March 16, 2010

Box Office Update 3/12-3/14: Alice in Wonderland Remains Wonderful

Alice in Wonderland did it again. I may have come away a little lukewarm to the whole thing, but it has certainly struck a chord with audiences. In just its second weekend it has blown past the $200 million mark and it now owns the biggest non-summer opening and second weekend. It is also the biggest opening ever for a Tim Burton film and is a lock to become his highest grossing film, it trails only Batman (1989) which made $251 million. It is too baad that it isn't his best, or even near it for that matter. There certainly is a ot to like, but it has plenty of problems too. It will be interesting to see how high it will fly.

Coming in second place is the first of four new releases to make the charts this week. Matt Damon stars in Green Zone, an Iraq War themed film set in the early days of the occupation during the search for WMD's. Directed by Paul Greengrass, the film is filled with shaky cam, so if you have a sensitivity to that you would best avoid this. The movie is a thrilling action film that is as entertaining as it is interesting. It keeps tension high even though we already know the outcome. It questions our entry into war and puts a face on the ground that we can identify with. Solid film, better than expected. Granted, it did not open as well as expected, it will be interesting to see if word of mouth helps it at all.

Following behind in third place is She's Out of My League, it is a modest romantic comedy in the Apatow tradition. I quite enjoyed it. Despite being a well-worn concept it works through its entertaining execution and the chemistry among its cast. Jay Baruchel and Alice Eve provide a likable central couple that have good chemistry and make you believe a 10 could go for a 5. I recommend it, although I suspect it will fade fast.

Fourth place is a returning film, Shutter Island. The Martin Scorsese directed film is my favorite new film for 2010 so far in this young year. It is a first-rate thriller that keeps you off balance questioning what you saw through the conclusion. It also seems to have a shot at becoming Scorsese's highest grossing film, currently it is a The Departed at $132.3 million. Shutter Island is currently at $108 million.1

Fifth place is home to the third of this week's new releases. Remember Me brings with it Robert Pattinson's first shot as a box office draw outside the Twilight franchise. It did not open all that well. and it is a shame too as it is about 90% of a pretty good film. It is an angst driven tale of doomed romance and lost opportunity. Remember not to waste the time you have. It opened at the low end of the scale and one has to wonder if it is the film or the star?

The last new release in the top ten is sixth place finisher Our Family Wedding. It did not arrive to the most positive of reviews and is probably bound for a quick theatrical run before landing on home video, where I suspect it will do well. The film features America Ferrera, Forest Whitaker, and Carlos Mencia (so this is what he's been up to).

Next weekend will see competition from the sci-fi thriller Repo Men (which makes me want to watch Repo! The Genetic Opera), the kid-friendly comedy Diary of a Wimpy Kid, and the romantic comedy The Bounty Hunter with Gerard Butler and Jennifer Aniston. We also get a limited release of The Runaways and an expanding The Ghost Writer from Roman Polanski.

Four movies dropped off the list this week: Percy Jackson (11), Crazy Heart  (12), Valentine's Day (14), and Dear John (16).

This WeekLast WeekTitleWknd GrossOverallWeek in release
11Alice in Wonderland (2010)$62,714,076$209,339,4322
2NGreen Zone$14,309,295$14,309,2951
3NShe's Out of My League$9,775,278$9,775,2781
43Shutter Island$8,144,133$108,011,6454
5NRemember Me$8,089,139$8,089,1391
6NOur Family Wedding$7,629,862$7,629,8621
82Brooklyn's Finest$4,471,932$21,533,4042
94Cop Out$4,268,068$39,480,7343
106The Crazies$3,680,940$33,389,3083

Box Office Predictions Recap
Yes, before you mention it, I did completely forget about Brooklyn's Finest when doing this week's predictions. Even with that omission, I did pretty good with this week's picks. I half expected to see Remember Me finish higher, especially considering my local theater had swapped it for Green Zone in the bigger theater. Glad to see I ended up being a little closer, even if my gross guesses were a little bit off.

Here is how the field matched up:

ActualPredictionTitleWknd GrossPrediction
11Alice in Wonderland (2010)$62,714,076$54 million
22Green Zone$14,309,295$22 million
33She's Out of My League$9,775,278$16 million
54Remember Me$8,089,139$11 million
45Shutter Island$8,144,133$8 million
66Our Family Wedding$7,629,862$7 million
77Avatar$6,526,421$5 million
98Cop Out$4,268,068$4.5 million
119Percy Jackson$3,077,631$3 million
1010The Crazies$3,680,940$3 million

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