Box Office Guru Wrapup: Alice Reigns For Third Straight Weekend

Diary of a Wimpy Kid and The Bounty Hunter open strong.

The Red Queen ruled once again as Disney's Alice in Wonderland remained at number one for the third consecutive frame beating out another pack of new releases. Fox's tween comedy Diary of a Wimpy Kid beat expectations to open in second place while Sony's Jennifer Aniston-Gerard Butler vehicle The Bounty Hunter enjoyed a solid debut of its own close behind in third. But Universal's new action entry Repo Men flopped in fourth with a miserable showing. The overall box office was up over 2009 for the fourth straight weekend.

Audiences lined up again for some 3D fun with Johnny Depp with Alice in Wonderland easily defending its crown with an estimated $34.5M in its third round boosting the 17-day cume to a stellar $265.8M. It was Disney's first three-peat at number one since Depp's megahit Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest from July 2006. Staying atop the box office chart for this long is rare these days. Outside of Avatar, the last film to spend three weekends in first place was Tropic Thunder from the summer of 2008.

Alice smashed the $250M mark on Saturday after only 16 days and looks headed for the $350M mark. The Tim Burton pic is already the second highest-grossing film to ever open in the January-to-April corridor trailing just The Passion of the Christ which hauled in $370.3M in 2004 after a late February debut. This weekend, Alice also joined the list of the Top 50 all-time domestic blockbusters sitting at number 45 between Shrek ($267.7M) and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets ($262M).

Fox posted brawny numbers for its kidpic Diary of a Wimpy Kid from 3,077 playdates for a strong $7,085 average. Based on the popular middle school-set book, the PG-rated film had no stars but instead capitalized on a built-in audience of fans attracting an impressive amount of business considering how Alice in Wonderland is still playing well to kids of all ages. With a budget of under $20M, the studio should not only see a healthy profit from box office and DVD sales but will also have a new franchise since there are still three more books in the series that can keep the cash coming in. Studio research indicated that 59% of the audience was under 25 and 51% was female. Fox is expecting upcoming spring and Easter school closings to keep the film going.

Opening close behind in third place was the battle-of-the-exes film The Bounty Hunter which seized an estimated $21M from 3,074 theaters for a solid $6,831 average. The PG-13 pic starring Gerard Butler as a bounty hunter assigned to capture his bail-jumping ex-wife played by Jennifer Aniston catered to an audience of adult women. Studio research showed that 58% of the crowd was female with the 50/50 age split at 30 instead of 25. The opening was almost identical to the $21.6M debut of 2008's Fool's Gold starring Matthew McConaughey and Kate Hudson. Both were battle-of-the-sexes action-comedies directed by Andy Tennant with poor reviews that were sold on the starpower of the beautiful people on screen. Gold, which enjoyed a holiday on its second weekend, ended with $70.2M and Bounty could approach the same vicinity which would be an encouraging performance given the budget that was in the low $40M range. Overseas potential looks solid as Aniston has been a bankable draw and Butler has seen his star wattage rise in the last year.

The new sci-fi actioner Repo Men failed to capture any meaningful business in its first weekend with a poor opening of $6.2M, according to estimates. The ultraviolent R-rated pic starring Jude Law and Forest Whitaker averaged a wimpy $2,440 for Universal from 2,521 theaters. Critics panned the futuristic film.

Universal found more bad news in fifth place as its other March action title Green Zone tumbled 58% to an estimated $6M for a weak ten-day total of only $24.7M. The studio did what it could to hide the film's Iraq setting and pushed it instead as a film from the Jason Bourne guys but audiences didn't buy into it. With a production cost of more than $100M, Zone will end up with a domestic take of just $35-40M. The early overseas tally is $20.4M with many markets still to open, but recovering production and marketing costs internationally will also be a challenging task.

Paramount claimed the next two spots with the comedy She's Out of My League which grossed an estimated $5.9M and the thriller Shutter Island which took in an estimated $4.8M. The R-rated laugher declined by only 40% in its second round and upped its ten-day sum to $20M with a $35M final likely - not bad for a low-profile and inexpensive pic that is sure to do even better on DVD. The Scorsese-DiCaprio flick dropped 41% and has banked $115.8M to date.

