Dear JohnThe domination of James Cameron's 'Avatar' and its mostly male audience ended on the first day of its eighth weekend. Tears pouring out of the eyes of moviegoers watching Lasse Hallstrom's 'Dear John' in adjacent theaters first loosened 'Avatar's' grip on No. 1, and the ensuing flood washed it out of the spot completely.

On Friday, 'Dear John' more than doubled the business of 'Avatar,' selling $13.8 million worth of tickets to the blue people's $6.2 million. If estimates by Exhibitor Relations, Inc. hold up, 'Dear John' will have scored an astonishing $32.4 million opening weekend, producing a $9 million gap between it and 'Avatar,' now ensconced in second place.

Don't grieve for Cameron, however. 'Avatar's' $23.6 million take runs its domestic box office record to $630 million, a figure that may not be threatened until Cameron's next $200 million sci-fi, CGI epic, 'Battle Angel,' is released, probably in 2012.