'Repo Men,' 'Bounty Hunter' enter box office
Three wide releases this weekend offer a choice for every demo, with Sony’s Gerard Butler-Jennifer Aniston starrer “The Bounty Hunter” tracking well with femmes, Fox’s “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” targeting tykes and Universal’s “Repo Men” tracking strongly among males.Comedy “The Bounty Hunter,” launching at 3,074 engagements, is about a reporter (Aniston), who becomes the next target of a bounty hunter (Butler) who happens to be her ex-husband. Fox launches its adaptation of the hit illustrated novel “Diary of a Wimpy Kid,” about a wise-cracking junior high school student, at 3,077 playdates. Pic is directed by Thor Freudenthal and toplines Zachary Gordon as the title character, with Steve Zahn and Rachael Harris as his parents. After a disappointing launch for U’s “Green Zone” last weekend at the domestic box office, studio hopes to fare better with “Repo Men,” starring Jude Law and Forest Whitaker, bowing at 2,522 locations. Meanwhile, Disney’s 3D juggernaut “Alice in Wonderland,” which overpowered last weekend’s openers with a haul of $62.7 million, should continue to enchant auds as it enters its third frame. At the specialty B.O., Apparition launches its music biopic about ’70s rock band “The Runaways,” starring Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning,at 244, while Focus Features’ “Greenberg,” directed by Noah Baumbach and starring Ben Stiller, opens at three engagements. “Repo Men,” co-financed by Relativity Media, tells the story of a future society where mechanical organs can be bought on credit, and repo men are sent to collect if the owner can’t pay. U said it expects the R-rated pic, directed by Miguel Sapochnik, to land in the low teens. Holdovers entering their soph sesh include Iraq war-themed “Green Zone,” which launched with $14.3 million, and Paramount’s laffer “She’s Out of My League” with $9.8 million in its opening frame. Summit’s Robert Pattinson starrer “Remember Me” opened with $8.1 million and Fox Searchlight’s “Our Family Wedding” drew $7.6 million. Launching in limited release at two locations is Anchor Bay’s comedy, “City Island,” starring Andy Garcia, Alan Arkin and Julianna Margulies. Summit expands thriller “The Ghost Writer,” directed by Roman Polanski, to an additional 599 locations for a total count of 819. Pic’s Stateside cume stands at $4.6 million since its Feb. 19 release. The frame’s fresh offerings will have to compete with “Alice,” which has grossed a total $221.4 million in the U.S. as of Tuesday. “Alice” matched its top domestic performance at the international B.O., with $76 million at 6,621 screens in 48 territories, accounting for 65% of the overseas market. Domestically, “Alice” slipped 46% in its soph sesh, powered by a strong 3D perf at 2,063 3D-equipped locations and an additional 188 Imax screens. Imax reported a take of $7.9 million last weekend for “Alice.” With Paramount’s 3D toon “How to Train Your Dragon” set to launch on March 26, this weekend marks “Alice’s” last unencumbered run on 3D screens before “Dragon” and Warner Bros.’ bow of “Clash of the Titans” on April 2. Imax has committed to a three-week run of “Alice” and will screen “Dragon” instead of “Titans” given the upcoming 3D crunch. The Tim Burton-directed film will expand to key territories in the coming weeks, including France on March 24, followed by China two days later and Japan on April 17. Fox’s 3D “Avatar” should continue its rampage at the international B.O., entering its 14th frame. Top holdover markets for the film are territories where “Alice” has yet to launch, including Japan and China. Overseas cume for “Avatar” reached $1.91 billion after last weekend’s total of $17 million at 4,000 screens in 69 markets.