Alice in Wonderland did it again. I may have come away a little lukewarm to the whole thing, but it has certainly struck a chord with audiences. In just its second weekend it has blown past the $200 million mark and it now owns the biggest non-summer opening and second weekend. It is also the biggest opening ever for a Tim Burton film and is a lock to become his highest grossing film. It trails only Batman (1989) which made $251 million. It is too bad that it isn't his best, or even near it for that matter. There certainly is a lot to like, but it has plenty of problems too. It will be interesting to see how high it will fly.
Coming in second place is the first of four new releases to make the charts this week. Matt Damon stars in Green Zone, an Iraq War themed film set in the early days of the occupation during the search for WMDs. Directed by Paul Greengrass, the film is filled with shaky-cam, so if you have a sensitivity to that you would best avoid this. The movie is a thrilling action film that is as entertaining as it is interesting. It keeps tension high even though we already know the outcome. It questions our entry into war and puts a face on the ground that we can identify with. Solid film, better than expected. Granted, it did not open as well as expected, but it will be interesting to see if word of mouth helps it at all.
Following behind in third place is She's Out of My League, a modest romantic comedy in the Apatow tradition. I quite enjoyed it. Despite being a well-worn concept it works through its entertaining execution and the chemistry among its cast. Jay Baruchel and Alice Eve provide a likable central couple who have good chemistry and make you believe a 10 could go for a 5. I recommend it, although I suspect it will fade fast.
Fourth place is a returning film, Shutter Island. The Martin Scorsese thriller is my favorite new film for 2010 so far in this young year. It is a first-rate movie that keeps you off-balance right through the conclusion. It also seems to have a shot at becoming Scorsese's highest grossing film, which currently is The Departed at $132.3 million. Shutter Island is currently at $108 million.