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Why Alice’s $1 Billion Matters (And Why It May Not)

All hail Tim Burton’s movie version of Alice In Wonderland, which is about to become only the sixth movie in history to make more than one billion dollars during cinema release worldwide. But, if that isn’t impressive enough, it’s also groundbreaking.
Alice may not be the first movie to make that much money in cinemas – Avatar, Titanic, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest and The Dark Knight have all been there before – but, as the Hollywood Reporter points out, it is the first movie to have done so that wasn’t released during the blockbuster seasons of summer or holidays, something that excited Disney’s VP of international distribution, David Kornblum:

‘Alice in Wonderland’ has reinvented the culture of cinema-going in a big way… This was a truly unique result, given the time period, and validates that the movie business is a 52-week business.

It’s also, however, a 3D movie that charges increased ticket prices in many theaters – Not that that undoes the massive success (Not every 3D movie is this successful, after all), but as the success of the critically-panned Clash of The Titans shows, the novelty of 3D can’t be ignored when it comes to audience choice, and both the increased ticket price and interest from format alone is worth bearing in mind in this story. After all, Alice was good, but not great; would it have been this successful had it been released in 2D only?


  • Flip Maker

    For box office watchers, the addition of 3D in today's marketplace changes everything. How can you compare the success of this movie to the success of the Dark Knight returns? As you said, the additional box office that 3D offers does give these films an advantage over previous film releases.

    Look, I realize that box office watching is arm chair silliness, but the charts used to be pure to some extene (aside from adjustments for inflation), but really shouldn't two charts be run now — 2D and 3D releases? Someone should really jump on that, keeping separate tally's for films that are released in both formats. Do exhibitors even offer separate receipts for sites like Box Office Mojo to consider?

  • Zach

    Damn, that's depressing. If only it had happened to a well written movie