Nicole Sperling
March 27, 2010 AT 04:45 PM EDT

Image Credit: DreamWorks AnimationDreamWorks Animation’s How to Train Your Dragon is on track to handily win the weekend, though its numbers won’t be anywhere near last year’s Monsters vs. Aliens. Its Friday gross is estimated at $11 million, tracking for a three-day take that’s likely to hit $40 million. The reason the well-reviewed kid flick can’t match Monsters gross has nothing to do with the film’s playability and everything to do with the staying power of Alice in Wonderland. The Tim Burton/Johnny Depp fantastical extravaganza lost a good chunk of its 3-D screens this frame, yet it’s still on track to finish the weekend in second place at the box office, with a likely total of $16 million. Its Friday number is estimated at $5 million.

In a surprise, the poorly reviewed Bounty Hunter is holding rather well its second weekend in theaters. The Jennifer Aniston/Gerard Butler-starrer is looking like it’s only going to fall around 48% for the weekend. The film’s Friday number is estimated at $4 million, with a likely three-day take of $13 million, good enough for  third place this weekend. That would put it ahead of MGM’s low-budget newcomer, Hot Tub Time Machine, which earned an estimated $4.5 million for Friday. That likely will translate into a $12 million weekend, matching what tracking suggested for the film, though far less than the $20 million I had predicted. Turns out my ’80s nostalgia may be greater than most moviegoers. (MGM had warned me that my number was high, and now I admit they were right all along.)

Diary of a Wimpy Kid looks like the frame’s fifth place finisher. Unfortunately for the well-reviewed kid flick, it ran into the Dragon. Kid‘s Friday number is estimated at just under $3 million, suggesting a weekend gross of $10 million. That translates to a steep 62% drop — a fate that doesn’t reflect how well the adaptation of the uber-popular adaptation of the Jeff Kinney novel has been received by audiences. Check back tomorrow for a full report on the weekend numbers.

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