Box Office Breakdown: Alice in Wonderland Rings Up Millions

Forget Kathryn Bigelow and The Hurt Locker, the big winners over the weekend were Johnny Depp and Tim Burton. Alice in Wonderland, the tandem’s seventh collaboration, crushed the competition with a ridiculous $116.3 million opening. For reference, that was roughly $50 million more than the other nine movies in the top-ten grossed combined. As we do each Monday, here’s a breakdown of the top five at the box office.

1. Alice in Wonderland: $116.3 million ($116.3 million total)

As it turns out, there are bags of money down the rabbit hole. The $116.3 million opening for Alice in Wonderland was the biggest ever for a non-sequel (topping the $114.8 million of Spider-man in 2002) and the sixth biggest of all-time. It also broke two records that Avatar set back in December: best 3-D and IMAX starts, respectively. Meanwhile, Mr. Depp continued his run as one of the most popular movie stars in the world: he now owns the three highest Disney openings ever. Oh, and as if that weren’t enough, Alice in Wonderland is already the top grossing release in 2010. And you wonder why every blockbuster is coming out in 3-D.

2. Brooklyn’s Finest: $13.5 million ($13.5 million total)

Never has a runner up felt so insignificant… unless, of course, it was whoever finished second to Jeff Bridges, Mo’Nique, Sandra Bullock and Christophe Waltz. Despite a respectable showing—Brooklyn’s Finest was the fourth biggest opening of all-time for Overture Films—we doubt anyone will actually care about this gross beyond director Antoine Fuqua’s friends and family. Fun fact: it’s been nine years since Mr. Fuqua wowed audiences with Training Day. It’s nice to know that his career has come so far.

3. Shutter Island: $13.3 million ($95.8 million total)

We’ll say this about Shutter Island: it’s doing a lot better than we expected. Down just 41 percent, the film is already director Martin Scorsese’s third biggest hit ever, and very well could wind up as his top earner. Not bad for a film with a twist ending that an astute viewer could have probably picked out from the trailer.

4. Cop Out: $9.1 million ($32.3 million total)

Kudos to Kevin Smith. The much maligned director (and flyer) has his biggest success ever with Cop Out; the comedy bested Zach and Miri Make a Porno to earn the title in just two weekends. Of course since Mr. Smith didn’t write the film—and directed it like a studio gun for hire—we doubt all the members of the View Askew message boards will be all that happy with this result.

5. Avatar: $7.7 million ($720.1 million total)

It looks like Avatar will have to settle for grossing over fifty times what The Hurt Locker managed. Despite getting shut out of the big awards at the Oscars last night, James Cameron still came out of the ceremonies as the most successful director of all-time. Even in the face of the massive 3-D opening of Alice in Wonderland, Mr. Cameron’s big blue escape found room for a fifth place finish and $7.7 million in revenue. Something tells us Mr. Cameron didn’t mind staying off the Oscar stage after all.

Box Office Breakdown: Alice in Wonderland Rings Up Millions