LOS ANGELES, March 7 (Xinhua) -- Disney's latest adventure " Alice in Wonderland" shot to the peak of domestic box office this weekend, garnering a whopping 116.3 million dollars in ticket receipts and becoming Hollywood's first 100-million-dollar-plus opener outside of the summer and holiday seasons, the North America box office authority estimated on Sunday.
The 3D-powered Tim Burton and Johnny Depp tea party, which is screened at 3,728 theaters, blew away wildest expectations, sucked the life (and screens) from Avatar, and handily beats Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ" as the biggest film to open in the first quarter. The Gibson film had earned 83.3 million dollars in its five-day opening weekend in February 2004.
"Alice" had already pulled in a phenomenal box office in its debut on Friday, nabbing a record-breaking 41 million dollars. The sequel to the traditional "Alice in Wonderland" tale stars Mia Wasikowska as an older Alice who has been troubled by dreams filled with rabbits wearing waistcoats, talking animals and horrific monsters. When she falls down a rabbit hole during a party, she discovers that there's a reason all this seems so familiar.
An elated Disney executive puts it this way: "It was bonkers."
Debuting at second place is Overture Film's crime saga "The Brooklyn's Finest" starring Gloden Globe winner Richard Gere, with 13.50 million dollars in 1,936 theaters across Canada and the United States. Directed by Antoine Fuqua who also produced " Training Day," the film is a gritty and brutal realm of cops and crooks. Three policemen struggle with the sometimes fine line between right and wrong. Tango is an undercover officer on a narcotics detail that forces him to choose between duty and friendship.
Other players at the top five spots were old guards from the previous weeks.
"Shutter Island" from Paramount was No. 3. It has raked in 13. 30 million dollars and slipped from last week's No. 1, with a three-week total of 95.83 million dollars.
At No. 4 was "Cop Out," Warner Bros, with 9.15 million dollars, and 32.36 million dollars in two weeks.
James Cameron's 3D sci-fi blockbuster "Avatar," Fox, was 5th with 7.7 million dollars this weekend, and 720 million dollars in total in 12 weeks.