The numbers are in and Alice Through The Looking Glass has pretty much fallen through the floor in terms of box office earnings and critical opinion.
On opening weekend, the film brought in a mere $34 million USD — just a fraction of its $170 million budget, and peanuts compared to its prequel, Alice In Wonderland, which grossed a respectable $160 million on its opening weekend. But was Alice Through The Looking Glass really such a flop for Disney? Let's jump right down the rabbit hole and try to find out.
As Usually Happens, The Critics Have Been Equal Parts Cruel And Bitingly Clever
You can read an even fuller selection of scathing reviews in this article, but here are two major highlights:
Peter Travers over at Rolling Stone found Alice 2 to be a tacky shell of its predecessor. Or, as he puts it:
Everything is too much, making the movie look like Willy Wonka threw up all over his chocolate factory. The script by Linda Woolverton stays surface faithful to the characters created by Lewis Carroll, but the film has lost its soul.
Jesse Hassenger from A.V. Club has a slightly gentler opinion:
It’s briskly paced and sometimes neat to watch in reality-bending 3-D, but none of it is quite as head-spinning as it should be. The movie doesn’t dare alienate its family base with genuine trippiness; instead, it pacifies with tedious familial backstory... But even if Disney’s Bobin’s Burton’s Carroll’s Alice exacerbates the flaws of its predecessor, it’s still more harmless than offensive. The Alice pictures represent a livelier retooling of a previously Disney-animated story than the company’s more tasteful fairy-tale adaptations.
More harmless than offensive? That's not exactly a ringing endorsement, but it's not an outright condemnation, either. But before that, Hassenger may have called out the most redeeming quality of Alice Through The Looking Glass: it's "neat to watch in reality-bending 3D."
The Tomatometer on Rotten Tomatoes slaps Alice with a rating of 29%, but at least concedes that the visuals are pretty banging:
"Alice Through the Looking Glass is just as visually impressive as its predecessor..."
They then go on to describe how the plot is utter drivel, but I won't bore you with the repetition.
Instead, let's look on the brighter side. If you're asking yourself whether or not you should go see Alice Through The Looking Glass this weekend, you should get the full, 3D picture.
Generally Audiences Haven't Been Nearly That Jaded
Again, as usual, regular movie-goers haven't been nearly as cold as their critic counterparts. They've given it a 58% on Rotten Tomatoes, which is actually three points higher than Alice In Wonderland (2010).
With the exception of those pesky critics, the Twittersphere has almost nothing but good vibes for #AliceThroughTheLookingGlass:
One of our own MP creators, Karina Thyra, even wrote an impassioned piece called "In Defense Of Alice Through The Looking Glass," which is definitely recommended reading for fantasy fans that have ever wanted to tell the critics to shove it.
Is it a departure from the original Lewis Carroll masterpiece? Of course, but that's par for the course with adapting literary classics for the big screen. And let's be honest — if Lewis Carroll were alive today, he'd be all about the trippy visuals.
Have you seen Alice Through The Looking Glass? Do you think it was a flop?
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