Conventionalwisdom has March coming in like a lion and going out like a lamb. But when itcame to the box office, it was in like a White Rabbit (as in Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland)and out like a dragon, with DreamWorks' Howto Train Your Dragon.
OpeningMarch 5, Alice in Wonderland drew inmore than $116 million in its first weekend, and has grossed more than $295million in the U.S.so far. And movies derived from children's books made strong showings at theend of the month, too. Fox's Diary of aWimpy Kid, based on the bestselling seriesby Jeff Kinney, was the number two filmduring its opening weekend of March 19—21 (Alice held the top spot), grossing more than$22.1 million.
Thispast weekend, the computer-animated Howto Train Your Dragon, based on the 2003 book of the same name by CressidaCowell, claimed the top spot, takingin $43.7 million.
Andthere's plenty more on the horizon. This summer will see several more kids'books adapted into feature films, with Stephenie Meyer's The Twilight Saga: Eclipse; Beastly(based on the Alex Flinn novel); and Beverly Cleary's Ramona and Beezus all hitting theaters in July. These are inaddition to numerous other summer movies—many of which are derived from fromcomics, TV shows, and even video games—of interest to kids and families: Iron Man 2, Toy Story 3, Shrek ForeverAfter, Marmaduke, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, The Last Airbender, Despicable Me, and TheSorcerer's Apprentice.