Avatar spent its 14th weekend in the top ten with an estimated $4M, off 39%, and a $736.9M cume. Fox's overseas total climbed to $1.937 billion making the global haul $2.674 billion. Fox Searchlight's Our Family Wedding fell 50% to an estimated $3.8M for $13.7M in ten days. Fellow sophomore Remember Me crumbled 60% to an estimated $3.3M giving Summit only $13.9M to date. Final grosses will be near the $20M mark for each.

In limited release, Focus scored the best average with its Ben Stiller pic Greenberg which bowed to an estimated $120,432 from only three sites for a muscular $40,144 average. Anchor Bay averaged a sturdy $17,500 from each of two locations for its Andy Garcia film City Island. The 45-minute IMAX science film Hubble 3D debuted to an estimated $453,000 from 39 large-screen venues for a $11,608 average. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo opened to an estimated $340,408 from 34 for a $10,012 average for Music Box. And Apparition earned a weak $3,295 average for its rocker girl pic The Runaways which debuted to an estimated $804,000 from 244 houses.

The top ten films grossed an estimated $111.2M which was up 19% from last year when Knowing opened in the top spot with $24.6M; and up 18% from 2008 when Horton Hears a Who remained at number one with $24.6M.

Comments

Zaraki

Rick V

Gee who would have imagined The Bounty Hunter being below a 10%? Pretty much saw it's rating coming a mile away, it looks like it's the same old formula yet again.

Mar 21 - 05:25 PM

RamALamADingDong

That Guy

Glad to see Alice doing so well. It was really enjoyable and deserves some dough.

Not too surprised by the outcome of the weekend. Thanks to Netflix I saw the first two Bourne movies, and can understand why they couldn't repeat the success.

Mar 21 - 05:35 PM

Easter In The Batcave

Alex Sallas

Bounty Hunter looks terrible... what's opening next week? Alice might lost it's first place spot depending on what opens up.

Mar 21 - 06:24 PM

Easter In The Batcave

Alex Sallas

Bounty Hunter looks terrible... what's opening next week? Alice might lost it's first place spot depending on what opens up.

Mar 21 - 06:36 PM

Darren F.

Darren Fiander

It not only looks terrible .... it is terrible ....

Mar 22 - 03:53 AM

Tendo63

Dave Liebs

I wouldn't be surprised if How To Train Your Dragon takes down Alice. It's getting great reviews and will probably be taking most of Alice's 3D and IMAX theaters...

Mar 21 - 06:56 PM

August M.

Agustin Macias

What I want to know is that how it's going to work for both Dragon and Titans. Dragon is coming out in 3D this week while Titans next week. Are the 3D Screens are going to split in half or is Titans going to receive less 3D screens, seeing that the 3D for Titans was a last minute addition because of the success of Avatar.

Mar 21 - 09:44 PM

Nathan F.

Nathan Frederick

Alice will get bumped next week. Both Hot Tub Time Machine and How to Train Your Dragon are getting great reviews so far.

Mar 21 - 06:57 PM

bluestar50

Todd Foster

What? The Bounty Hunter is only getting 9% on the Rotten Tomatoes meter? I thought that it would've been in the 50% to 60 range. Not. It deserves the 9% rating. I saw the previews, and I could already tell that it was going to be one of those predictable and unfunny romcoms they're releasing these days.

Mar 21 - 08:28 PM

August M.

Agustin Macias

What I want to know is that how it's going to work for both Dragon and Titans. Dragon is coming out in 3D this week while Titans next week. Are the 3D Screens are going to split in half or is Titans going to receive less 3D screens, seeing that the 3D for Titans was a last minute addition because of the success of Avatar.

Mar 21 - 09:44 PM

ZenFan

Dylan Hair

Well I finally saw Alice, and it was Great!!!! Loved the characters and production design. Also caught The Runaways and I'm disappointed it didn't do better. It was a kick-ass great Rock N Roll picture and everyone in it was great and refreshingly, for this type of film, not a charicature( I think that's how it's spelled) Kristen and Dakota were fantastic in it, Michael Shannon great as usual, and awesome soundtrack, course I had most of it on my iPod already being a fan of Joan Jett, The Blackhearts and The Runaways. Well great weekend at the movies, gonna check out the Dragon movie next week and then finally the Clash is here!!

