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Alice Shatters Records, Turns 2010 Around

March 8th, 2010

Wow. There's no other word to describe it. Alice in Wonderland's record-breaking opening blew away all expectations and by itself was almost as much as the entire weekend box office last weekend and last year. Overall, the box office pulled in $197 million, which was 65% higher than last weekend and 69% higher than the same weekend last year. It pushed the year-to-date box office to $2.04 billion, which is 5.9% higher than last year's record-setting pace. Additionally, attendance is also above last year's pace by close to 4%.

Alice in Wonderland was not only the highest grossing film of the weekend, it is now the highest grossing film released in 2010. It's opening of $116.10 million is the biggest March weekend ever and the biggest opening for a non-sequel. 2009 was not a good year for Disney, as it finished in fifth place out of the big six studios. So this start is even more important to the studio than it is for the industry as a whole. This box office explosion is likely a portent of more record-breaking results to come. As for this film's future, its internal multiplier was 2.85, which is better than expected. It seems its reviews didn't hurt. Let's face it, 53% positive is perfectly acceptable for this type of movie. By this time next week, it should be the first film of 2010 to reach $200 million, while $300 million is the long-term goal.

Brooklyn's Finest opened in second place, barely, with $13.35 million. Since its theater count was below 2000 and its reviews were below 40% positive, the distributor should be very happy. In fact, this is pretty close to what The Crazies opened with last weekend, and given this film's genre and target audience, it might have better legs at the box office despite the weaker reviews. Assuming the reports are correct and it only cost $25 million to make, this film should show a profit sooner rather than later.

Shutter Island was right behind with $13.23 million over the weekend, giving the film a total of $95.75 million after three. By Thursday it should become the third film of the year to crack $100 million. It will end its run with $125 million, more or less.

Cop Out beat expectations with $9.29 million over the weekend, giving it a total of $32.50 million after two. That makes it Kevin Smith's biggest hit. At this pace, $50 million is likely. The film cost about $60 million to make, so it will have to be a surprise hit overseas and/or at the home market for it to show a profit any time soon.

It seems the competition from Alice in Wonderland was too much for Avatar as it fell 41% to $8.12 million over the weekend. This was within a rounding error of Thursday's prediction and enough to lift the film's total to $720.61 million. Since it didn't do as well as many were expecting at the Oscars, it won't get a big enough bounce to reach $800 million domestically. $750 million is still a possibility.

The Crazies just missed the top five during its sophomore stint with $7.08 million over the weekend and $27.47 million after two. Its weekend box office was within a rounding error of expectations, while its total box office is likely more than it cost to make.


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