Fueled by stellar reviews, DreamWorks Animation’s “How To Train Your Dragon” knocked “Alice in Wonderland” off her throne for the first time in four weeks to win Friday’s box office. Featuring the voices of Jay Baruchel, America Ferrera, Gerard Butler and Craig Ferguson, “Dragon” pulled in $12. 5 million on its opening day for what could be anywhere from a $42-47 million debut depending on the Saturday bump.
Taking an expected fall to second place was Tim Burton’s “Wonderland” which found $4.7 million for an expected $18 million 3-day gross. This means “Wonderland” should cross the magical $300 million mark sometime next week. That’s quite an impressive feat for a non-Holiday or summer release.
Debuting in third place was MGM’s “Hot Tub Time Machine.” Reviews were consistently good, but the John Cusack comedy still debuted with only $4.5 million. Depending on word of mouth however, “Hot Tub” could end up with $13-15 million for the weekend. For some comparison, last year’s “I Love You Man,” also rated R, opened to $17 million around the same time of year and drove positive buzz to a $71 million gross. MGM, which hasn’t released a film since “Fame” last September,” would be thrilled if it hit $45 million when all is said and done. It will be an intriguing scenario to watch play out.
The fourth slot went to the Jennifer Aniston/Gerard Butler romantic comedy “The Bounty Hunter.” which had a decent hold dropping to $4 million and what should be a $12-14 million weekend. In theory, “Hunter” could still end up in the $70-80 million range of Butler’s 2009 hits “Law Abiding Citizen” and “The Ugly Truth” (Like the rest of the world he no doubt wants to forget “Gamer” ever happened).
Fifth place went to “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” with $2.9 million. That was a big drop from its opening Friday a week ago, but the family flick could still get a Saturday matinee bump to finish with around $10 million for the weekend. “Kid’s” strong opening may have put a dent, along with “Alice’s” kid business, in “Dragon’s” opening weekend grosses.
Look or updated weekend estimates tomorrow on HitFix.