‘Alice’ sitting comfortably in box office wonderland

“Alice in Wonderland” © Walt Disney Pictures

“Alice in Wonderland” © Walt Disney Pictures

Jessica Meneghin

Staff Writer

If you’re one of the hundreds of thousands of people who have already stepped through the looking glass and into Tim Burton’s 3D Wonderland, you probably have just one question:

Why is a raven like a writing desk?

“Alice in Wonderland in 3D,” Tim Burton’s film-attempt at the legendary Lewis Carroll writings, does not answer this pestering riddle for you. What the movie does do is the absolute best to-date job of re-visioning Carroll’s classic story, in its entirety, for the big screen.

In other words: exactly what Tim Burton set out to do.

While “Alice” was still in its infant stages, Burton told the internet magazine, the “Sci-Fi Wire,” that he’d never seen a version of the fabled story where he felt like they had “gotten it all.” He said he thought trying to make the stories work as a whole, and as a movie would be “interesting.”

He also compared the stories to drugs for children.

“It’s like, ‘Whoa, man,’” he said. “The imagery; they’ve never quite nailed making it compelling as a full story…so I think it’s an interesting challenge to direct.”

“Interesting” is perhaps not as appropriate a word as, say, “crazy”; especially once you consider the fact that Burton had never read the original novel, and was largely unfamiliar with anything Carroll-related, until this “Alice” project fell into his lap.

At a Feb. 20 press conference, he admitted, “I’m from Burbank, so we never heard about ‘Alice in Wonderland’ except for the Disney cartoon, the Tom Petty video, Jefferson Airplane…”

This recent trip to the box office even awarded Burton a new top domestic grosser, as “Alice” has now earned a healthy 10 million dollars more than his old top-earner, “Batman.”

For three weeks in a row now, and with the sixth-biggest third weekend of all time, Tim Burton’s latest vision has been drifting peacefully in box office wonderland.

And with worldwide ticket sales now topping 565.8 million dollars, it doesn’t look like “Alice” is going anywhere anytime soon.

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