Weekend Box Office (March 12 - 14, 2010)

by Gitesh Pandya

THIS WEEKEND Moviegoers showed no interest in leaving Johnny Depp's table as the 3D adventure Alice in Wonderland remained at number one at theaters across North America grossing more in its second weekend than all four new releases combined. The Tim Burton-directed pic captured $62.7M according to final studio figures dropping only 46% in its sophomore frame - a terrific hold for a film coming off of such a colossal opening. After ten days, Disney has hauled in a stunning $209.3M and looks headed for at least $325M with a good chance of topping $350M from the domestic market alone. 3D surcharges have helped but regardless, moviegoers have proven that they will pay extra to see this particular film. 70% of the business to date, or $146M, has come from the 3D screens.

In a mere ten days, Alice has already become the top-grossing pic for the Burton-Depp team beating the $206.5M of 2005's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Next weekend it will surpass the $251.2M of 1989's Batman to become the director's highest-grossing film, but it won't beat the Batpic's roughly 60 million tickets sold. For Depp, Alice will become the highly-paid actor's fourth megahit to smash the $300M level joining his Pirates trilogy.

Audiences this spring have embraced the latest films from the Burton-Depp and Scorsese-DiCaprio teams, but were not as excited for the newest collaboration between Bourne boys Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass. Their political thriller Green Zone opened in second place but grossed $14.3M from 3,003 locations for a $4,765 average which was decent but not spectacular. The R-rated film about an American Army officer investigating faulty intelligence in Iraq met with mixed reviews and played to an audience of adult men. The $100M-budgeted movie skewed 54% male and 67% 30 and older. A disappointing CinemaScore grade of B- means word-of-mouth is not expected to carry the Universal release very far. The opening was better than the $12.9M bow of Body of Lies starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Russell Crowe, but did not match the $17.1M debut of The Kingdom starring Jamie Foxx. All three dealt with U.S. involvement in the Middle East, a topic that remains a hard sell to paying audiences looking for weekend entertainment.

Debuting in third place was the R-rated romantic comedy She's Out of My League which grossed $9.8M from 2,956 theaters for a weak $3,307 average. Starring Jay Baruchel, the Paramount release targeted older teens and young adults but didn't have much starpower to attract audiences.

Venturing outside of his safe Twilight world, Robert Pattinson disappointed in his first chance at anchoring a film not part of the wildly popular vampire franchise. The romantic drama Remember Me opened in fourth with $8.1M and averaged only $3,657 from 2,212 playdates. The audience was overwhelmingly made up of young ladies with a whopping 84% of the crowd being female and 53% being under 25. Typical of a film with a teen-girl rush, opening day accounted for the bulk of the business with Saturday falling 20% from Friday's take. Every other film in the top ten saw ticket sales increase on Saturday. Critics were harsh on Remember Me and Twilight fans mostly saved their dollars in anticipation of June's third installment Eclipse.

Shutter Island became the third consecutive $100M hit for the Martin Scorsese-Leonardo DiCaprio machine this weekend. The crime thriller dropped 38% to $8.1M putting the total at $108M. 2004's The Aviator and 2006's The Departed also joined the century club.

Opening in seventh place was the cross-cultural comedy Our Family Wedding which bowed to $7.6M from 1,605 sites for a respectable $4,754 average. Fox Searchlight's PG-13 pic stars America Ferrera, Carlos Mencia, and Forest Whitaker and tells the tale of a black groom and Latina bride meeting each other's family. Reviews were dismal.

Avatar, winner of three Oscars, enjoyed the smallest decline in the top ten slipping only 20% to $6.5M. Fox has amassed a jaw-dropping $730.3M to date and reaching the $750M mark still seems likely. Overture's cop thriller Brooklyn's Finest, on the other hand, suffered the worst fall of any wide release tumbling 67% to $4.3M in its second weekend. With $21.5M in ten days, the Richard Gere starrer looks to end with $27-29M.

Rounding out the top ten were the comedy Cop Out and the horror remake The Crazies with $4.3M and $3.7M, respectively. Off 54%, the Bruce Willis-Tracy Morgan entry has reached $39.5M for Warner Bros. while Overture's fright flick has taken in $33.4M thus far.

