Weekend Report: ‘Alice’ Stays Green, ‘Green Zone’ Opens in Red
by Ray Subers
Alice in Wonderland
March 15, 2010
Audiences turned out in huge numbers again for Alice in Wonderland, which was off 46 percent in its second weekend with $62.7 million. This was over $20 million more than the grosses of all four new wide releases combined. On the strength of Alice, though, overall box office was up 46 percent over the same timeframe last year, when Race to Witch Mountain opened.
Alice in Wonderland's 46 percent second weekend drop was on par with most big-budget fantasy fare. Compared to other movies that open over to $100 million and drop over 50 percent, though, Alice's hold was even better. Alice's $62.7 million was good for sixth place among the all time highest-grossing second weekends, and it was the biggest outside of the summer and holiday seasons. With a cumulative gross of $209.4 million, Alice has passed Charlie and the Chocolate Factory to become director Tim Burton's and actor Johnny Depp's highest-grossing collaboration, and it is well on its way to passing Batman as Mr. Burton's top-grossing movie ever (though it's unlikely to sell as many tickets).
Speaking of director-actor collaborations, director Paul Greengrass and actor Matt Damon failed to replicate the box office success of The Bourne Supremacy and The Bourne Ultimatum with their third teaming, Green Zone. The Iraq-set action thriller posted a mediocre $14.3 million on approximately 3,400 screens at 3,003 sites, and it will ultimately gross only a fraction of its reported $100 million production budget. This was the latest Middle East-themed movie to disappoint, landing between the opening weekends of The Kingdom ($17.1 million) and Body of Lies ($12.9 million). Instead of politics, though, Green Zone's marketing sold nondescript action and intrigue and stressed the Bourne connection, banking that that would carry the day. According to distributor Universal Pictures' exit polling, Green Zone's audience was 54 percent male and 67 percent over 30 years old, and its "B-" from moviegoer pollster Cinemascore suggests that word-of-mouth will likely be tepid at best.
She's Out of My League debuted in third place with $9.8 million on around 3,300 screens at 2,956 sites, a far cry from similarly-themed comedies like Shallow Hal, The 40-Year-Old Virgin and Knocked Up. This was the first major movie that actor Jay Baruchel headlined following supporting turns in Knocked Up and Tropic Thunder, so he wasn't established enough to open a movie on his own. Distributor Paramount Pictures' marketing, especially towards the end of the campaign, focused almost exclusively on seemingly unrelated sophomoric jokes, failing to properly establish a premise or characters to which audiences could relate. Paramount's exit polling indicated that the audience skewed slightly female (52 percent) and was evenly split between the over and under 25-years-old crowds.
Twilight actor Robert Pattinson appeared in his first non-vampire, non-wizard role in a nationwide release, but audiences largely blocked it out of their memories. Remember Me mustered a weak $8.1 million at 2,212 sites. That's less than six percent of what The Twilight Saga: New Moon opened to a few months ago, indicating that Team Edward members weren't that interested in seeing Pattinson play a twenty-something mortal in Manhattan, at least not one that had a pallid storyline in its advertising that rested solely on Pattinson. Those who did show up, though, were 84 percent female and 53 percent under 25 years old, according to distributor Summit Entertainment's research.
Our Family Wedding rounded out the new nationwide releases this weekend, grossing $7.6 million at 1,605 locations. The opening was low compared to such like-minded comedies as Guess Who and Tyler Perry's Why Did I Get Married, and it was also soft against recent wedding-themed movies like Bride Wars, Made of Honor and 27 Dresses. While exact demographics aren't available, distributor Fox Searchlight indicated that Our Family Wedding played well in regions with large African American and Hispanic populations.
Among non-Alice holdovers, Shutter Island had the best showing, raking in $8.1 million in its fourth weekend for a total of $108 million. It is now Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio's second-highest grossing collaboration, surpassing The Aviator (which still has greater attendance).
After losing its 3D screens and tumbling hard last weekend, Avatar was off only 20 percent this weekend, grossing $6.5 million to bring its record-breaking total to $730.3 million. On the other hand, Brooklyn's Finest plummeted 67 percent to $4.5 million in its second weekend, which was slightly steeper than Street Kings at the same point.
The big winners at last weekend's Oscars had decent showings. Crazy Heart, starring Best Actor winner Jeff Bridges, fell only nine percent to $3 million ($34.1 million total). Best Picture winner The Hurt Locker expanded a bit to 349 runs and managed an estimated $828,000 despite being widely available on DVD and Blu Ray, but its total stands at a relatively paltry $15.7 million.
On the international front, Alice in Wonderland easily won the weekend again, grossing an estimated $76 million in 48 markets for a total of $221 million. Add in its domestic take, and Alice has now banked an estimated $430 million worldwide. Avatar continued to play well overseas, tallying $17 million in its 13th weekend, and its foreign total now stands at $1.91 billion. Adding to its domestic disappointment, Green Zone rounded up only $9.7 million in 14 territories, though it will be expanding in to 48 more territories in the coming weeks.