Dear John Unseats Avatar Atop Box Office

After eight weeks as the No. 1 movie in America, Avatar finally slipped to the No. 2 slot this weekend.

The romantic drama Dear John was the film that finally dethroned the James Cameron epic, grossing an estimated $32 million in its opening weekend.

Not that Avatar was hurting. The film landed squarely in second place for the weekend with an estimated $23.6 million, bringing its domestic total to $630 million. It also was securely ahead of the No. 3 finisher, the new action film From Paris With Love, which opened with $8.1 million.

Only a few animated films are currently in release, most nearing the likely end of their theatrical runs. Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel earned $2.2 million this weekend ‘ good enough for 14th place and a domestic total of $212 million.

Disney’s The Princess and the Frog earned $452,000 on 516 screens this weekend, bringing its domestic total to $101 million. The movie will be out on DVD and Blu-ray on March 16.