Alice Sequel Headed For Costly Bust?

In the past few years as Disney has essentially become a nuclear superpower in its own right, the studio has had a steady stream of hits both critically and commercially. Yet there’s always seemingly one or two films a year that rain on its parade.

These include 2010’s “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice,” 2011’s “Mars Needs Moms,” 2012’s “John Carter,” 2013’s “The Lone Ranger,” 2014’s “Muppets Most Wanted,” and 2015’s “Tomorrowland” which were all notable (and costly) duds for the Mouse House.

Now, industry projections have revised the numbers for its Memorial Day release “Alice Through the Looking Glass” downward with Deadline reporting that the $170 million budgeted fantasy sequel is looking to take in just $31 million for the three-day weekend and $40 million for the four-day holiday.

That’s considerably down on the $60 million estimates being bandied about earlier this week. Domestically the movie is on track to earn just $9 million on Friday, including $1.5 million in Thursday night previews – compare that to the $30 million that the new “X-Men,” a movie with a comparable budget, made on Friday alone and that’s despite both films getting savaged by critics and having a less elaborate marketing campaign.

Its thought that ‘Depp-gate,’ the already dubbed and public squabble over Johnny Depp’s divorce proceedings with his wife Amber Heard and her filing of a restraining order against him following a domestic violence accusation, are not expected to be a contributing factor.

The first ‘Alice’ opened in March 2010 with $116.1 million and went on to gross $334 million domestically and more than $1 billion worldwide.