Dear John (I) (2010)
By Eric Ditzian
Zach Galifianakis, Ed Helms and Bradley Cooper in "The Hangover"
Photo: Warner Bros.
Beware the power of an overwhelming "Hangover." That's the first lesson of the 2010 MTV Movie Awards, because the votes are in and the Bradley Cooper-starring comedy leads the field with six nominations. Following close behind in that flick's boozy wake are "New Moon" and "Avatar," each of which nabbed five nominations.
"The Hangover" was tapped in categories including Best Movie, Best Comedic Performance (Cooper and Zach Galifianakis) and Best Villain (Ken Jeong). After "Twilight" led the 2009 awards with seven nominations, the vampire sequel's 2010 nods include Best Movie, Best Female Performance (Kristen Stewart), and Best Male Performance (Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner). "Avatar" scored in such categories as Best Movie, Best Female Performance (Zoe Saldana) and Best Villain (Stephen Lang).
Hosted by Aziz Ansari,
The actress, who showcased her musical ability in movie-musical Mamma Mia!, has long harboured dreams of becoming a singer/songwriter.
And she was delighted when Lasse Hallstrom, the director of Dear John, asked her to bring her guitar on set to write a song for the film, which culminated in the track, Little House, being included on the soundtrack.
She tells Britain's Glamour magazine, "It was a happy accident. The director asked me to bring my guitar on set and I ended up singing a song that I'd written, which ended up on the soundtrack. Writing songs is a stress-buster for me."
Two other wide releases also bowed well. Fox unspooled book-based kidspic "Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief" with $38.8 million in second place, and Universal debuted Benicio Del Toro starrer "The Wolfman" with $36.5 million in third.
Fox-distributed "Avatar" rung up $30 million in fourth place, as the scifi epic pushed its cumulative domestic b.o. to $667.6 million through nine weekends.
Produced by Relativity Media and distributed by Sony, romantic drama "Dear John" marked an acceptable 47% decline in Friday-Sunday coin, compared with its week-earlier tally, to post $18.8 million in fifth place during the holiday-stretched session. "John" cume reached $56.7 million through Monday.
Lionsgate's John Travolta starrer "From Paris With Love" fell a modest 32% in its soph session to $6.8 million in seventh place,
Playing on approximately 3,500 screens at 2,969 sites, Dear John's opening was way above the norm for a romantic drama, and it came close to doubling the estimated initial attendance of previous Nicholas Sparks adaptations The Notebook and A Walk to Remember. The Notebook went on to build a big audience, and Dear John's marketing capitalized on the connection. With the exception of Taken last year, the movies that open well on Super Bowl weekend tend to appeal to females, such as romances (She's All That) and horror movies (When a Stranger Calls). Tellingly, distributor Sony Pictures reported that Dear John's audience breakdown was 84 percent female and 64 percent under 21 years old.
Title Weekend Total 1 Dear John $32,400,000 $32.4 2 Avatar $23,600,000 $630 3 From Paris w/Love $8,120,000 $8.1 4 Edge of Darkness $7,005,000 $29 5 Tooth Fairy $6,500,000 $25.3 6 When in Rome $5,504,000 $20.8 7 Book of Eli $4,835,000 $82.1 8 Crazy Heart $3,650,000 $11.1 9 Legion $3,400,000 $34.6 10 Sherlock Holmes $2,360,000 $201.5
Dear John proved to be a far more formidable opponent than anyone expected, bringing in an estimated $32.4 million dollars from its 2,969 locations. That’s a per-screen average of $10,900 - good enough to help Dear John become the all-time domestic box office champ for a Super Bowl weekend release.
Avatar probably isn’t too broken up by this weekend’s results, however. On Tuesday the film crossed the final achievement off of its box office to-do list, replacing Titanic as the all-time
"Dear John" grossed an estimated $32.4 million in the three-day period since opening Friday, said distributor Screen Gems, the low-budget division of Sony Corp..
It had hoped for an opening of about $20 million on a weekend when many Americans forsake movies to watch the Super Bowl, traditionally the year's most-watched television broadcast. The football championship starts around 6:25 pm in Miami.
"Dear John" stars Channing Tatum and Amanda Seyfried as lovers whose romance is curtailed by the September 11 attacks. It is directed by Swedish filmmaker Lasse Hallstrom and based on "The Notebook," a novel by Nicholas Sparks.
Audiences for the film were 84% female and two-thirds were under the age of 21, Sony said.
The last romantic comedy to hit theaters was
Title Friday Total 1 Dear John $13,800,000 $13.8 2 Avatar $6,100,000 $612.6 3 From
Tatum Channing and Amanda Seyfried, who play the young lovers of Lasse Hallstrom's PG-13-rated "Dear John," based on a novel by Nicholas ("The Notebook") Sparks, proved to be more popular than expected. Sony/Screen Gems' release of the Relativity production took in an estimated $13.8 million on Friday in 2,969 theaters.
That puts it on track to take in more than $30 million over the weekend, although it will still have to contend with East Coast snowstorms and Super Bowl Sunday.
Meanwhile, the ever-reliable "Avatar," the beneficiary of nine Oscar nominations on Tuesday, shifted into second place for the day as it picked up an additional $6.2 million.
"From Paris with Love," the weekend's other new wide release, checked in in third place.
In the meantime, I have some really cute, new photos of Channing's fiancee, actress Jenna Dewan, at the grand opening of the Dolce & Gabana (aka D&G) flagship boutique. The charity event was held last night (December 15, 2008) in Beverly Hills, California on Robertson Blvd. and benefited The Art of Elysium.
For those who don't know (which included me prior to doing this post), The Art of Elysium is a non-profit organization that encourages working actors, artists and musicians to voluntarily dedicate their time and talent to children who are battling serious medical conditions.
Fans can download a larger version of the graphic above if you want to use it as a wallpaper,
In the romantic drama, Jenkins will play the father of a young soldier (Channing Tatum) who meets the girl of his dreams (Amanda Seyfried) while on military leave.
The Gersh-repped Jenkins recently joined filming on the project in South Carolina. He gained momentum this year for his starring role in Overture's "The Visitor" and a memorable turn in Focus' "Burn After Reading."
Ryan Kavanaugh's Relativity Media is producing the film; Screen Gems will distribute the film domestically.
Temple Hill Entertainment's Marty Bowen and Wyck Godfrey are producing with Kavanaugh. Tucker Tooley and Jeremiah Samuels are executive producing, and screenwriter Jamie Linden ("We Are Marshall") is co-producer.
Based on the Nicholas Sparks novel, the story centers on a soldier on leave (Channing Tatum) who falls for a woman (Amanda Seyfried) but then re-enlists after Sept. 11.
Thomas plays an older man whom the woman falls for while the soldier is away.
Relativity Media is financing.
Thomas, of "E.T." fame, next stars in Fruit Chan's horror flick "Don't Look Up"; last year he landed a recurring role on CBS' "Without a Trace." Some of his other credits include "Gangs of New York" and "All the Pretty Horses."
He is repped by Gersh and Brillstein Entertainment Partners.
The novel centers on a soldier home on leave who falls for a college girl. Instead of returning home to her, he re-enlists after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Time and distance begin to take a toll on the young lovers.
Channing Tatum is attached to star.
Marty Bowen and Wyck Godfrey are producing through their studio-based Temple Hill Entertainment shingle.
New Line was the studio behind the romantic drama The Notebook, which was also based on a Sparks novel. Michele Weiss is overseeing Dear John for the studio.
Linden's credits include Dogs of Babel, which is set up at Mandate Pictures.
He is repped by Paradigm, Magnet Management and attorney Mitch Smelkinson.
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