"Alice" set to stay No. 1 at box office

Thu Mar 11, 2010 8:09pm EST
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By Carl DiOrio

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Reigning champ "Alice in Wonderland" is sure to score an easy victory at the weekend box office in North America despite four wide releases hitting theaters Friday.

Disney's 3D fantasy, the latest collaboration between director Tim Burton and Johnny Depp, opened with $116 million last weekend. Industry observers believe "Alice" will fall 50% or less in its second weekend. As a result, the motion-capture/live-action hybrid might climb above $200 million through its first 10 days.

Meanwhile, Matt Damon's Iraq War thriller "Green Zone" appears the strongest of the debutants, and could open with $14 million-$16 million.

But with a budget of at least $100 million, the Universal release will have to take in plenty of green for at least a few weekends if the R-rated picture is to enter the profit zone. A recent surplus of R-rated releases doesn't help its weekend prospects, and early reviews have been mixed.

Elsewhere, Fox Searchlight opens the Forest Whitaker vehicle "Our Family Wedding," targeting urban demos. The film could stuff $11 million or more in its gift pouch.

Summit Entertainment sends out "Remember Me," a romantic drama starring Robert Pattinson, with prospects of fetching a similar sum.

Paramount opens the R-rated romantic comedy "She's Out of My League," which boasts a youthful cast and is likely to register only $8 million or so through Sunday.

Also Friday, Summit and Canadian partner Maple re-expand "The Hurt Locker" to 348 domestic playdates -- up from 275 last weekend -- following its big success at the Academy Awards. But despite a victory in the oft-lucrative best picture category, "Locker" is unlikely to reap dramatic new business theatrically as the Iraq War thriller already is out on home video. The film's total is approaching $15 million.

Fox Searchlight's "Crazy Heart," for which Jeff Bridges won the best actor statuette Sunday, is set for roughly 1,500 engagements in an expansion from last weekend's 1,274.

<p>Director Tim Burton poses for photographers as he arrives at the Royal World premiere of "Alice In Wonderland" at Leicester Square in London February 25, 2010. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor</p>