'Alice' a wonder in box-office land
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NEW YORK — Tim Burton's and Johnny Depp's trip down the rabbit hole drew huge crowds, as "Alice in Wonderland" earned a whopping $116.3 million in its opening weekend — a record for a 3-D film.
The surprisingly huge total easily surpassed all other films in release and gave Walt Disney Studios an even bigger opening than that of the hugely popular 3-D film "Avatar." It also marked the biggest opening weekend for a nonsequel.
It was a record release for the first quarter of the year, typically a time of lower box-office expectations and critically acclaimed Oscar contenders.
The weekend's second-best box office performer was "Brooklyn's Finest," Antoine Fuqua's gritty police thriller, which earned $13.5 million in its first weekend.
DIRECTOR SNUBS ISRAEL AT OSCARS
JERUSALEM — The Israeli Arab co-director of the Oscar-nominated film "Ajami" set off a last-minute uproar yesterday, saying he wouldn't be representing Israel while at the Academy Awards ceremony.
"Ajami" depicts the brutal life of drugs, violence and poverty in a mixed Jewish-Arab neighborhood in the Mediterranean city of Jaffa. It was nominated for best foreign-language film, but lost to Argentinian crime drama "The Secret in Their Eyes (El Secreto de Sus Ojos)."
Scandar Copti directed the film along with a Jewish Israeli partner, Yaron Shani. Copti has been critical of Israel's policies toward its Arab minority.
BRAD PAISLEY BRUISED IN CONCERT MISHAP
CHARLESTON, S.C. — Brad Paisley is recovering after he tripped on stage and took a tumble during a South Carolina concert.
A news release from his spokeswoman said the country star was singing his encore finale — "Alcohol" — when he fell Saturday night, but got back up and finished his show. He was checked out at a hospital and released early yesterday.
Paisley suffered only some bad bruises, but wrote on his Twitter page that he "hit hard. And I mean freaking hard." The 37-year-old quipped that doctors told him he "was a very brave boy."
JAMAICA PLANS TO DISPLAY REGGAE RARITIES
KINGSTON, Jamaica — Jamaica plans to open a music museum next year featuring rare pieces from the island's music history, including an album late reggae star Bob Marley produced before he gained global fame.
There's also a cassette tape in which another reggae great, Peter Tosh, jams a blues song with Mick Jagger and Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones, the museum curator said yesterday.
Preservation of Jamaica's vibrant music history took a major hit two years ago when a massive collection of 1970s music, including original recordings by Marley and Tosh, was found to have disappeared from the archives of the former Jamaica Broadcasting Corp.