Unlike recent titles, Alice has the watercooler legs to generate continuing buzz, journalistic conversation, and as a result, moolah, for the company's foreseeable future -- and with little competition in the next few weeks, it stands to bank a significant amount of green.
Alice in WonderlandDirector: Tim Burton
Cast: Mia Wasikowska, Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, Anne Hathaway, Crispin Glover, Alan Rickman, Timothy Spall, Matt Lucas, Stephen Fry
MPAA Rating: PG
Studio: Walt Disney Studios
UK Release Date: 2010-03-05.
US Release Date: 2010-03-05.
Similar to Shutter Island, the ads have been almost omnipresent for the last eight months. Every time you turned around, a clownish Johnny Depp was admonishing a mini-Alice for being "late" and "naughty". Tantalizing images of blubbery flesh orbs - aka Tweedledee and Tweedledum - a giant roaring beastie, a Red Queen complete with overinflated noggin, and rabbits everywhere, graced movie and TV screens. For some, the notion of Goth geek director Tim Burton taking on Lewis Carroll's classic tales of Wonderland and beyond the Looking Glass seemed like a natural. Others crowed at the possibility of a former professional outsider and visionary on auto-pilot. The results actually lie somewhere in the middle. While critics have turned the title into the typical "love/hate" homage to the always lackluster Jan-April movie season, audiences have lined up in droves. Compelled by the comically oppressive hype -- and a dimensional marketing stunt - this particular interpretation of the Victorian tale earned a record setting $116 million domestically.
Add in another $94 million worldwide, and Alice in Wonderland looks like a solid hit for the House of Mouse. Indeed, it seems ironic that a studio that could never appreciate the nerdy apprentice animator they hired (Burton worked for Uncle Walt's corporate conspirators in the '80s) would now benefit, greatly, from the director's built in demographic. Toss in the still in its infancy cinematic exploit known as 3D and Disney should be happy. Unlike recent titles, Alice has the watercooler legs to generate continuing buzz, journalistic conversation, and as a result, moolah, for the company's foreseeable future - and with little competition in the next few weeks, it stands to bank a significant amount of green. Still, what does the financial success mean to the individuals involved, including ones wearing the "genius" caps in the corner of the development Hell boardroom? Some clear conclusions can be drawn, starting with the impact on the studio that now seems crazy like a fox:
Lewis Carroll and the Original Alice in Wonderland
Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, Mia Wasikowska
Alice in Wonderland 2???