Monday Morning Quarterback

By BOP Staff

March 9, 2010

They are not men. They are also not DEVO.

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Through the Looking Glass Indeed

Kim Hollis: Alice in Wonderland became arguably the most shocking $100+ million opener of all-time with $116.1 million. Obviously we're all surprised by this result. How much does it exceed your expectations and how do you explain what happened here?

Michael Lynderey: You know, I'm looking at that list of 13 movies that opened to over $100 million, and while there is indeed one (1) film on there that wasn't a sequel - that film happened to have the good fortune of being entitled "Spider-Man". To say that Alice in Wonderland is going to look out of place on that list is an understatement. I think there's a point beyond which the box office becomes impossible to understand, much less predict. I believe we have reached that point. I or anyone else could come up with some good reasons for a $60 million opening for Alice, but not for one twice that size. And if I ever had any doubts that the 2010s would be the decade of 3D - well, those doubts are now gone, gone, gone.

Shalimar Sahota: Well, not as shocking as New Moon. Still, I was expecting somewhere in the region of $60 - $70 million. This is clearly a huge win.


Why did this happen? Well damn near everyone knows Alice in Wonderland and marketing began ages ago with a teaser released as far back as July of last year. Also the Tim Burton fanbase just keeps on growing. But the biggest factor is the power of inflated 3D ticket prices (enough to buy me 30 packs of instant noodles). However, having seen it, I was disappointed with both the film and the lacklustre 3D effects, and word-of-mouth suggests that I wasn't the only one. Being converted to 3D in post production is likely part of the reason for that (Clash of the Titans is receiving the same treatment, which means I'll be saving my money and watching that in 2D). Also with Disney wanting to release it on DVD within 12 weeks (which caused some furore in Europe), I think it might also be a case of, "see in it 3D while you can." However, the mixed reviews mean that this won't have Avatar legs.

Lastly, fair play on Burton for attempting something different instead of a straight adaptation. But as a continuation of a story that doesn't need to be continued (the credits should say inspired by rather than "based on the novels"), it actually reminded me of Disney's Return to Oz, a far darker and far better film.

Jason Lee: I'm totally, crazy shocked. To me, this is the most unexpected $100+ mil opening in that select group of 13 movies that Michael mentioned. For every other one of those movies, I could at least point to SOMETHING pre-opening that would have led to me to believe that a $100+ mil opening was possible; I wasn't expecting an $80+ million opening for Alice in Wonderland, much less $110+ million. For me, I attribute this success to the fact that this film appealed strongly to multiple generations (people fond of the Disney classic, people looking for a blockbuster type film, families, kids, etc.) with a proven blockbuster director and a huge draw star. It's basically Where The Wild Things Are, but on super Barry Bonds steroids.

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