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Alice RULES the Palace!!

March 22nd, 2010

You know who people like? Mia Wasikowska, Tim Burton’s 19 year-old version of Alice from Disney’s 3-D hit “Alice in Wonderland. That film was number one at the box office – for the third weekend in a row, with a total of $34 million. The film has already made $265 million domestically, and shows little in the way of slowing down.

You know who audiences DON’T like? (At least according to the weekend box office.) Jennifer Aniston. (Those who point out that Gerard Butler also stars in the film aren’t wrong, but they aren’t noticing his consistent popularity, unlike Aniston’s; this her softest opening in years.) Sony’s “The Bounty Hunter” made only $21 million in its opening weekend, virtually tying with Twentieth Century Fox’s “Diary of a Wimpy Kid”, which earned $21.8 million in its opening weekend. And that made Aniston’s picture third in popularity after what are essentially TWO kids’ movies. Granted, opening a film with $21 million is far better than the experience of the #4 picture, “Repo Men,” which was eviscerated (sorry!) by the critics. This star-driven “Saw”-wannabe only scared up $6.2 million on 2,521 screens, proving audiences hate Aniston less than some things, like “Repo Men,” which  “Daily Variety” described as a “a numbingly brutal slog.” 

“Green Zone” and “She’s Out of Your League” are clearly yesterday’s news. Neither film has cracked $25 million; closest is ‘Zone, ‘ with a domestic cumulative total of $24.7 after two weeks. ‘League’ is another also-ran, with barely $20 Million after two weeks. When you consider the fact that the production, print & advertising and marketing costs for these two pictures (though out of scale compared to one another) are probably in excess of $180 million, a box office return of ONLY $44.7 million (which doesn’t count the eventual DVD sales, etc) represents a very large loss for these studios (Universal and Paramount, respectively).

Nice weather may possibly have kept people out of the theaters this weekend – but BETTER MOVIES would get more ‘butts in seats,’ to borrow a showbiz expression.

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