Avatar is no longer No. 1 with movie fans. The James Cameron movie was unseated over the weekend by Dear John , a critically drubbed weepie that brought women together en masse while their husbands and boyfriends took part in the annual testosterone-fueled rituals of Super Bowl weekend. Dear John wound up with an estimated $32.4 million -- making it the highest grossing film ever to open on the weekend of the big game. Sony said that 89 percent of ticket buyers were female. With $23.6 million, Avatar fell out of first place for the first time in its eight-week run. ( Titanic , by contrast held on to the the box office crown for 15 weeks.) The film that seemed the most damaged by the competition from the two-pronged attack of the Super Bowl and Avatar was the John Travolta action film To Paris with Love . The movie opened with just $8.1 million.

The top ten films for the weekend, according to studio estimates compiled by Box Office Mojo 1. Dear John, $32.4 million; 2. Avatar, $23.6 million; 3. From Paris With Love , $8.1 million; 4. Edge of Darkness , $7 million; 5. Tooth Fairy , $6.5 million; 6. When In Rome , $5.5 million; 7. The Book of Eli , $4.8 million; 8. Crazy Heart , $3.6 million; 9. Legion , $3.4 million; 10. Sherlock Holmes , $2.6 million.

08/02/2010