3D Hunger (and Luck) Pushed “Alice” Over $1 Billion

"Alice in Wonderland" had more than Tim Burton and Johnny Depp propelling it to box office greatness -- it also owes a great bit of its box office success to the 3D mania started by "Avatar."

The combination of factors pushed the movie into the dizzying and elite heights of $1 billion in box office on Thursday.

"We were lucky that we were the first 3D film in the marketplace after 'Avatar.' That was a big gift to us," producer Jennifer Todd tells PopcornBiz. "It's a major milestone."

"Audiences were very hungry to have that 3D experience again," says says. "We really turned into the next event movie after 'Avatar.' "

This was not entirely on their minds when the filmmakers chose the release date two years ago and decided the movie was going to be in 3D. The stars happen to align perfectly and "Avatar" proved to be a revolutionary movie that set up "Alice" perfectly.

And if they decided on that fateful day to release it in the summer? "I'm sure we would have been successful," says Todd. "But I don't know if we would have been as successful."

As she points out, the market is suddenly filled with 3D movies. The initial mania might have subsided and there are more movies out there. "This summer is going to be a test of the actual appetite there is for 3D."

So Alice was very much of a case of a solid movie with an international star sitting in the right 3D place at the right time. While the domestic run has ended, "Alice" will still bring in more money overseas and with the Blu-ray & DVD release on June 1st

As far as celebrating the milestone with her producing partner sister Suzanne, well that's not going to happen. The two are already thinking about their next project, the  much-lower budget but much buzzed-about "The Romantics." Todd says any "Alice" celebration will be lowkey.

"I'm not going to fuderwhack," says Todd. "That would be sad. You wouldn't want to see me do that dance."

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