‘Dear John’ Romantically Rocks ‘Avatar’ From The #1 Spot.

A lot of people are crazy over movie stats, my big brother being one of them.  He can recite movie titles, and gross takes on demand.  He can even predict the big winners sometimes.  But he would have been blinded by Screen Gems hitting pay dirt with ‘Dear John’. 

“We absolutely felt great about this movie,” Sony distribution president Rory Bruer told TheWrap. “Young girls were dying to go to this, and because it has a little action in it and it’s not just a chick flick, the guys were willing to come along” said Ryan Kavanaugh, CEO of Relativity. “We’re thrilled that this movie played so well to the younger girl audiences, and it resonates with what youth want to see today.”

“But no one could have predicted this kind of over-performance because of how gigantic ‘Avatar’ has been,” added Relativity marketing president Geoffrey Ammer.

The film, which stars “Mamma Mia!’s” Amanda Seyfried and “G.I. Joe’s” Channing Tatum as war-torn lovers, garnered an audience that was 84 percent female and 64 percent below the age of 21. It scored a B-plus grade from movie-word-of-mouth tracker CinemaScore.

“I don’t think the CinemaScore mattered in this case,” Ammer said. “This movie played. It was all those young girls Tweeting and telling their friends how good it is.”

Both Bruer and Ammer were quick to credit novelist Nicholas Sparks, who already gestated one surprise romantic drama hit with 2004’s “The Notebook” ($115.6 million in worldwide gross for New Line).

Indeed, social networking didn’t hurt the youthfully targeted “John,” with Sony reporting that the film’s Facebook page had attracted 900,000 fans through Friday.

Here’s a look at the top 10 at the domestic box office this weekend

Dear John” ($32.4m)
Avatar” ($23.6m)
From Paris with Love” ($8.1m)
Edge of Darkness” ($7.0m)
The Tooth Fairy” ($6.5m)
When in Rome” ($5.5m)
Book of Eli” ($4.8m)
Crazy Heart” ($3.7m)
Legion” ($3.3m)
Sherlock Holmes” ($2.6m)

Gallery Info: ‘Dear John’ actress Amanda Seyfried visits the ”Late Show With David
Letterman” at the Ed Sullivan Theater in New York, New York on
February 4, 2010.