3D ticket prices got hiked. A new 3D movie got raised.
The big-as-life cartoon How to Train Your Dragon topped the weekend box office with an estimated $43.3 million.
• According to reports, 3D-theater admissions were jacked up as much as 26 percent in honor of Dragon. "It's a mild disappintment when you look at that," Exhibitor Relations box-office analyst Jeff Bock said of the movie's opening-weekend gross.
• Overall, the $165 million Dragon met expectations, which basically were: Yes, it'll open No. 1; no, it won't open nearly as big as DreamWorks' Monsters vs. Aliens did this time last year.
• Having lost 3D screens to Dragon, Alice in Wonderland ($17.3 million; $293.1 million overall) saw its three-weekend reign end with a thud—with business down about 50 percent from last weekend. Dragon will receive its karmic payback next weekend when it loses 3D screens to Clash of the Titans.
• Hot Tub Time Machine's solid reviews, Hangover comparisons, and media mentions galore added up to…well, what exactly? "I think $20 million would've made a lot of people smile," Bock said. "[In the end], it was more hype than buzz."
• In their second weekends, Jennifer Aniston's and Gerard Butler's The Bounty Hunter ($12.4 million; $38.8 million overall) enjoyed a better-than-average hold, while Diary of a Wimpy Kid ($10 million; $35.8 million overall) didn't.
• Avatar missed the Top 10 for the first time since before Christmas. Even in its decline, it took in another $2 million, and upped its record-breaking domestic total to $740.4 million.
• Robert Pattinson's Remember Me ($1.9 million) had a slightly shorter run in the Top 10 than Avatar. Still, even though the romantic weepy only hung with the big boys for two weekends, it made good on its purported budget, grossing $17 million to date.
• Kristen Stewart's The Runaways is gassed after only two weekends in limited release: $445,810 at 237 theaters, for a weak per-screen average of $1,881.
Here's a complete rundown of the weekend's top-grossing films Friday-Sunday, per estimates compiled by Exhibitor Relations: