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Weekend Box Office Numbers (March 5-7, 2010): Alice in Wonderland opens to $116.1M; Breaks 3D/IMAX records

Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland grossed an impressive $116.101 million, the biggest opening ever for Burton (crushing the $68.533M opening of 2001’s “Planet of the Apes”) and the best-ever opening debut for a 3D film (eclipsing the $77.025M for Avatar). The film opened on Friday to $40.805M, improved 8.3% to 44.209M on Saturday and dropped 29.7% on Sunday to $31.087M. That translates to a per theater average of $31,143.

The 3-day tally is enough to put it ahead of Valentine’s Day ($106.42M) as the highest-grossing film of 2010.

‘Alice’ was helped significantly by 3D and IMAX, which accounted for about 70%, or over $80M of its opening weekend, topping the previous $55M record set by Avatar. The film grossed an estimated record $11.9M (included in the $80M tally) from just 188 IMAX venues (an incredible $63,197 per site).  The previous best for IMAX was Avatar‘s $9.5M from 178 sites.  Box Office Mojo estimates that combined, the 3D and IMAX ticket premiums over normal prices added about $22M to Alice‘s gross.

Worldwide receipts were also strong, $100.5M from 6,455 sites in 40 territories (for a per-screen average of $15,569) putting its opening weekend worldwide cume at $216.601 million. Head on over the jump for more analysis and the weekend chart.

The only other new release this weekend was the Antoine Fuqua-directed R-rated action film Brooklyn’s Finest which debuted in second place with a respectable $13.35M from 1,936 theaters (Fri: $4.73M; Sat: $5.289M; Sun: $3.331M). Rounding out the top five, Martin Scorsese’s Shutter Island ($95.75M cume) dropped to third place after two-straight first place showings with $13.225M, while Cop Out dropped two spots to fourth place ($9.289M / $32.505M cume) and Avatar dropped one spot, but stayed in the top five, in its 12th weekend with $8.118M ($720.607M domestic cume).

Weekend Chart for March 5 – March 7, 2010:

1 Alice in Wonderland $116,101,023 NEW 3,728 $116,101,023
2 Brooklyn’s Finest $13,350,299 NEW 1,936 $13,350,299
3 Shutter Island $13,225,411 -41.6% 3,178 +175 $95,750,005
4 Cop out $9,289,311 -49.0% 3,150 $32,504,610
5 Avatar $8,118,102 -40.5% 2,163 -293 $720,607,444
6 The Crazies $7,078,851 -55.9%
2,479 +3 $27,472,164
7 ‘Percy Jackson’ $5,124,623 -46.5%
2,994 -308 $78,057,749
8 Valentine’s Day $4,154,110 -54.2%
3,040 -538 $106,303,870
9 Crazy Heart $3,312,591 +34.5%
1,274 +126 $29,532,002
10 Dear John $2,782,079 -42.1%
2,496 -510 $76,626,086

Sources: Box Office Mojo and THR (1), (2)