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Alice has a Bounty on New Releases

March 18th, 2010

After Alice in Wonderland held on better than expected last weekend, almost all analysts think it will repeat on top again this weekend. The three new releases should at least come close to matching last year's new releases, and with Alice leading the way, it should be another strong week on a year-to-year basis.

Alice in Wonderland is yet another film that is proving that 3D is a money making dynamo. After dropping just 46% last weekend, the film is looking to match that performance this weekend, perhaps even beat it. It appears to be tracking in the $33 million to $37 million range, so if we split the difference it will pull in about $35 million. That should give it a solid first place finish while lifting its running tally to $266 million. At this pace it will cross $300 million in about ten more days.

The Bounty Hunter should be the biggest new release of the weekend, but not due to any inherent quality. The saturation level release stars Jennifer Aniston and Gerard Butler, both of whom have had sizable box office hits in the past. However, for both actors, this is one of the worst movies of their careers and it is currently sitting at just under 10% positive at Rotten Tomatoes. The film likely won't earn as much as either The Ugly Truth or He's Just Not That Into You, but it could come close to matching those two films' opening weekends. Even if it misses, an opening of $25 million should please the studio and help the overall box office tremendously.

The widest, and also best-reviewed new release of the week is Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Granted, a Tomatometer Score of 46% positive isn't enough to earn an overall positive score, but it's still average for a wide release, and pretty good for a kids movie. Also, it is opening in more than 3,000 theaters, which suggests that the studio and theater owners have faith in the film. On the other hand, Alice in Wonderland is at least somewhat direct competition, and that's going to hurt. Most think it will earn in the low to mid teens, but it has a chance of being a breakout hit and challenging for second place. $17 million is likely as good as it will get, but $15 million is more likely. Assuming the film didn't cost too much to make and its legs are better than average thanks to its target demographic, then this will be more than enough to please the studio.

The final wide release of the week is the High Concept Sci-fi action film, Repo Men. With a plot that might make the movie tough to sell, and two stars whose recent box office record is mixed, this film will likely live or die on its word-of-mouth. Sadly, this is bad news... really bad news. A lot of critics are complaining that the movie is just too gory, which might not be a real problem with its target demographic. In fact, that might be a selling point. So perhaps it can overcome all obstacles and become a mid-level hit. There's also a chance it could miss the top five during its opening and disappear from theaters in a matter of weeks. A fourth place opening and $10 million over the next three days is probably the safest prediction.

The Green Zone should round out the top five with $7 million over the weekend and $26 million after two. This is a pretty tragic performance given its reported $100 million production budget.

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Filed under: Repo Men, Alice in Wonderland, Green Zone, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, The Bounty Hunter