Mar 21 - 11:30 PM

Darren F.

Darren Fiander

It not only looks terrible .... it is terrible ....

Mar 22 - 03:53 AM

Bloody Mathias

Mathias N/A

Alice was so boring, i caught my eyelids dropping a couple of times.

The screenwriter Linda Wolver-whatever needs to learn about dramatic tension.

There was none in her film, just Alice bouncing from one wacky character to another. All she did was slap on a by the numbers "Chosen One" fantasy template on and even Tim Burton and Johnny Depp embarassed themselves by stopping the film for a little dance number.

And the 3-D was amateurish and i'm sad to see it reach the $300 m mark.

I give it a 4/10.

Mar 22 - 04:26 AM

Tridus

Chris Eaton

A lot of these "3d" movies are actually just 2d movies with 3d added using post production studio magic. The result is nowhere near as good as it is in Avatar.

It's the new fad, they'll throw it at everything until audiences get sick of it or it becomes standard.

Mar 22 - 04:56 AM

arendr

Arend Anton

Oh yeah, don't get me started on that corny dance number.

Mar 22 - 09:49 AM

Patrick

Patrick Wagner

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, the book, was the same way. One meeting after another with no rhyme or reason most of the time.

Mar 22 - 10:18 PM

Tridus

Chris Eaton

A lot of these "3d" movies are actually just 2d movies with 3d added using post production studio magic. The result is nowhere near as good as it is in Avatar.

It's the new fad, they'll throw it at everything until audiences get sick of it or it becomes standard.

Mar 22 - 04:56 AM

Bigbrother

Big Brother

Think Alice has benefitted greatly from weak competition and IMAX. Will take a huge drop next week.

Mar 22 - 05:34 AM

BrianMN

Brian Nallick

Saw Alice in 2D. From what I heard, the 3D wasn't exactly all that and honestly didn't even need the 3d treatment for it to be successful.
I loved it though, and will buy it the second it comes out.
Congrats on three #1's in a row. :)

Mar 22 - 06:05 AM

Clint D.

Clint Davis

That is great that Wimpy Kid did as well as it did, its pretty funny that Gerard Butler got beat up by a Wimpy Kid. Any movie that helps kids get into reading is OK in my book and if it is entertaining then that just sweetens the deal. It seems like almot every kid in my classes that I teach are really into this series so I hope it does well.
I am also glad to see that Green Zone continues to bomb out at the box office. I love Matt's acting ability but after his last 2 political themed bombs, hopefully he will get back to making movies that people actually want to see and stop making mainstream films for special interests. That is what indie films are for. If it keeps it up, Green Zone could become one of the biggest flops of the year so far and that is saying something considering the amount of junk that has been released this year.

Mar 22 - 06:16 AM

fresh f.

fresh fresh

Im shocked The BOunty Hunter cracked 10 million. It looks god awful. The trailers made me want to scream.

Mar 22 - 06:20 AM

Frank O.

Frank Otto

Oddly I thought bounty hunter would do more than it did, Jennifer seems well liked, I know many women who will see anything with Gerard in it. And while I was interested in it I gotta say it came across better than Valentine's day.. and look how much that made..

Still glad to see Alice make so much, good for Tim, he deserves it.. 3peat was good, but am sure from reviews How to train your dragon will take top spot next week.. Kinda sad from what I'm hearing Forest was great in Repo, too bad he couldn't have saved that for a better movie..

Mar 22 - 07:22 AM

arendr

Arend Anton

I saw Alice on Friday. Wow, really subpar. Some of the worst animation I've seen in a while (was Crispin Glover rendered at a different frame rate???) and the whole thing felt lazy.

Come on, Tim. Do something more inspired.

Mar 22 - 09:44 AM

arendr

Arend Anton

Oh yeah, don't get me started on that corny dance number.

Mar 22 - 09:49 AM

inactive user

Jared King

Bomb "Bounty Hunter". BOMB!!!!

Mar 22 - 10:30 AM

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