's Edge of Darkness to topple Avatar last weekend, but it came up way short...probably the the film is an unimaginable piece of...well, we will be posting a review soon enough.

But alas, it has happened. At long last, Avatar has been knocked from atop the box office chart by...Dear John?

The film, based on one of those simpering Nicholas Sparks novels and starring rising commodities Amanda Seyfried and Channing Tatum, raked in just over $30 million, topping the Blue Giant by nearly $7 million.

It seems that a certain teen girl niche had gone ignored for weeks and weeks, and finally they had something at the movies to get excited about. There was nothing for the date crowd out there aside from the four-quadrant appeal of Avatar, and finally there was a legitimate date night flick to latch onto.

Even more striking than the fact that Avatar was topped not by Mel Gibson or Denzel Washington, but by Amanda Seyfried and Channing Tatum, is the fact that James Cameron's epic fell to second place on the first weekend after the Oscar nominations, when most films would receive a generous boost (the biggest winner in that category is Crazy Heart, which added 580 screens and landed on the top ten for the weekend). I'm not going to get into the business of fanning flames or throwing out pure conjecture as fact, so I won't go shouting that the drop to second place means that Avatar's Oscar run is finished or other such ridiculous nonsense. But the film's biggest claim to fame has become its box-office sensation. And as that story recedes into the background, the film's momentum could continue to dwindle just as The Hurt Locker is rising (a successful re-release of Hurt Locker would seal the deal, and I will continue to beat that drum into submission).

Time will tell...new Oscar charts coming soon...and let's face it, Avatar still pulled in $23 million, a drop of only 25%. But the film fell to second faster than Titanic, and its weekend numbers are about to fall behind Titanic's as well, even though it has already surpassed the film's total gross. Different time period, different kind of blockbuster...but in historic perspective, it means something.

No comments: