Tim Burton and Johnny Depp have never won Academy Awards, but the duo pretty much won Oscar weekend with the $116 million opening of “Alice in Wonderland.”
Reviews may have been mixed to negative, but audiences didn’t care and got their fix of Burton, Anne Hathaway and Helena Bonham Carter appearing as some of Lewis Carroll’s most famous characters (in 3-D of course). Even happier for Walt Disney Studios, “Alice” found another $90 million outside the U.S. for a 3-D global cume of $210 million. Historically, “Alice” is the eighth biggest opening of all time (bumping the first “Spider-Man” to No. 9) and the top opener ever outside the summer or winter holiday period (which includes November). Needless to say, after some disappointing results the past few months, Disney will be having a tea party on Monday to celebrate.
Tying for second with an unexpected $13.5 million on only 1,900 screens was Overture Films’ “Brooklyn’s Finest.” The Antoine Fuqua thriller had troubles with finding a distributor after strong notices after the 2008 Toronto Film Festival, but in a rare case of everything working out in the end, “Finest” over performed and beat its original $8-10 million weekend estimate. Overture told HitFix they are “elated” with the results and their second hit in a row after “The Crazies.”
Also coming in with $13.5 million was Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio’s “Shutter Island.” The thriller now has a very impressive cume of $95.8 million and should hit the magic $100 million mark sometime this week.
Comedy stuck around in the top five as “Cop Out” stole another $9.1 million for a ten day gross of $32.3 million. The Kevin Smith directed comedy Looks like it will top out around $40-45 million when all is said and done. Not bad considering it reportedly cost only $30 million to make.
In the fifth slot was expected best picture winner “Avatar” with another $7.7 million and a new domestic gross of $720.1 million and $2.55 billion worldwide. Considering how many 3-D screens “Avatar” lost to “Alice” this weekend, making the top five is pretty remarkable.
Still in limited release, “The Ghost Writer” expanded to 147 screens on found a very good $1.3 million for a new cume of $2.6 million. At this pace, the Roman Polanski thriller should top out at around $10 million if Summit Entertainment decides not to go wide with the film in the next few weeks. A tough call.
Other noteworthy results include Best Picture nominee “The Blind Side” hitting $250 million, “Crazy Heart” serenading $29.5 million, “The Hurt Locker” finding another $439,000 in re-release for a new cume of $14.7 million and “The Messenger” hitting the $1 million mark.
Final weekend totals are released on Monday.