Saturday, March 6, 2010

'Alice in Wonderland' enchants North American box office

LOS ANGELES – Tim Burton's "Alice in Wonderland" broke through the looking glass all the way to the top of the North American box office chart this weekend with a whopping $112 million in takings, according estimates.

The live-action, CGI (computer generated imagery), 3D version of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson's classic fantasy tale starring Johnny Depp and Australian Mia Wasikowska has become the highest grossing film released on a weekend in the January-March period.

The seventh Burton-Depp collaboration ended Martin Scorsese's two-week reign at the top of the box office with "Shutter Island," which took second place with $13 million, according to preliminary data from box office tracker Exhibitor Relations.

Crime drama "Brooklyn's Finest," starring Richard Gere, Ethan Hawke and Don Cheadle as three burnt-out cops transformed by the same violent assignment opened in third place with $12 million.

The Bruce Willis action comedy "Cop Out" fell from second to fourth in its second weekend, raking in $9 million.

Fifth place went to "The Crazies," about the military's containment of a man-made virus that causes permanent insanity and death. The film took $7 million in its second weekend.

Falling two spots to sixth place but still raking in millions, was science-fiction epic "Avatar," the highest-grossing film of all time with more than $2 billion worldwide to date.

In its 12th week on North American release, Canadian James Cameron's film made another $7 million.

The Oscar-nominated movie was followed by mythological adventure-fantasy "Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief," based on Rick Riordan's book and starring Pierce Brosnan and Uma Thurman. The movie earned $5 million in its fourth week.

Romantic ensemble "Valentine's Day," starring Julia Roberts, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Biel, Jennifer Garner and Jessica Alba amongst others scooped $4.3 million in its fourth week for eighth place.

Ninth place with $3.5 million went to "Crazy Heart," a low-budget drama about a washed-up country singer struggling to rebuild his career, starring Jeff Bridges in the Oscar-nominated lead role.

Romantic tearjerker "Dear John," an adaptation of a Nicholas Sparks novel, took tenth place with $3 million in its fifth week.

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