Tim Burton’s highly anticipated Alice in Wonderland is in theatres starting today. Disney went big on their advertising blitz, even renting the Los Angeles Times’ front page to promote the big-screen adoption of the children’s classic (which got its own backlash from the media).
Of course, Disney is hoping to get some of that Avatar blockbuster magic that propelled Fox News’ boost in revenues.
“Disney really needs this to be a hit,” Jeff Bock of Exhibitor Relations told Forbes. “Their last couple of films have failed to attract much business. Even The Princess and The Frog wasn’t the blockbuster they envisioned.” Analysts are predicted at least a $70 million opening weekend, which will certainly knock Avatar off the No. 1 spot during the weekend. Nikki Finke at Deadline.com reports that Alice has “a real shot at $100 million weekend.”
But Avatar brought in $77 million domestically and totaled $242 million worldwide during its opening weekend. Can Tim Burton contend with James Cameron: the blockbuster king?
Well, Alice is a darker, creepier movie than Avatar. Johnny Depp as a truly insane Mad Hattar might scare younger audiences away.
But Alice’s 3-D screenings will give its revenues a big boost, since those premium tickets are more expensive. Alice has some of the on-screen action that made watching Avatar in 3-D a more thrilling experience for theatre goers. According to Joe Morgenstern at the Wall Street Journal: “A succession of chases and fanciful combats, more akin to Dungeons & Dragons than to Carroll, leads to a peculiarly truncated climax.”
Alice’s 3-D technology was added in post-production stage, unlike Avatar which shot the movie with 3-D cameras. Burton told the Times: “When I saw the difference and looked at the time frame we had to do this movie, it didn’t make sense to” shoot it with 3-D cameras. According to the first line of Claudia Puig’s movie review, it probably didn’t make a difference: “When it comes to 3-D visual splendors, give me Wonderland over Pandora any day.”
So perhaps Alice will be able to nudge in a good opening weekend. But we highly doubt it will knock off Avatar, or even Star Wars, from their record-breaking box office perches.
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