On its opening weekend in the United States, it went to number one, becoming the film to finally end the reign of James Cameron's Avatar (2009), which had sat at the top of the box office for seven consecutive weeks.
This is the fifth film adapted from a Nicholas Sparks novel. It is also the first of two to be directed by Lasse Halström and the first of two to be released in the same year; The Last Song (2010) was released less than two months later.
When John and Savannah are talking in the car after visiting her husband in the hospital John's rank insignia on the left epaulet is on correctly. When they are talking at the table in the house it is upside down. And then again, when sitting on the couch looking at the old letters, initially his insignia is on wrong and then, in the same scene, it is on correctly.
This is a list of the biggest differences between the movie, and the book that it was based on: 1. In the book, Alan is Tim's brother, not his son. 2. In the book, Tim had melanoma, not leukemia. 3. In the book, Savannah reveals that she was almost raped in her freshman year of college; the movie makes no reference to this. 4. In the book, Savannah was a brunette, with a small gap in her teeth; in the film, she is a blonde with no gap in her teeth. 5. The book ends before the film ends; there is no happy ending in the book. 6. In the book, John serves in Iraq, not Afghanistan, and often trains and/or works in Kosovo and other places not mentioned in the movie. 7. In the book, Savannah and Tim are Christians; in the movie, no reference is made to their religious backgrounds. 8. In the book, Savannah and John make love twice (in the same night), not just once (like in the movie). 9. In the book, the rehabilitation center Tim and Savannah created for kids with autism did not go out of business (although, in the book, the business did suffer due to Tim's illness). 10. In the book, Tim isn't married (until towards the end of the book). 11. The book takes place in North Carolina; the movie takes place in South Carolina. 12. In the book, John is on leave before September 11th (although, in the book, September 11th does occur while John is overseas, like in the movie). 13. In the movie, there is a party at Savannahs' parent's house after September 11th; there is no such party in the book. 14. In the book, at the beginning of John's relationship with Savannah, he leaves to continue his tour of duty; Savannah doesn't leave until later. 15. The kissing scene inside the unfinished house takes place at night, unlike in the movie. 16. In the novel, Mr. Tyree is never invited to meet Savannah's parents. 17. In the book, Tim and Savannah are basically about the same age; in the movie, Tim is older than Savannah. 18. All the letters written and read by Savannah in the movie are somewhat to completely different to the ones found in the book that this movie is based on.