“Alice” leads box office, as “Green Zone” flops

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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 openingweekend, 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.
Universal also underperformed with its last big picture, “The Wolfman,” a $150 million monster movie that earned about $135 million worldwide.
The other newcomers in North America made even less of an impact.
“She’s Out of My League,” a comedy starring Jay Baruchel as a lucky loser, opened at No. 3 with $9.6 million; the romantic drama “Remember Me,” starring “Twilight” pinup Robert Pattinson, came in at No. 4 with $8.3 million; and the ethnic comedy “Our Family Wedding” rounded out the rookies at No. 6 with $7.6 million.
“She’s Out of My League” was released by Paramount Pictures, a unit of Viacom Inc. “Remember Me” was released by closely held Summit Entertainment. “Our Family Wedding” was released by Fox Searchlight Pictures, a unit of News Corp.
The Academy Awards on March 7 had little impact on the chart. Summit’s “The Hurt Locker,” already on DVD, earned $828,000 from just 349 theaters — less than one-tenth of the 3,728 theater count for “Alice in Wonderland.”
Fox’s “Avatar,” which ended up with just three Oscars, fell two places to No. 7 with $6.6 million in its 13th week. Its North American total rose to $730 million and its worldwide tally to $2.6 billion.

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