'Train Your Dragon' slays box office competition

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The Independent Culture

Animation adventure "How to Train Your Dragon" roared to the top of the North American box office in its debut weekend, beating out "Alice in Wonderland" in a battle of the 3-D blockbusters, industry figures showed Sunday.

The DreamWorks fantasy about a young Viking who ends up the owner of a pet dragon pulled in 43.3 million dollars in the Friday-to-Sunday period, on the back of freshly-hiked movie ticket prices.

It knocked Tim Burton's "Alice" off her perch as the number one film for three weeks running. The live-action version of Lewis Carroll's children's classic starring Johnny Depp and Mia Wasikowska has earned 293 million dollars total including 17.2 million this weekend, box office tracker Exhibitor Relations reported.

The 3-D wizardry kept time-bending jacuzzi users at bay, with "Hot Tub Time Machine" debuting in third place. The R-rated comedy starring John Cusack about four friends traveling back to their 1980s heydays via a special hot tub earned 13.6 million dollars.

That put it ahead of "Bounty Hunter," a comedy starring Jennifer Aniston and Gerard Butler, which came in fourth with a 12.4-million-dollar take, and "Diary of a Wimpy Kid," an adaptation of the Jeff Kinney cartoon novels, which slipped three place to fifth in the box office with 10 million.

Holding steady at sixth was "She's Out of My League," in which a stunning woman and a dorky guy fall in love. The film earned 3.5 million dollars.

"Green Zone," an Iraq war film starring Matt Damon and based on the 2006 book "Imperial Life in the Emerald City," took in 3.3 million dollars, dropping to seventh place from fifth.

Martin Scorsese's "Shutter Island" was in eighth place, pulling in 3.1 million dollars for a six-week total of 120 million.

Dropping five spots to ninth was science fiction morality tale "Repo Men," which made 3.0 million dollars in its second week in theaters.

Next was the interracial romantic comedy "Our Family Wedding," which earned 2.2 million dollars.

The film booted 3-D science-fiction blockbuster "Avatar," the top grossing movie of all time, out of the top 10 for the first time since its spectacular debut 15 weeks ago.

"Avatar" added two million dollars to the pile, bringing its domestic total to 740.4 million dollars.