The biggest movie ever made was finally unseated in the top spot this weekend, by a swoony little romance picture no less. Will someone please go check on Jim Cameron to make sure he's OK?
1) Dear John — $32.4 million
Even though Channing Tatum has now become extremely obese and it's likely that no one will ever love him again, the ladyfolk still went scrambling for this crazy movie about two crazy kids — he the brawling and brooding soldierboy, she the bug-eyed ethereal college student — who meet cute in the Carolinas and then do it in the Life As a House house. The first film to unseat Avatar since the Pandora moon skipped its orbit, drifted through space, and crashed into Earth, Dear John will stand as the greatest soldier-related romance since Chris O'Donnell played Ernest Hemingway in that movie about Papa's real-life affair with Sandra Bullock. A hit with female viewers, some male audience members reported being disappointed that Dear John wasn't, as they'd hoped, a feature-version of one of those Hookers at the Point HBO "documentaries."
2) Avatar — $23.6 million
Heads hung in shame, sad little loincloths flapping in the mocking breeze, bows and arrows and sticks and stones held weakly, the Na'vi are crushed by their defeat at the hands of two gooey Republican teenagers. Though they'll likely be right back on top next week (receipts only dropped a small 25% from last weekend), it's still a completely embarrassing loss. Though they were able to defeat an entire steel- and bullet-fattened modern mechanized army back on Endor, they just couldn't overcome Seyfried's bulging seein' spuds, Tatum's mesmerizing jiggling rolls of soldierfat, and that goddamned song. In their rage and embarrassment, many Na'vi plan to go hair-fuck the shit out of some space dragons.
3) From Paris with Love — $8.1 million
Oh dear. Despite John Travolta's brilliant performance as Sinbad the Sailor, this film just couldn't get traction at the old box office. Maybe it was the faggy French word in the title? Or maybe it was the word "Paris"? Maybe people still can't figure out just who the hell Jonathan Rhys Meyers is. He was an action guy in Mission Impossible 3 and now this. But he's like the sexy British king guy on The Tudors. And like weird and indie or whatever in that David Bowie movie and in Match Point. And then he was just like straight up gay in that Bend it Like Beckham soccer movie. He's sort of a mystery! So that must be why the film performed poorly. Surely it can't have anything to do with John Travolta's searing performance as Sinbad the Comedian.
4) Edge of Darkness — $7 million
Falling a big 59% in its second weekend, it appears that this might not be the big Mel Gibson comeback picture nobody but Mel Gibson had been hoping for. Was Jonathan Rhys Meyers in this thing? What's the problem here? OK, well. Can't cry over spilled milk. Next time around let's put Mel in some board shorts, give him a nice tan and a puka shell necklace, and pair him up with a Traveling Pants girl or something. They can meet cute at the beach and have a romance, but her dad won't want her hanging around with a tough street kid like Mel Gibson, and then this song will play and all will be forgiven.
8) Crazy Heart — $3.6 million
Thanks to 700 extra movie theaters and 3 shiny new Oscar nominations, this movie about Jeff Bridges playing Mickey Rourke playing Neil Young finally cracked the top ten after eight weeks in release. Buoyed by that pretty song and Maggie Gyllenhaal's lovely performance as Marisa Tomei as a younger, hipper Susan Orlean or something, the film ought to have legs for a few more weeks while Oscar buzz and word-of-mouth grows. Plus Colin Farrell is in it. Did you know that? Yep, he is. We're not sure who exactly he's playing though.