Maybe it’s Johnny Depp who should take a long look in the mirror.
Alice Through the Looking Glass was a colossal flop in its opening weekend, taking in an estimated $28 million domestic — about a quarter of what the original did, a resoundingly terrible result — and the reasons being put forth for that are curious indeed.
Not even international audiences, which powered Alice in Wonderland to more than $1 billion in worldwide receipts in 2010, seemed all that interested — Looking Glass opened across most of the globe’s major markets this weekend, making only $65 million.
That’s roughly $93 million worldwide for Looking Glass, a major disappointment for Disney, whose live-action films have been on a scorching tear this year, with Jungle Book and Captain America: Civil War leading the way.
So what happened? How could such a safe bet — a juggernaut franchise with a major movie star as its centerpiece — fall so far?
It’s always dicey to point to any one factor when a film fails this badly, and there were many at play here.
The most compelling may be that a significant chunk of moviegoers are rejecting Depp afterlast week’s allegations by Amber Heard, who showed up in a Los Angeles courtroom on Friday to claim that her husband of 15 months physically abused her, including an attack last Saturday that left her with a bruised eye. Heard was granted a restraining order and is seeking spousal support in her divorce papers, filed earlier last week.
It certainly couldn’t have helped. Looking Glass was presented as a girl-power tale, and one in which Alice must go to extraordinary measures to save the Mad Hatter, who is so depressed and out-of-sorts in this film as to be off-putting and just this side of creepy.
Director James Bobin took over from Tim Burton, with a script by Disney go-to fantasy scribe Linda Woolverton (Beauty and the Beast, Alice in Wonderland, Maleficent) — but unlike Burton’s Alice, Looking Glass borrowed virtually nothing from Lewis Carroll’s surrealistic source material, save its characters.
And critics hissed at the film, which earned a 30% Rotten Tomatoes score. They hated its wobbly time-travel devices, its flimsy motivations — and most of all, its Sad Hatter.
Looking Glass also automatically suffers in comparison to Alice in Wonderland, which came right on the heels of Avatar in 2010. Interest in 3D was peaking, Depp was still sizzling hot from his Pirates successes and the live-action fantasy genre was yet a waking giant.
But while no one expected Looking Glass to match that juggernaut, neither did anyone suspect it would stumble so hard and fall so fast. Now Disney must contend with the fallout, including Depp’s still-unfolding personal debacle, as it ramps up to make Pirates 5.
Looking Glass also faced fierce competition in X-Men: Apocalypse, the third in Fox’s soft rewind-reboot of its Marvel superhero franchise, which took in a respectable $65 million domestic for the three-day weekend. That’s far short of the $90 million to which previous installment X-Men: Days of Future Past opened, but should cross $80 million including the Monday holiday.
X-Men‘s nice haul comes despite its own critical drubbing, earning the franchise’s second-lowest Rotten Tomatoes score at 48%, beating out only Wolverine (and somehow coming in below X-Men United).
If there’s any good news for Disney, it’s that the aforementioned Captain America: Civil Warpulled in just over $15 million in its fourth week, enough to push it past Deadpool to take 2016’s top spot overall with $372 million in total so far.
Source By mashable…