‘Alice’ Marches into the Record Book

on March 08, 2010 by Daniel Garris

It was a truly wondrous weekend for Disney's Alice in Wonderland. Tim Burton's highly anticipated 3D adaptation starring Johnny Depp opened well above its already lofty expectations with a three-day start of $116.10 million. That easily set a new opening weekend record for the month of March (topping the previous record of $70.89 million held by 2007's 300) and represented the sixth largest unadjusted opening weekend of all-time. Alice in Wonderland generated the second largest three-day opening ever for Disney, as it opened 14 percent behind the pace of 2006's Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest and 1 percent ahead of 2007's Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End.

As was the case with the Pirates of the Caribbean sequels, the combination of Disney and star Johnny Depp generated a massive opening weekend rush out. And like Fox's Avatar, Alice in Wonderland was obviously aided in a big way from its higher priced 3D engagements. However, unlike Avatar, Alice in Wonderland won't have anywhere near as long a stranglehold on 3D screens, as Paramount's How to Train Your Dragon and Warner's Clash of the Titans are set to enter the marketplace on March 26th and April 2nd respectively.

Overture's Brooklyn's Finest opened in second with $13.35 million. The Antoine Fuqua directed ensemble crime drama opened slightly above expectations, which marked the second film in two weeks from Overture to do so (the first being The Crazies). And as was the case with The Crazies last weekend, Brooklyn's Finest posted a healthy per-location average this weekend. It was a close race for second between Brooklyn's Finest and Paramount's Shutter Island throughout the weekend, with Brooklyn's Finest ultimately edging out Shutter Island by $124,888.

Shutter Island slid two spots to finish in third with $13.23 million. The Martin Scorsese directed thriller was down 42 percent from last weekend, which represented a very solid hold given the amount of new business this weekend's new releases brought into the marketplace. Shutter Island has grossed a better than expected $95.75 million through 17 days of release, placing it 24 percent ahead of the pace of 2006's The Departed.

Warner's Cop Out also slid two spots this weekend. The R-rated comedy starring Bruce Willis and Tracy Morgan was down 49 percent to gross $9.29 million. While Cop Out didn't hold up especially well this weekend, it was able to leap over Avatar in the rankings after falling behind it during the midweek, though it should be noted that it fell behind Avatar once again on Sunday. Cop Out has grossed $32.50 million through ten days in theatres.

Avatar fell one spot and 41 percent to place in fourth. James Cameron's 3D blockbuster grossed $8.12 million for the weekend, as the film experienced a respectable hold when considering it lost 3D screens to Alice in Wonderland. The record-breaking 80-day gross for Avatar stands at $720.61 million.

After outpacing expectations last weekend, The Crazies came back down to earth a bit this weekend. The R-rated horror remake grossed $7.08 million to place in sixth. That was down a sharp 56 percent and three spots from last weekend, but the film has still grossed $27.47 million in its first ten days.

Tags: The Crazies, Avatar, Cop Out, Shutter Island, Brooklyn's Finest, Alice in Wonderland

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