Moviegoers opted to take a trip down the rabbit hole in a very big way on Friday, as director Tim Burton's unique version of "Alice in Wonderland" claimed the top spot at the box office with an impressive $41 million haul.
Given the film's performance on Friday, most box office watchers are expecting that "Alice" will cross past the $100 million mark by Sunday's conclusion. The Disney film is currently on track to become the best March opener of all time, easily crushing the previous record established by Zack Snyder's "300," which opened to $71 million in 2007.
Newcomer "Brooklyn's Finest," the Overture Films crime drama starring Richard Gere, Don Cheadle, Ethan Hawke and Wesley Snipes, landed in second place with $4.7 million, a far cry from the business put forth by "Alice." The urban thriller barely edged out director Martin Scorsese and actor Leonardo DiCaprio's "Shutter Island," which fell to third place after two weekends in first. Despite the fall, "Shutter Island" has already made $121.5 million worldwide, well past its reported production budget of $80 million.
Regular box office spectators will notice that James Cameron's "Avatar" ingested a shrinking drink and fell out of view of the top five for the first time in twelve weeks. The science fiction epic surrendered most of its 3-D locations to "Alice," undoubtedly a strong contributor to its dip in the rankings. Still, "Avatar" emerged in sixth place with $2 million, well within range of outpacing "The Crazies," which rounded out the top five performers with $2.3 million.
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