Will 'Alice Through the Looking Glass' soar at the box office like the first film?

The 2010 live-action movie 'Alice in Wonderland' became a big financial hit. Can the newest film based on the stories of Lewis Carroll do the same?

Peter Mountain/Disney/AP
'Alice Through the Looking Glass' stars Mia Wasikowska (r.) and Johnny Depp (l.).

A sequel to Disney’s live-action adaptation of their animated film “Alice in Wonderland” arrives in theaters on May 27.

“Alice Through the Looking Glass" features the return of actors such as Mia Wasikowska, Johnny Depp, Anne Hathaway, and Helena Bonham Carter, as well as the addition of series newbie Sacha Baron Cohen, who portrays Time. 

Alice must contend with him as she attempts to rescue the family of the Hatter (Mr. Depp). 

The original 2010 film was one of Disney’s earliest efforts at the lucrative genre of adapting their animated movies as live-action films. (Recent successes have included this year’s “The Jungle Book,” “Cinderella” (2015) and “Maleficent” (2014), while a trailer for Disney’s 2017 production “Beauty and the Beast” recently broke the record for the amount of views for a YouTube teaser trailer in its original 24 hours of release, drawing more viewers than the trailer for “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.”) 

The original “Alice” film was not well-received by critics, with Monitor film critic Peter Rainer giving the movie a C+, writing, “The movie is a decidedly mixed bag....”

But the film became a big box office hit, becoming the second-highest-grossing movie of the year. What drew audiences to the film and enabled the movie to become such a big success? 

Deadline writer Nikki Finke noted that assessing the film’s box office performance should be done while thinking of 3-D ticket costs. 

“Remember, those higher priced 3D tickets make all the difference,” Ms. Finke wrote. 

In terms of what attracted moviegoers, Josh Wigler of MTV noted that the story of “Alice” is a very popular one. “The brand of ‘Wonderland’ is clearly recognized across the globe,” Mr. Wigler wrote.

And “Alice” represented a pairing of a familiar, beloved story with big names both in front of and behind the camera. In predicting the financial results for the movie “Oz: The Great and Powerful,” Entertainment Weekly writer Grady Smith wrote, “[‘Alice’] started with $116.1 million on opening weekend, but without the cachet of Johnny Depp and Tim Burton, it’s unlikely that ‘Oz’ will achieve such a gargantuan figure.” 

The first “Alice” movie came out in March, a quieter time at movie theaters than the summer. We’ll see if “Alice Through the Looking Glass” can attract as many moviegoers during a very competitive time of year.

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