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'Alice' continues to do wonders at box office

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- 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

"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.

Debuting at No. 3 was Jennifer Aniston and Gerard Butler's action comedy "The Bounty Hunter" with $21 million.

Jude Law and Forest Whitaker's action thriller "Repo Men" flopped with a No. 4 opening of $6.2 million.

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.

So far this year, domestic revenues are at $2.43 billion, up 10.3 percent over last year, according to

Factoring in higher ticket prices, movie attendance is 8.2 percent ahead of last year's.

Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to

1. "Alice in Wonderland," $34.5 million.

2. "Diary of a Wimpy Kid," $21.8 million.

3. "The Bounty Hunter," $21 million.

4. "Repo Men," $6.2 million.

5. "She's Out of My League," $6 million.

6. "Green Zone," $5.96 million.

7. "Shutter Island," $4.8 million.

8. "Avatar," $4 million.

9. "Our Family Wedding," $3.8 million.

10. "Remember Me," $3.3 million.


Big-income audits rise

WASHINGTON (Bloomberg News) -- Internal Revenue Service data shows the agency increased audits of multimillionaires in the U.S. by as much as a third in last year as it made good on a pledge to focus enforcement efforts on high-income individuals.

The IRS increased audits of individuals with annual incomes of $1 million to $5 million by 33 percent from 2008, while audits of those earning $5 million to $10 million rose by 16 percent, the data released last week showed. Examinations of taxpayers who earn more than $10 million increased by 8.5 percent.


Business this week . . .

These are the major business and economic events scheduled this week:

TUESDAY -- National Association of Realtors releases existing home sales for February; Federal Housing Finance Agency releases January home price index.

WEDNESDAY -- Commerce Department releases durable goods for February and new home sales for February.

THURSDAY -- Labor Department releases weekly jobless claims; Freddie Mac releases weekly mortgage rates.

FRIDAY -- Commerce Department releases revised fourth-quarter gross domestic product.

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