Just as the wild success of The Dark Knight made IMAX a significantly more popular brand, even for films not shot in the format, the post-production 3-D trend in the wake of Avatar has already paid off handsomely for Alice in Wonderland, as it raked in a ridiculous $116 million this weekend. (I’m curious how many of those people, though, were disappointed to find out that Johnny Depp wasn’t in fact playing Alice.) $200 million will be a cinch, with no other family competition until the 19th (Diary of a Wimpy Kid, only in lackluster 2-D) and the 26th (How to Train Your Dragon, the trailer for which many kids went mommy-mommy! for at the Alice showing I attended).
The weekend’s other wide release, the much less whimsical Brooklyn’s Finest, opened to a decent $13.5 million, putting it on par with many of Richard Gere’s outings without Julia Roberts. Fare like next week’s Green Zone and bleak word-of-mouth will probably keep it from doing Training Day-level business in the long run (also a hurdle: not being as good as Training Day).
After holding the top for two weeks, Scorsese’s Shutter Island slipped to third with $13.3 million, with another 40-ish percent drop in attendance indicating decent buzz that could be keeping the crowd from dropping off more steeply. Fourth was Cop Out with $9.1 million and $32.4 million total, making it Kevin Smith’s highest-grossing film to date. Best Picture nominee Avatar clung around in fifth despite losing screens to Alice, taking in another $7.7 million, while The Crazies brought in another $7 million for itself in sixth place.
Percy Jackson earned $5.1 million for seventh, Valentine’s Day got another $4.3 million out of procrastinating saps, Crazy Heart enjoyed a pre-Oscar boost with $3.6 million in ninth, and closing things out was another $2.9 million from all of the people who are just now seeing Dear John. (They thought this was the one with the twist everyone kept telling them about.)