'Alice' muscles out host of fresh openers
Universal’s “Green Zone” joined the ranks of Iraq war-themed pics earning disappointing B.O. results, grossing an understated $14.5 million at 3,003 playdates.Meanwhile, Disney’s 3D fantasy phenom “Alice in Wonderland” continued to claim heads with an estimated $62 million at 3,728 playdates, muscling out a group of wide openers led by “Green Zone” and Paramount’s laffer “She’s Out of My League,” which bowed with $9.6 million at 2,956 locations. “Alice” slipped a less-than-expected 47% in its soph sesh after a record-setting launch last weekend of $116.3 million domestically. Overseas, the Tim Burton-directed pic took in an estimated $76 million at 6,621 screens in 48 territories, repping 65% of the international market. Pic’s worldwide cume stands at $430 million. The frame’s other wide releases, including Summit’s Robert Pattinson starrer “Remember Me” with $8.3 million at 2,212 engagements, fell victim to “Alice’s” chopping block. Fox Searchlight’s “Our Family Wedding,” starring America Ferrera and Forest Whitaker, posted an estimated $7.6 million at 1,605 locations. With this weekend’s performance, “Alice” became Disney’s highest-grossing film domestically for a first-quarter release, as well as one of the Mouse House’s top 20 films of all time. “In the world of blockbusters, when you don’t drop 50%, it means one thing: positive word of mouth,” said Disney prexy of domestic distribution Chuck Viane. “These kind of numbers prove that everybody’s coming.” The film’s 3D component also helped boost domestic performance at 2,063 3D-equipped locations and an additional 188 Imax screens. Imax reported $7.9 million, down 34% from last weekend, for a total take of $25.6 million. Per screen average for the large-screen exhib was $42,000, accounting for 13% of “Alice’s” overall weekend take on approximately 2% of total screens. Imax film division prexy-chairman Greg Foster credited 3D as a major contributor to the frame’s 49% uptick over the same weekend last year. “There are people coming back to the multiplex because of these films and the 3D component,” Foster said. The frame’s fresh openers had trouble holding auds’ interest. “Green Zone,” co-financed by Relativity Media, scored a B- CinemaScore rating, which could continue to affect the the film’s performance. Despite U marketing the film as a political actioner, “Green Zone,” about a rogue U.S. Army officer (Damon) who embarks on a personal mission to solve the mystery of missing weapons of mass destruction, couldn’t break free of the military associations that have handicapped other similar pics. “Zone” reunites helmer Paul Greengrass and Damon, who worked together on the last two “Bourne” installments. U was hoping to capitalize on the franchise’s track record — “The Bourne Supremacy” and “The Bourne Ultimatum” grossed $702.4 million worldwide. Tracking for “Zone” was strongest among males with 54% of the aud. Older demos responded well to the film, totaling 67%, with just 33% of moviegoers under 30. Acad best pic winner “The Hurt Locker” has cumed just $15.7 million since its June release. Summit decided to re-release the film theatrically this weekend with hopes of receiving a post-Oscars boost, where it earned an estimated $828,000 at 349 locations. Most exhibs are reluctant to run a film if it has already been released on DVD; “Hurt Locker” hit DVD shelves on Jan. 12. Three pics appealing to femme auds opening simultaneously had to share box office takings. Par’s “She’s Out of My League” topped the trio with auds split 48% men and 52% women. The R-rated comedy, starring Jay Baruchel and directed by Jim Field Smith, is the story of average boy meets grade-A girl. Next in line was Summit’s wide release “Remember Me,” which saw a bigger discrepancy between the genders, repping 84% female, of which 53% were under 25. Studio said it expected the gender split, given Pattinson’s “Twilight” pedigree. “Realistically, we knew what we had,” said Summit prexy of domestic distribution Richie Fay of the intimate family drama. “Our focus was never on the star, but on the story.” The frame’s fourth wide release, Fox Searchlight’s “Our Family Wedding,” scored an A- CinemaScore rating and played well with African-American auds. “Alice” led in holdover potency, while Par’s Martin Scorsese-thriller “Shutter Island” followed with an estimated $8.1 million at 3,356 locations in its fourth frame, lifting the film’s domestic cume to $108 million. Twentieth Century Fox’s 3D giant “Avatar” continued to hold steady, dropping only 19% in its 13th frame, for an estimated weekend take of $6.5 million at 1,718 engagements. “Alice” siphoned a considerable amount of 3D locations from “Avatar,” still running on approximately 650 3D screens and representing 69% of the film’s weekend gross. At the specialty B.O., Fox Searchlight expanded its Oscar-winning “Crazy Heart,” adding 87 locations for a total count of 1,361. Searchlight has seen a healthy rollout of the film, earning $3.1 million in its 13th frame for an overall domestic gross of $34.2 million. “Crazy Heart” enters its fourth frame overseas, totaling $881,621 at 459 screens in 21 markets. Top territory for the film was the U.K. where it grossed $159,793 at 117, cuming $1.2 million. Still, “Alice” ruled the international B.O. with a cume of $221 million. The film’s 3D revenue, totaling $152 million, accounted for 70% of its total overseas take. Holdover markets scored $71.5 million for the weekend, with the U.K. ranking as “Alice’s” top market, down 33% in its soph sesh, with $10.8 million at 755 screens. “Alice” has nearly doubled Disney’s “Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl” over the same 10-day period in that territory. Russia followed with $10.6 million at 576 screens, slipping just 25%, while in Italy, “Alice” was down 20% for an estimated weekend gross of $9.3 million at 730. Pic has cumed $32.2 million and $28.7 million, respectively. “Avatar” continued to perform well in markets where “Alice” has yet to open, including Japan and China. In Japan, “Avatar” earned $3.1 million at 450 screens in its 12th frame, lifting its total haul to $155.8 million. China is the film’s top international territory with $188 million, orbiting an estimated $1.9 million for the weekend at 550 screens. “Avatar’s” total weekend haul reached $17 million for a cume of $1.91 billion. U launched “Green Zone” day-and-date in 14 territories for an estimated $9.7 million at 1,562 screens. Pic grossed $9.7 million at 419 in the U.K. to claim the No. 3 spot behind “Alice” and “Shutter Island.” “Zone” debuted in the top spot in Spain with $1.7 million at 306.