Saturday, March 6, 2010

Alice in Wonderland opens with $41 million Friday.

I'll keep this brief, as I'll otherwise just end up repeating myself tomorrow. But Disney's Alice in Wonderland 3D opened with $41 million over its initial Friday, setting the stage for Tim Burton's first $100 million+ opening of his career. It's all but guaranteed, barring complete collapse, to be the second-biggest non-summer opening of all time. If it can muster a kid-friendly 3.4x multiplier, it will surpass New Moon's $142 million take, but that's unlikely at this point (family film or no, films that make $40 million in one day tend to be a little frontloaded). Regardless, this is the nineteenth-biggest single-day gross, the eleventh-biggest opening day, and the seventh-biggest Friday gross of all time. It certainly seems that, post-Sleepy Hallow, Tim Burton's opening weekends are inversely proportional to the quality of the respective film. I'll go into the rest of this when the weekend estimates come in tomorrow morning (or afternoon, depending on when my daughter naps). But mazel tov to Disney on a massive marketing success, and congrats on Dick Cook, who greenlit the picture and supervised its production and marketing before getting canned late last year. As always, the new team will get to reap the successes of the slate that their predecessors set up.

Overture scored another solid double with Brooklyn's Finest, as the cop-drama ensemble opened with $4.7 million. The only other major news was the not-quite-crash of Avatar. Despite facing direct 3D competition and losing all of its IMAX venues and many of its 3D screens, the James Cameron opus dropped just 35% from last Friday with $1.97 million. All that stuff I've written about March 5th being the probable end of Avatar as a major money-maker? Never mind. Amusingly, Avatar was actually number one on Thursday ($1.62 million), with many moviegoers likely seizing what they thought might be their last chance to see the film in IMAX or the largest 3D theaters.

Scott Mendelson

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