Articles from March 2010

Cheers! ALICE IN WONDERLAND posts 2010’s best opening day–$41 million!

Eager audiences stormed movie theaters on Friday to see Tim Burton’s new take on Alice in Wonderland, starring Mia Wasikowska as Alice, Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter, and Helena Bonham Carter as the Red Queen. Box office estimates give Disney’s Alice a one-day total of $41 million from 3,728 theaters in North America–that’s the best opening for a film in 2010 and the biggest opening ever for a 3D feature film, easily topping Avatar‘s opening Friday total of $26.7 million. Pre-release box office predictions for Alice’s opening weekend were in the $70 million range, with the most optimistic forecast at $90 million, according to the Los Angeles Times, but Alice‘s robust opening day performance puts the Burton film on track for an opening weekend well above $100 million, far exceeding expectations. The current title-holder for best March opening weekend is $70.9 million for 300 in 2007, but the Spartans seem likely to lose their crown to Alice this weekend. Congratulations!

The Zone thanks Theresa, Emma, and Marijose for box-office data; you can read more on the Zone’s News & Views forum.

Today’s the day! Tim Burton’s ALICE IN WONDERLAND, starring Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter, comes to theaters

Tim Burton’s much-anticipated 3D version of Alice in Wonderland opens in movie theaters in many countries today; it will claim 3,728 screens in North America alone. Starring Mia Wasikowska as Alice, Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter, Helena Bonham Carter as the Red Queen, and Anne Hathaway as the White Queen, the film explores Alice’s adventures as she returns to the kingdom she first encountered when she was a little girl. “Alice is more than just a gorgeous 3D sight to behold,” writes Michael Rechtshaffen in The Hollywood Reporter. “Armed with a smartly reshaped but still reverential script by Linda Woolverton (Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King), Burton has delivered a subversively witty, brilliantly cast, whimsically appointed dazzler that also manages to hit all the emotionally satisfying marks.” Go and have a good time–see it in 3D if you can!

You can read much more about Alice in Wonderland on the Zone’s News & Views forum.

First photo of Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie in THE TOURIST

The much-anticipated first photo of Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie working together in The Tourist has finally arrived–and shows Angelina’s character, Elise, standing on a balcony, while Johnny’s character, the American tourist Frank, gazes out a window. There’s no connection between the characters yet, but we’re enjoying any pictures we can get from this beautiful setting. You can see a larger view of the balcony scene HERE, but don’t expect to see Romeo and Juliet! The Tourist, under the direction of Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, continues filming in Venice through May.

In a recent interview with Mark Salisbury published in Time Out, Johnny had this to say about about his current project: “The Tourist is something that kind-of arrived with Angelina Jolie attached and it seems good. It seems like something different for me. If it’s related to anything genre-wise it’s got a North by Northwest feel to it that I like.” As for his celebrated co-star, Johnny said: “I’ve seen her in a couple of things and she seems awfully great, you know: seems like a good girl. Loves her family, loves her man, loves the work.”

The Zone thanks Theresa for the picture and the Time Out article; you can read the full interview on the News & Views forum.

“We hope . . . we did something that will make them laugh”–Ben Lyons interviews Johnny Depp and Tim Burton about ALICE IN WONDERLAND

Ben Lyons of E!Online recently had the opportunity to interview Johnny Depp and Tim Burton about their new film Alice in Wonderland, which arrives in movie theaters–in glorious 3D–on Friday, March 5th. Here is a transcription of a bit of that video interview. Lyons asked Johnny to “walk him through” the process of transforming into the Mad Hatter:

Johnny Depp: Well, early calls . . . early calls, and you sit in a chair, and people start painting this kind of greasepaint on your face, and suddenly you start to disappear. And then you are attacked by a giant orange ferret, and they attach it to your head. And then you are wrapped in a magnificent 19th century surrealist costume, the hat goes on, and you’re ready to go.

Lyons then asked how it was working in the green-screen environment.

Tim Burton: Well, for me it was new. I hadn’t really done it to this level before. The absurdity that we both enjoy, and then just the surreal nature of making a movie, and everything . . . it just kind of added to that. So we tried to use what was negative and treat it like a bizarre positive.

Johnny Depp: Yeah. Exactly.

Lyons recalled that the last time he spoke to the duo, they were promoting Sweeney Todd. He asked them to reflect about what it meant to have a film that “younger audiences,” in particular their own children, could enjoy.

Johnny Depp: Well, it means a lot. the good thing is that, as you said, is that the kiddies can go to it and kind of enjoy it. And we hope that we just did something that will make them laugh, and live in that moment and have a ball with it.

The Zone thanks Marijose for sharing the E!Online video.

Johnny Depp tops Favorite Actor poll in Japan for 7th consecutive year

Once again Johnny Depp has been named Japan’s favorite actor in the annual “Golden Grand Prix” readers poll conducted by Screen magazine. This is the seventh straight year that Johnny has topped the poll–an all-time record. The previous record of six consecutive years was held by Audrey Hepburn in the early 1960s. Screen has been conducting its poll since 1952. Johnny’s vote total for favorite actor was more than double the number for the runner-up, Robert Pattinson of the Twilight saga. Third place went to Brad Pitt. Congratulations, Johnny!

“[Johnny’s] popularity hasn’t gone down since the time of the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie,” Screen’s editor-in-chief, Akihiro Yonezaki, told the press. “He has such a wide fan base ranging from the younger generation to older people.”

The Zone thanks Emma for sharing the news; you can read more on the Zone’s News & Views forum.

First photos–Johnny Depp on the set of THE TOURIST in Venice!

After a whirlwind ten days of promotion for Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland, due in theaters on Friday, Johnny Depp has reported for work on the set of the romantic thriller The Tourist. The photo at left shows Johnny standing on a marble balcony in the Palazzo Pisani in the Grand Canal in Venice; he is in character as Frank, an American tourist visiting Italy to mend a broken heart. The role of Frank apparently requires no drastic changes to Johnny’s appearance: his hair is still long, and the Captain-Jack-beard-in-progress has been cleverly enhanced. Very dashing! The costume is by multi-Oscar winner Colleen Atwood. To see a larger version of the photo, CLICK HERE. You can see another photo of Johnny on the set of The Tourist HERE, and for a completely different look–suit jacket, white shirt, and tie–CLICK HERE.

The Zone thanks Theresa, AnaMaria, and Emma for sharing photos. You can read more about the filming of The Tourist on the Zone’s News & Views forum; for a lively discussion of Johnny’s “look” for the film, see the Pit forum. We are delighted to see The Tourist underway–best wishes to the cast and crew!