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Box Office Numbers (Friday, March 5, 2010): Alice in Wonderland debuts to huge $40.8 million Friday

Update: Alice in Wonderland grossed $40.805 million on Friday.  I’ve updated the daily chart — viewable after the jump — with Friday’s actual numbers.

Original article follows below.

The Tim Burton-directed / Johnny Depp-starring Alice in Wonderland got off to a huge start on Friday, pulling in an estimated $41 million.  The film looks to be on pace for a $110-$120 million opening week (Tim Burton’s biggest ever). Playing in 3,728 theaters (2,063 3D / 188 IMAX 3D), Alice in Wonderland will become the biggest 3D opener ever (not to mention the biggest March opening ever–crushing the $70.885M set by 2007’s 300).  For historical perspective, the previous best 3D opening — Avatar — had an opening day of $26.752M and a 3-day of  $77.025M from 3,452 total theaters (2,038 3D / 178 IMAX 3D).

The only other new release this weekend was the Antoine Fuqua-directed R-action film Brookyln’s Finest.  The Friday studio estimate for the film is $4.725M for an estimated $12-$15M opening weekend.  So how badly did Avatar get affected by AiW‘s release?  It held up fairly well actually.  It drew a very respectable estimated $1.975M on Friday for what’s looking like a $7-$9M 12th weekend.  Avatar could well be at a $720M domestic cume by the end of the weekend. Head on over the jump for the daily chart.

Daily Box Office Chart for Friday, February 26, 2010 [Update: Chart updated with the Friday actuals]

Rank Movie Friday Gross
Percent Change from Thursday Theaters
1 Alice in Wonderland $40,805,962 NEW 3,728
2 Brooklyn’s Finest $4,730,543 NEW 1,936
3 Shutter Island $4,024,045 +148.4% 3,178
4 Cop Out $2,828,027 +152.6%
5 The Crazies $2,345,363 +158.8%
6 Avatar $1,974,036 +19.9%
7 Valentine’s Day $1,413,073 +155.8%
8 ‘Percy Jackson’ $1,385,264 +200.6%
9 Dear John $967,823 +172.1%
10 Crazy Heart $925,749 +170.6%

Source: Box Office Mojo