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'Alice in Wonderland' opens at top of weekend box office

Tim Burton 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," The Associated Press reports. It also marked the biggest opening weekend for a nonsequel.

"This is just one of those cultural phenomenons that has caught everybody's interest," said Chuck Viane, Disney's president of distribution. "They don't come like this very often."

"Alice" thoroughly dominated the weekend, surprising even Disney. The film was expected to open closer to the $65 million-$75 million range.

"We went into Friday thinking that we really had a big hit with us, and then all of a sudden the numbers started to roll in," Viane said. "We said, 'Oh my gosh. This is bigger than any of us could have anticipated.' "

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