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First look: 'Alice in Wonderland' opens to record-setting $210 million

Alice2 Disney discovered an opening weekend in "Wonderland" the likes of which had never been seen before, taking in an eye-popping $210.3 million around the world in its debut.

Director Tim Burton's 3-D adaptation of the classic fairy tale, starring Johnny Depp, sold a studio-estimated $116.3 million worth of tickets Friday through Sunday in the U.S. and Canada. Even accounting for ticket-price inflation, that's the biggest-ever opening in the first quarter of the year, easily beating the record of $83.8 million set by "The Passion of the Christ" in 2004.

In the 40 foreign territories where it opened simultaneously, "Alice in Wonderland" collected an additional $94 million. That's also a record for the biggest foreign opening in the winter or spring, Disney said. The studio estimated that those countries represent about 60% of the movie's international potential, with major markets such as France and Japan still to come.

Its huge opening more than justifies the approximately $200 million that Disney spent to make the film, including the cost of converting it to 3-D after production. Its performance is sure to accelerate the already rabid interest in Hollywood in making more 3-D movies, as well as for theaters to install more digital 3-D projection systems.

Audiences gave the movie an average grade of A-minus, according to market research firm CinemaScore, meaning that word of mouth should be strong despite mixed reviews. With most U.S. students on spring break over the next several weeks, "Alice in Wonderland" should hold on very well at the box office, at least until the next 3-D movie, DreamWorks Animation's "How to Train Your Dragon," opens on March 26.

Overture Films' cop drama "Brooklyn's Finest," the only other movie to debut this Friday, proved solid counterprogramming, taking in $13.5 million.

(Update, 10:06 p.m.: For more analysis of  the opening of "Alice in Wonderland," see this post.)

-- Ben Fritz

Photo: Mia Wasikowska in "Alice in Wonderland." Credit: Disney Enterprises

 
Comments () | Archives (15)

"alice in wonderland" is an illustrated story. the movies choice for alice is just wrong-- i could only sit thru the first ten minutes of this movie. i also disliked avatar. and i disliked the "alice thru the looking glass" story. it's like shirley temple- only cute when she was very young.

Too bad kids are going to have to look at Bozo the Clown wearing a fright mask.

i luved avatar and this movie johnny depp made the movie really great

I saw "Alice" with my ten year old daughter and we enjoyed it. It's not going to do down in Hollywood history as a great movie, but is wasn't boring and the 3D makes it unique. As our daughter's friend said, "It wasn't as scary as I thought it would be."

can't wait to see it. think i'm going this weekend :)

Best Alice was made in the 60s, UK film

Loved the film, but Depp should put a contract out on Burton for that dance thing at the end.

WOW how many tickets were sold, 20?

Going to the movies is so damn expensive nowadays, that EVERY film is "breaking" the revenue records.

saw the movie over the weekend, very disappointed. viewers couldn't wait till the end to leave the theater. It was quite boring.

SUCCESS TO ALICE and JHONNY TOO;I love you jhonny and the movie was AMAZING!!!

I have to say that I was pretty disappointed. And I dont think the 3d contributed anything to this movie! It was eh!

That's a lot of money for what was only a fairly interesting show with basically no story to tell. Johnny Depp was interesting, as always, the new Alice was cool, Anne Hathaway's all-aflutter behavior was cute, and Bonham Carter was completely awesome as the Red Queen, but the story was a bit tired. Cool 3D, the kids liked it, but all saltwater taffy content-wise.

Took my teens to see Alice in Wonderland. They loved it and I thought it was pretty good also.

WOW! That is a crazy number! I can't wait to go see this movie. We were going to go the night that it opened but it was sold out! We are going to try again today! I will let you know what I think!

What happened to Disney? Tim Burton's Alice In Wonderland does not compare to the original animation. I remember when I was a child I would watch films like The Jungle Book and 101 Dalmatians and be amazed! Now, Disney has gone downhill and its films seem to be getting worse and worse as time goes by. If you ask me, many kids websites like Disney's should not be listed on the top category of sites like http://www.twitter.com/dozenkids. Is it time for us to realize that Disney is not really what it used to be and in fact it now scraping the barrel of entertainment?


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