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'Alice' Premiere Tops 'Avatar' for 3-D Box-Office Record

March 8, 2010
By James L. Hirsen, J.D., Ph.D.
contributor to

Charles Lutwidge Dodgson must be smiling from above.

The mathematician, logician, Anglican deacon, and photographer also did a bit of writing under the pseudonym Lewis Carroll.

The cinematic version of his story, “Alice in Wonderland,” was magical at the box office this weekend, bringing in an estimated $116 million in North America and $94 million overseas.

The film’s opening beat out the debut of “Avatar” to become the largest 3-D premiere on record.

But “Alice” owes “Avatar” a debt of gratitude for whetting the 3-D appetite of the public and bringing the new technology to more screens.

3-D makes the cost of a ticket rise, but people are willing to pay for the experience.

Over 2,200 screens offered “Alice” in 3-D. Disney worked out a deal with IMAX that had theaters dropping “Avatar” to make room for the movie.

The film, adapted by Linda Woolverton, directed by Tim Burton, and starring Johnny Depp, brought in a mixed audience of teens, families, and mature adults.

Get ready for a load of coming attractions where we’ll need to get out the funny glasses.

In an “Avatar” legal side note, after a slew of critics noted that the film’s story line closely resembles those of “Pocahontas” and “Dances with Wolves,” the movie has generated a copyright lawsuit, which will be fought out in the courts of China.

Science fiction writer Zhou Shaomou has filed a lawsuit with the People's Court of Beijing for copyright infringement.

Zhou claims in his suit that 80 percent of the key elements and plot in “Avatar” are the same as his novel, “Tale of the Blue Crows,” which was written in 1997.

Zhou’s book tells a tale about six astronauts who travel to a distant planet, which is inhabited by blue-skinned creatures. The author alleges that the alien landscape, events, and characters are similar to those portrayed in “Avatar.”

Zhou wants to recover 1 billion yuan ($147 million) from “Avatar” director James Cameron.

Only 147 mil?

Apparently, the writer hasn't yet heard that the movie has now surpassed Cameron's 1997 "Titanic" to become the highest-grossing film of all time.

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