Alice Still Wonderful in Weekend Box Office Results

If there is one lesson for studios to learn nowadays then it is this: Your big event movie will do gangbuster business if it is in 3D and on IMAX screens to boot. This strategy worked for Avatar and it appears to be working grandly for Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland.

Not losing too much of its “muchness” (to paraphrase the Mad Hatter), Alice fell by only 47% from its record $116 million opening to nab an estimated $62 million this weekend for a new ten-day total of $208.6 million. The key factors to the film’s stratospheric grosses once again appear to be higher ticket prices charged for both 3D and IMAX presentations. Normally when a film opens as big as Alice has, the sophomore weekend sees understandable drops of anywhere from 50-70% given their front-loaded openings. With no real competition coming until April 2 when Warner Brothers unleashes its first 3D epic of 2010, Clash of the Titans, the latest Tim Burton/Johnny Depp collaboration should continue to haul in the big bucks and could wind up with a gross north of $350 million.

A quartet of new movies opened this weekend, but not a single one made a debut one could deem “impressive.” Universal’s $100 million Iraq war action flick Green Zone landed with a thud, grossing a disappointing $14.5 million from 3,003 screens. The latest collaboration from director Paul Greengrass and star Matt Damon met with indifference from both critics and audiences. Despite Universal’s attempts to sell the movie like a Jason Bourne film (I renamed it “Bourne Goes to War”), audiences showed once again that if they want to see something about the Iraq War, they will either wait for home video or they will watch CNN. Remember, The Hurt Locker found its audience on home video.

Third spot went to the Dreamworks/Paramount comedy She’s out of My League with an estimated gross of $9.6 million. The reviews were mixed (but better than those for Green Zone according to Rotten Tomatoes) for the new comedy, with the target audience opting to find better things to do this weekend. You know, like go see Alice in Wonderland.

In fourth place was the Robert Pattinson drama Remember Me with $8.3 million for the weekend. Summit Entertainment was no doubt hoping that attaching the first trailer for The Twilight Saga: Eclipse would help fans of the young star and the Vampire series to the critically-panned romantic drama. It didn’t. A free bit of advice to Summit: if you are looking to have a franchise trailer help stimulate sales for a lesser film, don’t post said trailer online until after opening weekend.

Fifth spot went to Martin Scorsese’s Shutter Island with an estimated $8.1 million and a new to-date gross of $108 million. The Paramount feature should finish its hit run with a gross near the $125 million mark making it the second highest-grossing film of the esteemed director’s career. In sixth spot was the last of the wide openers for the weekend, the Forest Whitaker ethnic comedy Our Family Wedding that was left at the box office altar by moviegoers with a poor $7.6 million weekend gross.

An Oscar snub and loss of IMAX and 3D screens seem to have had little impact on James Cameron’s Avatar as the epic remained defiant in its 13th weekend of release. Dropping a mere 19%, the best hold in the top ten of any movie, the film added another $6.6 million for a new domestic gross of $730 million. As you probably have heard by now, Fox is mulling a possible late-summer or fall reissue strictly to 3D theaters and with additional footage, a move which may help the film touch the $800 million mark domestically.

The cop drama Brooklyn’s Finest faded fast in its second weekend. Off 68% from its opening weekend, the Overture release added $4.3 million to its take for a new total of $21.2 million. Warner’s buddy comedy Cop Out fell 55% from last weekend to $4.23 million and a $39.5 million total. The second Overture film in wide release, the well-received horror remake The Crazies, fell 49% from last weekend to $3.65 million for a new total of $33.4 million.

Several winners from last weekend’s Oscars also picked up some additional coin this weekend. Crazy Heart added another $3.1 million for a new total of $34 million. In its second-to-last weekend prior to its video debut, The Blind Side added $1.6 million to its coffers to bring its overall gross to the $253 million mark. And despite being readily available on home video for the past two months, Best Picture winner The Hurt Locker saw its reissue gross jump by nearly 90% from Oscar weekend. Playing on 349 screens, the film added $828,000 to its overall total, which now stands at $15.7 million.

Next weekend, three more films attempt to dethrone Alice and the Red Queen: the Jennifer Aniston/Gerard Butler action comedy The Bounty Hunter, the film adaptation of the hit book series Diary of a Wimpy Kid and the Jude Law/Forest Whitaker sci-fi action film Repo Men. All of these new films along with a couple holdovers will be available to predict their weekend gross in the next round of our Weekend Box Office Prophet Game.

– Shawn Fitzgerald

TheHDRoom may be paid a small commission for any services or products ordered through select links on this page.