By Nicole Sperling
Updated March 20, 2010 at 03:16 PM EDT

It’s no surprise that Alice in Wonderland grossed over $9 million on Friday to give it a first place finish this weekend for the third time in a row. What has taken box office prognosticators by surprise is the strength of the kid flick Diary of a Wimpy Kid. From Twentieth Century Fox, the movie — based on the massive New York Times best-seller by Jeff Kinney — grossed an estimated $7 million Friday. The weekend take could end up north of $25 million. (Most predictors, including me, put the film in the mid-teen range for the weekend.) If the numbers hold, Wimpy will also take the honor of best-performing new release, out-grossing the star power of the Jennifer Aniston and Gerard Butler in the comedy-action film The Bounty Hunter and the R-rated sci-fi flick Repo Man.

Bounty Hunter earned an approximate $7.5 million on Friday, a higher number than Wimpy, but one that is not as likely to sustain itself throughout the weekend. It’s estimated to gross $22 million for the three-day period. Repo Men was in a distant fourth place compared to the other new releases. The Forest Whitaker-Jude Law film earned a paltry $2 million on Friday, for a weekend take that’s not expected to go higher than $6 million. Fifth place is going to be a bit of a race between last weekend’s two new releases. Both the R-rated gross-out comedy She’s Out of My League and the Matt Damon vehicle Green Zone are jockeying for the fifth slot; each earned a bit under $2 million on Friday. The two will both be fighting for $6 million this weekend, close on the heels of Repo Man. Check back tomorrow for the full report.