"Alice" leads box office, as "Green Zone" flops

Sun Mar 14, 2010 2:29pm EDT
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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - "Alice in Wonderland" raced to a $430 million haul at the worldwide box office on Sunday, while Matt Damon's new Iraq war conspiracy thriller "Green Zone" was one of the year's first big flops.

Director Tim Burton's 3D remake of "Alice" led the field for a second weekend after earning $138 million during the three days beginning on Friday, said distributor Walt Disney Co.

Moviegoers in the United States and Canada chipped in $62 million, a drop of just 47 percent from its opening weekend, and the total North American tally for "Alice" stood at $208.6 million. The foreign total rose to $221 million after a $76 million weekend in 48 markets.

"Green Zone" opened at a distant No. 2 in North America with $14.5 million. Distributor Universal Pictures, which axed its top executives last fall after a poor run at the box office, had hoped for a slightly better showing.

"It's a bit of a disappointment," said Nikki Rocco, president of distribution at the General Electric Co unit.

Damon plays a U.S. soldier questioning the supposed existence of weapons of mass destruction shortly after the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq. Reviews were mixed.

The $100 million movie was directed by British filmmaker Paul Greengrass, who collaborated with Damon on the second two movies in the "Bourne" action trilogy. Those opened to $52.5 million and $69 million, respectively.

Rocco noted "Green Zone" did better than most other entries in the Iraq war genre, including Oscar best picture winner "The Hurt Locker," which has earned about $16 million since June.

"Green Zone" grossed $9.7 million in 14 foreign countries, led by a $3.3 million showing at No. 3 in Britain. The film opened at No. 2 in Australia with $1.9 million.   Continued...

<p>Cast member Johnny Depp (L) and director Tim Burton stand on stage during a panel discussion for the movie "Alice in Wonderland" during the 40th annual Comic Con Convention in San Diego July 23, 2009. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni</p>