Mar 22, 2010 11:19 AM by Associated Press
Alice remains the queen of the box office.
Johnny Depp and Tim Burton's "Alice in Wonderland" took in $34.5 million to remain the No. 1 movie for a third-straight weekend, according to studio estimates Sunday.
The Disney release raised its domestic haul to $265.8 million and its worldwide total to $565.8 million after just three weekends in theaters, a huge result for a film playing in the typically slow month of March.
"You rarely see this kind of domination by one movie at this time of year," said Paul Dergarabedian, box-office analyst for Hollywood.com. "Normally at this time of year, films don't make this kind of money, and they don't hold in this long."
"Alice in Wonderland" easily beat a rush of new movies led by 20th Century Fox's family film "Diary of a Wimpy Kid," which opened at No. 2 with $21.8 million. The movie is adapted from Jeff Kinney's cartoon novel about a sixth grader maneuvering through the intricate social structure at his middle school, which includes its own "cooties" game known as the "cheese touch."
"I think cheese touch equals magic touch at the box office," said Chris Aronson, head of distribution at 20th Century Fox.
Debuting at No. 3 was Jennifer Aniston and Gerard Butler's action comedy "The Bounty Hunter" with $21 million. Released by Sony, the movie follows a bounty hunter chasing his ex-wife, a reporter with an arrest warrant over her head after she misses a court date while pursuing a story.
"We had figured an estimate in the high teens, so 20-plus million is a good number for us," said Rory Bruer, head of distribution for Sony.
Jude Law and Forest Whitaker's action thriller "Repo Men" flopped with a No. 4 opening of $6.2 million. The Universal release features Law as a repo man on the run in a future where organs are bloodily repossessed if patients miss their payments.
In narrower release, Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning's Joan Jett music drama "The Runaways" opened weakly with $803,629 in 244 theaters, averaging $3,294 a cinema.
That compared to an average of $9,229 in 3,739 theaters for "Alice in Wonderland," $7,085 in 3,077 theaters for "Diary of a Wimpy Kid," $6,831 in 3,074 cinemas for "The Bounty Hunter" and $2,440 in 2,521 locations for "Repo Men."
Released by Apparition, "The Runaways" stars Stewart as Jett and Fanning as singer Cherie Currie as they opened doors for women rockers in the 1970s with an all-girl band.
Ben Stiller's comic drama "Greenberg" premiered strongly in limited release, pulling in $120,432 in three theaters for a huge average of $40,144 a cinema.
Released by Focus Features, "Greenberg" stars Stiller as a neurotic whose mean tongue jeopardizes a budding romance with his brother's personal assistant (Greta Gerwig).
James Cameron's science-fiction blockbuster "Avatar" remained in the top 10 three months into its run. The 20th Century Fox release pulled in $4 million to raise its domestic total to $736.9 million. Worldwide, "Avatar" has taken in $2.67 billion.
"Alice in Wonderland" continued to lift overall Hollywood revenues, which came in at $130 million for the weekend, up 23 percent from the same weekend last year, when the thriller "Knowing" debuted at No. 1 with $24.6 million.
So far this year, domestic revenues are at $2.43 billion, up 10.3 percent over 2009's, according to Hollywood.com. Factoring in higher ticket prices, movie attendance is 8.2 percent ahead of last year's.