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IMAGE: Alice in Wonderland
Tim Burton's retelling of the classic tale, featuring Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter, Mia Wasikowska as Alice, and Anne Hathaway as the White Queen, is a rare springtime box-office success story.
updated 3/21/2010 3:50:03 PM ET 2010-03-21T19:50:03

Alice remains the queen of the box office.

Johnny Depp and Tim Burton's "Alice in Wonderland" took in $34.5 million to remain the No. 1 movie for a third-straight weekend, according to studio estimates Sunday.

The Disney release raised its domestic haul to $265.8 million and its worldwide total to $565.8 million after just three weekends in theaters, a huge result for a film playing in the typically slow month of March.

"You rarely see this kind of domination by one movie at this time of year," said Paul Dergarabedian, box-office analyst for Hollywood.com. "Normally at this time of year, films don't make this kind of money, and they don't hold in this long."

"Alice in Wonderland" easily beat a rush of new movies led by 20th Century Fox's family film "Diary of a Wimpy Kid," which opened at No. 2 with $21.8 million. The movie is adapted from Jeff Kinney's cartoon novel about a sixth grader maneuvering through the intricate social structure at his middle school, which includes its own "cooties" game known as the "cheese touch."

"I think cheese touch equals magic touch at the box office," said Chris Aronson, head of distribution at 20th Century Fox.

Debuting at No. 3 was Jennifer Aniston and Gerard Butler's action comedy "The Bounty Hunter" with $21 million. Released by Sony, the movie follows a bounty hunter chasing his ex-wife, a reporter with an arrest warrant over her head after she misses a court date while pursuing a story.

"We had figured an estimate in the high teens, so 20-plus million is a good number for us," said Rory Bruer, head of distribution for Sony.

‘Repo Men’ a bloody flop
Jude Law and Forest Whitaker's action thriller "Repo Men" flopped with a No. 4 opening of $6.2 million. The Universal release features Law as a repo man on the run in a future where organs are bloodily repossessed if patients miss their payments.

In narrower release, Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning's Joan Jett music drama "The Runaways" opened weakly with $803,629 in 244 theaters, averaging $3,294 a cinema.

That compared to an average of $9,229 in 3,739 theaters for "Alice in Wonderland," $7,085 in 3,077 theaters for "Diary of a Wimpy Kid," $6,831 in 3,074 cinemas for "The Bounty Hunter" and $2,440 in 2,521 locations for "Repo Men."

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Released by Apparition, "The Runaways" stars Stewart as Jett and Fanning as singer Cherie Currie as they opened doors for women rockers in the 1970s with an all-girl band.

Ben Stiller's comic drama "Greenberg" premiered strongly in limited release, pulling in $120,432 in three theaters for a huge average of $40,144 a cinema.

Released by Focus Features, "Greenberg" stars Stiller as a neurotic whose mean tongue jeopardizes a budding romance with his brother's personal assistant (Greta Gerwig).

James Cameron's science-fiction blockbuster "Avatar" remained in the top 10 three months into its run. The 20th Century Fox release pulled in $4 million to raise its domestic total to $736.9 million. Worldwide, "Avatar" has taken in $2.67 billion.

"Alice in Wonderland" continued to lift overall Hollywood revenues, which came in at $130 million for the weekend, up 23 percent from the same weekend last year, when the thriller "Knowing" debuted at No. 1 with $24.6 million.

So far this year, domestic revenues are at $2.43 billion, up 10.3 percent over 2009's, according to Hollywood.com. Factoring in higher ticket prices, movie attendance is 8.2 percent ahead of last year's.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Photos: ‘Alice in Wonderland’

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  1. The Mad Hatter

    Johnny Depp plays The Mad Hatter in the 3-D remake of "Alice in Wonderland." With his outrageous appearance, the character could be a cousin to Depp's Willy Wonka and his Sweeney Todd. (AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. The White Queen

    Anne Hathaway is shown as The White Queen. After playing a princess twice in “The Princess Diaries” films, Hathaway finally graduates to playing a queen. This is the actress's first time working with director Tim Burton. (AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. The Red Queen

    Helena Bonham Carter is shown as The Red Queen. Tim Burton's girlfriend is no stranger to extreme makeup. From her ape makeover for "Planet of the Apes" to her role as the meat-pie making Mrs. Lovett in "Sweeney Todd," Bonham Carter has come a long way since her early roles in period films such as "A Room With A View." (AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. Oh, brother

