“Dear John” Defeats “Avatar” At The Box Office

This weekend, after seven weeks at the top of the box office, “Avatar” dropped down to the second most profitable movie at the megaplex. The film that beat blue alien ass? “Dear John,” the Nicholas Sparks-penned love story starring Amanda Seyfried and Channing Tatum. And I helped contribute to its success — it made $32.4 million in its opening weekend — by seeing the film opening night. My assessment of the film, which includes spoilers, after the jump …“Dear John” was not quite what I expected, in that I completely prepared myself emotionally for one of the main characters — Seyfriend’s Savannah or Tatum’s John — to die in some horribly tragic way, as is typical of Sparks fare. Sadly — and I say “sadly” because by the end I kind of wanted saintly Savannah to kick the bucket — both characters survived, though they hardly had the tied-in-a-neat-bow ending that one would expect of a chick flick starring two extremely attractive people.

I won’t give away the end, but basically “Dear John” is a post-911/Iraq War love story in which John and Savannah fall in love after two weeks of bliss, just before he ships off to war and she goes back to college. While they are apart, they write letters to each other, describing every aspect of their separate lives so they’ll always “feel together” and plan for the future. It’s cheesy, lovey-dovey schmaltz, but I am totally into cheesy, love-dovey schmaltz, so even though I cracked a few smiles during some of the bad bits of narration, I quickly became invested in these two perfect humans riding off into the sunset together.

(Note: Channing Tatum is much, much hotter than I ever gave him credit for. Hot damn. He’s got that quiet, smoldering thing down. If the “Avatar” and “Dear John” box office battle came down to hotness, Tatum would give Sam Worthington some fierce competition.)

Like I said, “Dear John” didn’t really conclude the way I expected, but I liked it anyway. Of course, my taste is questionable, but like “New Moon” before it, “Dear John” is further proof of the power women hold at the box office. After all, a movie made almost exclusively for chicks is the only film that could defeat James Cameron. [TIME]