Oscar winners took advantage of their new gold statues. Best Picture champ The Hurt Locker, already available on DVD, expanded slightly from 274 to 349 locations and enjoyed a 89% jump to $828,000 lifting Summit's modest total to $15.7M. Sandra Bullock's The Blind Side increased by 28% to $1.6M in its 16th weekend pushing the Warner Bros. cume to $252.7M. Jeff Bridges saw his Crazy Heart slip by only 9% to $3M giving Fox Searchlight $34.1M to date.

The top ten films grossed $129.6M which was up 54% from last year when Race to Witch Mountain opened in the top spot with $24.4M; and up 27% from 2008 when Horton Hears A Who debuted at number one with $45M.

Compared to projections, Green Zone, She's Out of My League, Remember Me, and Our Family Wedding all opened a bit below my respective forecasts of $18M, $11M, $13M, and $10M.

Get earlier box office updates and analysis by following BoxOfficeGuru.com on Twitter.

Check the NEW box office chart for Johnny Depp-Tim Burton films. For a NEW review of She's Out of My League visit The Chief Report.

Be sure to check back on Thursday for a complete summary, including projections, for next weekend when The Bounty Hunter, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, and Repo Man all open.

Marketplace - Shop for DVDs, electronics, books, and posters at discounted prices:

# Title Mar 12 - 14 Mar 5 - 7 % Chg. Theaters Weeks AVG Cumulative Distributor
1 Alice in Wonderland $ 62,714,076 $ 116,101,023 -46.0 3,728 2 $ 16,822 $ 209,339,432 Buena Vista
2 Green Zone 14,309,295 3,003 1 4,765 14,309,295 Universal
3 She's Out of My League 9,775,278 2,956 1 3,307 9,775,278 Paramount
4 Shutter Island 8,144,133 13,225,411 -38.4 3,356 4 2,427 108,011,645 Paramount
5 Remember Me 8,089,139 2,212 1 3,657 8,089,139 Summit
6 Our Family Wedding 7,629,862 1,605 1 4,754 7,629,862 Fox Searchlight
7 Avatar 6,526,421 8,118,102 -19.6 1,718 13 3,799 730,270,443 Fox
8 Brooklyn's Finest 4,471,932 13,350,299 -66.5 1,939 2 2,306 21,533,404 Overture
9 Cop Out 4,268,068 9,289,311 -54.1 2,882 3 1,481 39,480,734 Warner Bros.
10 The Crazies 3,680,940 7,078,851 -48.0 2,359 3 1,560 33,389,308 Overture
11 Percy Jackson & The Olympians 3,077,631 5,124,623 -39.9 2,175 5 1,415 82,270,631 Fox
12 Crazy Heart 3,005,547 3,312,591 -9.3 1,361 13 2,208 34,083,652 Fox Searchlight
13 The Blind Side 1,604,096 1,257,186 27.6 803 16 1,998 252,736,267 Warner Bros.
14 Valentine's Day 1,449,339 4,154,110 -65.1 1,703 5 851 108,892,926 Warner Bros.
15 The Ghost Writer 1,225,084 1,287,646 -4.9 224 4 5,469 4,264,077 Summit
16 Dear John 1,021,434 2,782,079 -63.3 1,249 6 818 78,554,493 Sony
17 The Hurt Locker (RE) 828,000 439,000 88.6 349 2 2,372 15,700,000 Summit
18 The Tooth Fairy 685,294 1,684,408 -59.3 737 8 930 57,246,086 Fox
19 Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel 461,580 544,451 -15.2 408 11 1,131 217,963,072 Fox
20 The Last Station 442,600 717,675 -38.3 272 9 1,627 5,292,337 Sony Classics
Top 5 $ 103,031,921 $ 160,084,146 -35.6
Top 10 129,609,144 182,536,400 -29.0
Top 20 143,409,749 191,819,476 -25.2
Top 20 vs. 2009 143,409,749 94,512,220 51.7

Last Updated: March 15, 2010 at 5:40PM ET