LOS ANGELES – Audiences are mad as hatters about Johnny Depp and Tim Burton’s “Alice in Wonderland,” helping it earn a whopping $41 million in its first day.

After its big start Friday, the Disney release could be on track for a $100 million weekend. Box-office tracker Hollywood.com says that would be a record for films opening in March.

The current best March debut is $70.9 million for “300” in 2007.

Director Burton reteamed with frequent collaborator Depp, who plays the Mad Hatter in their new take on Lewis Carroll’s classic.

The film also features Burton’s romantic partner, Helena Bonham Carter, along with Anne Hathaway, Crispin Glover and Mia Wasikowska as Alice.Man charged with stalking Dr. Pinsky


Man charged with stalking Dr. Pinsky

PASADENA, Calif. – A Los Angeles man accused of stalking Dr. Drew Pinsky and threatening the reality television and radio personality and his family has pleaded not guilty to six felony counts.

Prosecutors say 33-year-old Charles William Pearson entered his not guilty pleas Friday in Pasadena Superior Court.

Pearson is accused of stalking the star of the TV show “Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew” and radio program “Loveline” beginning last November.

He also has been charged with making criminal threats online against the doctor and four of his family members in February.

Pasadena police say he also showed up at a Los Angeles radio station recently and made accusations about the doctor.

Pearson’s bail has been increased to $400,000.

Comedian Kathy Griffin calls Palin a ‘gift that keeps on giving’

ANCHORAGE, Alaska – Comedian Kathy Griffin has brought her “Life on the D-List” show to Sarah Palin’s home state, skewering the former Alaska governor at a raucous show in Anchorage.

Griffin was escorted on stage Friday by Playgirl model Levi Johnston, who fathered a child with Palin’s oldest daughter and is involved in a child support battle with Bristol Palin.

Griffin said she spent a day ice fishing with Johnston in Wasilla, and was surprised when 19-year-old Levi’s friend brought along a camera — but only to photograph the fish they caught.

Griffin helped Johnston’s celebrity star to rise, taking the aspiring actor to an awards show last year as her date. While in Wasilla, Griffin said she also went to Palin’s home. There she left a note, inviting Palin to Friday’s performance.

She asked the crowd to look around and see if anyone was doing a pageant wave.

Griffin said John McCain picked Palin to be his running mate on the Republican ticket after “talking to her for 10 minutes.”

Of Palin’s monologue this week on “The Tonight Show,” Griffin only promised the audience she would never try to be a mayor.

Griffin also claimed Palin is a “gift that keeps on giving.”

Griffin welcomed news that Palin is trying to shop a reality show or docudrama about Alaska. She called that a “gift from God.”

Griffin is in Anchorage to coincide with Saturday’s start of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. She was to have attended several events leading up to the race.


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