    British actor Matt Lucas portrays Tweedledee and Tweedledum. The odd twins are the first people that Alice meets on her Wonderland journey. (AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. Alice

    Mia Wasikowska is shown as Alice. In Burton's film, a teenage Alice falls back down the rabbit hole into the world she visited as a child and has forgotten for a decade. (AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. Fantasy world

    Depp, left, and Burton, photographed in 2007, have worked on seven films together, including "Edward Scissorhands," "Ed Wood," "Sleepy Hollow" and "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory." (Kevork Djansezian / AP file) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. Back to Wonderland

    Alice returns to a Wonderland in turmoil, and must step up to help fight the terrifying Red Queen. (Disney Enterprises) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. And ... action!

    Director Tim Burton has been behind the camera since his childhood in Burbank, Calif., when he would make short films in his back yard. (Leah Gallo / Disney Enterprises) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. Explaining his vision

    Burton works with Mia Wasikowska on a scene. The Australian-born actress was chosen for the role of Alice after a lengthy search. (Leah Gallo / Disney Enterprises) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. Bundled up

    Producer Richard Zanuck and Wasikowska on the set. Most of the film was shot in the cities of Plymouth and Torpoint, England. (Leah Gallo / Disney Enterprises) Back to slideshow navigation
  11. Creepy caterpillar

    Actor Alan Rickman provided the voice of Absolem, the caterpillar, but his face wasn't composited onto the character. (Disney Enterprises) Back to slideshow navigation
  12. Castle charms

    If the castle in "Alice in Wonderland" looks a little like Cinderella's castle at Disneyland, don't be surprised. The film is a Walt Disney production. (Disney Enterprises) Back to slideshow navigation
  13. Puppy love

    Hathaway's White Queen greets the Bloodhound. (Disney Enterprises) Back to slideshow navigation
  14. Cat got your tongue?

    The famed Cheshire Cat is voiced by legendary British comic Stephen Fry. (Disney Enterprises) Back to slideshow navigation
  15. Lady in red

    The Red Queen hates animals, and uses them as furniture. (Disney Enterprises) Back to slideshow navigation
  16. Dog days

    The Bloodhound's voice is provided by Timothy Spall, who worked with Burton in "Sweeney Todd." (Disney Enterprises) Back to slideshow navigation
  17. Ready for battle?

    Crispin Glover provides the voice of the Knave of Hearts, the arrogant head of the Red Queen's army. (Disney Enterprises) Back to slideshow navigation
  18. Crazy for you

    Depp's Mad Hatter has orange hair, an allusion to mercury poisoning suffered by many real hatmakers, who used mercury to cure felt. (Disney Enterprises) Back to slideshow navigation
  19. Alice in armor

    Alice learns she is the only one who can slay the Jabberwock, the dragon who terrorizes Wonderland, and must prepare for battle. (Disney Enterprises) Back to slideshow navigation
  20. Try my potion

    Hathaway drew inspiration from singer Blondie and actress Greta Garbo, among others, as she prepared to play the White Queen. (Disney Enterprises) Back to slideshow navigation
  21. Seeing red

    The Red Queen, whose character also includes the Queen of Hearts from the "Alice" books, rules Wonderland with an iron fist, and an army. (Disney Enterprises) Back to slideshow navigation
  22. Twin bill

    Actor Matt Lucas' face was digitally added to twins Tweedledum and Tweedledee. (Disney Enterprises) Back to slideshow navigation
  23. Off with his head!

    Even the frog servants should know better than to anger the Red Queen. (Disney Enterprises) Back to slideshow navigation
  24. Eye see you

    Crispin Glover's Knave of Hearts is the only one who can calm the Red Queen. He's seven-and-a-half feet tall and wears a heart-shaped patch over one eye on his battle-scarred face. (Disney Enterprises) Back to slideshow navigation
  25. Crazy characters

    The Dodo, the Dormouse, and the White Rabbit join Tweedledee and Tweedledum in Wonderland. The White Rabbit is voiced by Michael Sheen, well-known for playing Tony Blair in "The Queen." (Disney Enterprises) Back to slideshow navigation
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