‘Alice’ in Moneyland — Tim Burton film poised for a $100-million weekend

March 05, 2010 | 1:02 a.m.

Here’s the lowdown on commercial expectations for “Alice in Wonderland,” courtesy of Ben Fritz at our sister blog, Company Town

Tweedledee and Tweedledum

Alice is likely to find a huge box office gold at the bottom of the rabbit hole this weekend.

Walt Disney Studios’ 3-D version of “Alice in Wonderland,” directed by Tim Burton and starring Johnny Depp, is headed for one of the biggest winter debuts ever, people who have seen pre-release surveys of potential moviegoers say. The record-holder is director Mel Gibson’s 2004 release, “The Passion of the Christ,” which opened to $83.8 million.

In the U.S. and Canada, “Alice” is on track to sell more than $75 million worth of tickets from Friday through Sunday and, according to some estimates, could even exceed $90 million. 

“Alice” is also opening simultaneously in more than 40 foreign markets that Disney believes represent about 60% of its potential international grosses, adding tens of millions of dollars more to the movie’s take this weekend.

Disney needs a very strong box office performance for the movie to earn a return on its sizable investment in the picture, which two people familiar with its budget said cost about $200 million to make. Additional marketing expenses can drive up the ultimate cost well beyond that…

THERE’S MORE, READ THE REST

– Ben Fritz

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IMAGES: Walt Disney Studios

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