Even with three new wide releases this weekend, it’s unlikely that any of them has a chance to top “Alice in Wonderland” as it storms into its third weekend in theaters. Romantic comedy “The Bounty Hunter” should be the top new draw of the weekend with its release at roughly 3,000 total theaters, followed by the release of “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” and “Repo Men.” “Alice” continues to be the first legitimate 2010 blockbuster as it continues to surge towards $300 million in domestic revenue.
Jennifer Aniston has turned into more than a viable actress in terms of commercial success over the years, particularly in the romantic comedy genre. In “The Bounty Hunter,” she will team with Gerard Butler, whose films have ranged from some of the most commercially viable around (“300”) to ones that have tanked in theaters (“Gamer”). Butler’s last entry in the romantic comedy genre, “The Ugly Truth,” did very well with adult audiences and was one of the top grossing romantic comedies of 2009.
With a helpful PG-13 rating, “The Bounty Hunter” could be in position to see similar success, even though early buzz has been anything but positive. Jennifer Aniston is still a big name within the genre, and due to a general lack of competition aimed at female audiences, “The Bounty Hunter” should get off to a decent start this weekend. At more than 3,000 theaters, a weekend intake of $20 million should be a feasible total.
Unfortunately for “Diary of a Wimpy Kid,” it will have plenty of competition for family audiences. Going up against “Alice in Wonderland,” which maintains a strong pull on audiences heading into its third weekend, “Wimpy Kid” doesn’t seem to be in good position for a very big weekend. Still, any new family release that gets released at more than 3,000 theaters should make a dent at the box office – at least for one weekend – and an opening total of somewhere in the $14 to $16 million seems likely for “Wimpy Kid.”
R-rated action flick “Repo Men” is the third wide release of the weekend, though at slightly less theaters than the other two. At an estimated 2,450 venues, “Repo Men” will have to compete with other Universal release “Green Zone,” though the Matt Damon war flick did less than stellar in its opening weekend. Starring Jude Law and Forest Whitaker, “Repo Men” does have some popular actors heading the cast, though its release at less than 3,000 theaters by Universal suggests that it doesn’t have a tremendous amount of confidence.
Recent R-rated thriller “Edge of Darkness” found it difficult to appeal to adult audiences in its opening weekend, even with Mel Gibson heading its cast and a fairly aggressive marketing campaign. With everything considered, “Repo Men” probably won’t earn more than $13 million over the weekend and has the biggest bust potential.
“Alice in Wonderland” continues to be a surprisingly strong box office performer, even for a release that brought an enormous budget and high expectations. Before the weekend started, “Alice” had already pulled in roughly $230 million domestically and nearly $450 million worldwide, making it clear that 3-D is not simply a fad created by James Cameron. “Alice” should climb well past $300 million and will likely end the year as one of the top overall draws in terms of both domestic and worldwide totals.
Next weekend, “How To Train Your Dragon” will provide some competition for “Alice” and will likely end its run at the top of the box office charts. Starring the voice of Gerard Butler, who has his second straight weekend with a release of more than 3,000 theaters, “Dragon” is the next big 3-D release aimed at family audiences. Also opening will be R-rated comedy “Hot Tub Time Machine,” which could be in position for a sizeable opening weekend.
RTT Box Office Predictions For 3/19-3/21 (In Millions):
1)Alice in Wonderland (Buena Vista/Disney): $30
2)The Bounty Hunter (Sony/Columbia): $20
3)Diary of a Wimpy Kid (Fox): $14
4)Repo Men (Universal): $11
5)Green Zone (Universal): $7.5
6)She’s Out of My League (Paramount): $5
7)Remember Me (Summit): $4.5
8)Shutter Island (Paramount): $4.3
9)Our Family Wedding (Fox Searchlight): $3.7
10)Avatar (Fox): $3.6