Johnny Depp's divorce drama affects Alice sequel

By Rebecca Hawkes

Johnny Depp stars as the Mad Hatter in Alice Through the Looking Glass. Photo / AP
Johnny Depp stars as the Mad Hatter in Alice Through the Looking Glass. Photo / AP

Johnny Depp's latest film, Disney sequel Alice Through the Looking Glass, has had a disappointing opening weekend at the US box office.

Figures released yesterday show the film made US$28.1 million ($41.8 million) over the weekend in the US. Projected takings for the US$170 million sequel, a follow-up to Tim Burton's 2010 Alice in Wonderland, had been significantly higher: the film was expected to make at least US$60 million.

Depp, 52, faces divorce proceedings by his wife of just over a year, Amber Heard. Heard last week alleged that the Pirates of the Caribbean star had been physically and verbally abusive throughout their marriage.

It has been suggested that the negative attention may have turned audiences away from the fantasy sequel, which was being billed as a family-friendly adventure, and in which Depp stars as the Mad Hatter.

"These allegations, if true, pose a serious threat to the box-office longevity of Johnny Depp," box office analyst Jeff Bock told the Hollywood Reporter. "Obviously time heals all wounds, but this is certainly having a toll on Depp and Alice. Alice in Blunderland is more like it."

Fans and supporters of Heard have also called for a boycott of the movie.

The Lewis Carrol-inspired film, directed by James Bobin and starring Mia Wasikowska as a grown-up Alice, has received a predominantly negative reaction from critics.

On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, for instance, it has a rating of just 30 per cent.

Burton's 2010 film, which made US$116 million on its opening weekend, has a rating of 52 per cent on the site.

- Daily Telegraph UK

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