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Dear John Film Knocks Avatar Out Of First Place

Sony's Screen Gems banner film "Dear John" debuted as the No. 1 movie over the weekend with $32.4 million, knocking off "Avatar" after seven weekends in first place, according to studio estimates Sunday, February 7, 2010.

The film co-stars hottie Channing Tatum and beautiful blonde actress Amanda Seyfried in a tear jerking love story.  Chan, as his friends call him, is a stoic soldier and Amanda plays his true love.  The couple are torn apart by war and family.

(Image of Amanda Seyfried and Channing Tatum in "Dear John" - Sony Screen Gems - All Rights Reserved)

Amanda Seyfriend is known to many for her roles in the blockbuster "Mama Mia" with Meryl Streep and Pierce Brosnan.  She also garnered a fan base for her role as the rebellious daughter on HBO's "Big Love".

Of course Sony is thrilled by the success of "Dear John".  Rory Bruer, head of distribution at Sony said "it is very cool to know that it was our movie that audiences just totally embraced and made No. 1 for the weekend,"  When referring to "Avatar" he quipped, "I think they're going to be fine in the long run."

Although "Avatar" slipped to No. 2 with $23.6 million, it's domestic total is now sitting right around$630.1 million. The 20th Century Fox film which was written and directed by James Cameron, surpassed his own "Titanic," which had held the domestic revenue record at $600.8 million.

With a record $2.2 billion worldwide, "Avatar" also has soared past the $1.8 billion "Titanic" took in globally.

Factoring in today's higher admission prices, however, "Avatar" has sold fewer tickets than "Titanic."

"Avatar" had been No. 1 domestically longer than any movie since 1997's "Titanic," which held on at first place for 15 weekends. The studio was unconcerned that "Avatar" finally fell out of the top spot.

"It had to happen sometime," said 20th Century Fox distribution executive Bert Livingston. "There's nothing that could disappoint me with this movie."

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