Alice Through The Looking Glass
|Budget: $170 million||Financed by: Disney|
|Domestic Gross: $77,041,381||Domestic Distributor: Disney|
|Overseas Gross: $222,415,643|
Directed by: James Bobin
Produced by: Joe Roth
Alice Through The Looking Glass comes six years after the first installment pulled in just over a billion dollars worldwide and in the subsequent years saw the commercial appeal of 3D dip and the drawing power of Johnny Depp wan. Disney financed this sequel for $170 million and Alice 2 had the full force of the mouse house marketing machine behind it and Disney is reported to be on the line for $320 million after a global marketing blitz. In addition to the costly P&A spend, Disney licensed the hell out of the film, partnering with dozens and dozens of global companies for product tie-ins. Hot Topic launched an eight-piece fashion collection, so you can spend your parents money and dress like a jackass (Mad Hatter) or Alice or the Red Queen. OPI launched an Alice nail polish line. There’s toys. Artisan chocolate. The Home Shopping Network launched the network’s largest movie-inspired event ever and hawked hundreds of expensive tie-in merchandise and if you spent $2,999.95 on the Surreal Oak Tree Storage Shed, you have money to blow and this site could use some of it. With the whirlwind of excessive merchandising and marketing pushed by Disney, Alice Through The Looking Glass was impossible to ignore and yet audiences did just that.
Disney positioned the franchise tentpole against another franchise tentpole X-Men: Apocalypse and both pictures were hurt, though X-Men fared far better. Alice Through The Looking Glass received mostly terrible reviews and despite high awareness from auds, it opened way below expectations with $26,858,726. It placed #2 for the weekend led by X-Men and would be the third Memorial Day flop for Disney, which saw Tomorrowland struggle the year prior and Prince Of Persia in 2010. Audiences liked the pic more than critics and awarded it an A- cinemascore, but Alice 2 sank 57.9% in its second weekend to $11,314,635. It posted a 50.1% third frame decline to $5,646,012 and closed its domestic run with $77,041,381 — a far cry away from the original’s $334,191,110 cume.
There were some signs of life in a few offshore markets, but not enough interest to push this sequel out of the red. China posted the highest overseas gross with $58.7 million and most markets have posted a fraction of the $691.2 million total the first installment pulled in. The original grossed a massive $133 million in Japan, which was its strongest territory and this cumed $26.7 million. The overseas total came to $222,415,643. Disney would see returned about $165 million after theaters take their percentage of the gross, covering their P&A expenses and little of the budget. At this rate only excessive sales of the Surreal Oak Tree Storage Shed can save this from being a total write-down for Disney.
Producer Joe Roth saw another unwanted fantasy sequel, The Huntsman: Winter’s War post awful numbers just 6 weeks prior.