Alice Through the Looking Glass is a 2016 fantasy adventure film, directed by James Bobin, written by Linda Woolverton, and produced by Tim Burton. This film serves as the sequel to the 2010 film, Alice in Wonderland.
Most of the crew and cast of the first film returned to the sequel, most notably screenwriter Linda Woolverton, producers Joe Roth, Jennifer Todd, and Suzanne Todd, costumer designer Colleen Atwood, and composer Danny Elfman. Tim Burton, who directed the first film, returned this time as a producer, and James Bobin will direct. Both Johnny Depp and Mia Wasikowska returned to their roles, and Sacha Baron Cohen joined the cast as Time.
The story begins in 1874. Alice Kingsleigh is in the second year of her travel through the Orient. She is now the captain of Wonder, the ship which once belonged to her father. As Alice and her crew are leaving the Strait of Malacca, their ship is attacked by Malay pirates. The extreme circumstances that surround the Strait of Malacca, with its dangerous rock formations, and the high number of pirate ships surrounding the Wonder, mades the crew say to Alice that there is no hope and that they should surrender. Alice, however, shuts off this possibility and fastly mentally draws a plan to take them from there without being caught by the pirates nor sinking the Wonder. Although extremely dangerous, the plan eventually works, making the Malay pirates' ships to sink and the Wonder to safely sail out of there in direction of England.
One year later, the Wonder arrives in London. Alice disembarks to reencounter her mother, Helen, waiting for her, and ends up meeting James Harcourt, a man who works in the trading company which owns her ship. He informs her that, during her trip, Lord Ascot died, thus passing the ownership of the company to his son, Hamish, who is now Alice's new boss. During a conversation in their house, in which Alice tells her mother about her adventures in the Orient, Helen informs her daughter that Hamish is giving a party in his property that night; Alice immediately volunteers to go, despite not being invited, due to the need of discussing the plans for the future travels of the Wonder to the Orient.
That night, Alice and Helen attend Hamish's party. Alice causes an immediate bad impression for wearing a colorful costume which she brought from China; the partygoers, all Victorian people, and thus very ethnocentric, are shocked and offended by how Alice is dressed, with one even accusing her costume of belonging in a circus. Alice, however, is unaffected by their criticisms, and eventually re encounters Hamish, who is now married to a woman called Alexandra. When she finally tries to discuss her new ideas for trading in the Orient, she discovers that Hamish has very different plans for her and the Wonder. For her great shock, he informs her that she isn't the captain of the ship anymore; indeed, Hamish downgraded her to work as a simple secretary in the company. She also discovers that, while traveling the Orient, Hamish forced Alice's mother to sign a contract which determines that the only way for Alice to maintain the Wonder is by exchanging their house for the ship. Alice realises that, despite three years having passed since she rejected his marriage offer, and the fact that is he now married to Alexandra, Hamish is still seeking revenge for Alice's attitude to him in the past. When she confronts Hamish about that, he accuses her of not being the right person for commanding the ship, despite her achievements, because she is a woman.
Distraught by the situation, Alice argues with her mother, who tries to convince her daughter to conform to the society expectations about women. After Alice refuses to, she secludes herself in a garden in the property. When a blue butterfly lands in a flower, Alice's immediately recognizes it as Absolem, and follows him to a magical mirror in Lord Ascot's old office. Before she is able to pass through the mirror, however, her presence in the office is caught by some partygoers, who call Hamish and tries to invade the office and discover the intruder. Before they are able to open the door, however, Alice goes through the mirror and ends up in a mirrored office in Underland. She re encounters Absolem, who urges her to quickly go to her friends, because "he will be gone before long." After falling through a door in the sky to the White Queen's Castle, she is greeted back by Mirana the White Queen, Nivins the White Rabbit, Tweedledee and Tweedledum, Mallymkun the Dormouse, Thackery the March Hare, Bayard the Bloodhound, Chessur the Cheshire Cat, and the Bandersnatch. They inform her that Tarrant Hightopp is acting madder than usual in wake that he believes that his family is still alive. They suggest that Alice visits him and tries to comfort Tarrant, which she does by going to his hat house.
Tarrant is extremely happy to see her, explaining to Alice that he found a small blue hat in the woods while playing with Bayard. The hat was crafted by him when he was only a child, and supposed thrown away by his father, Zanik, who Tarrant had a fight which he never settled, for his great resentment. He believes that the existence of the hat is the proof that his family is still alive, despite all of the Witzend town perishing in the Horunvendush Day (the day the Red Queen took control of Underland using the Jabberwocky), and he wishes to find them, in order to correct the relationship with his father. Alice points out the improbability of Tarrant's beliefs, remembering how he himself told her during her last trip to Underland how his family was murdered. She tries to comfort him by telling about that she lost her own father too and how she learned to overcome the sadness which his death brought to her, but as Tarrant perceives that she isn't believing him, exactly as the others did, he expulses her from his house and locks himself up.
Worried by Tarrant's evident deteriorating health, Alice returns to her friends and tells them about what happened. Believing that finding the Hatter's family is the only way to stop him of dying, the White Queen decides that Alice needs to go back in time and save by herself his family from being murdered. She orders Alice to consult Time and ask for the Chronosphere, a device which will allow her to travel back in time. Mirana and Bayard also explains to Alice that she is the only one who can do it because if an Underland resident travels back in time and see their past/future self, time will become irrelevant and destroy itself; because Alice is not from Underland and therefore has no past self in there to accidentally meet, she can safely travel back in time. In the White Queen's Castle, Alice uses an old clock to travel to Time's Castle.
Whilst in there, Alice discovers that Time is the one who decides the life and death of everyone of Underland; she witnesses him closing the clock of an old man, thus causing him to die, and then storing the clock in an chamber dedicated to all the dead of Underland. After meeting Time, he shows her the castle, including his minions, little mechanical beings which he calls Seconds. He explains to her the function of the Grand Clock, which maintains all time working, and the fact that it is the Chronosphere what powers it; he also reveals to her that altering the past cannot be done. Alice is disappointed with Time's refusal to lend the Chronosphere to her, but as she is ready to left the castle, she witnesses Iracebeth the Red Queen arriving, thus realizing that she and Time are together. Alice hides and goes to the Grand Clock in the intent of stealing the Chronosphere; while she does it, Iracebeth and Time have a conversation. He gives her a gift, but she doesn't get excited about it; eventually, she cries and says that no one loves her. When Time says that he does love her, she says that if he really did, he would give her the Chronosphere, which Time once again refuses. Their talk is interrupted when Alice removes the Chronosphere from the Grand Clock, causing it and Time himself to start to malfunction. Time order the Seconds to stop Alice of running away with the Chronosphere, which they try to do by linking themselves one to another to form big beings called Minutes. They chase Alice through the Grand Clock, but she is able to activate the Chronosphere and drive it to the Ocean of Time. Time immediately follows behind her in his flying pole which has the same time-traveling ability of the Chronosphere, but not before saying to the Seconds to maintain the Grand Clock working or all time will stop. They do it by joining together to form Minutes, and then Minutes join together to form a gigantic being called Hour. This way, they force the Grand Clock to continue to work and time to do not stop.
Meanwhile, Time and Alice race through the Ocean of Time, he trying to stop she from evading while she is still discovering how to drive the Chronosphere. She realizes that the Chronosphere's controls are very close to the ones of a ship, thus allowing her to evade Time. As she attempts to crash the Chronosphere in the wave which shows the Horunvendush Day, she is caught up to by Time and accidentally flies to a day when Witzend still existed. She walks through the town until recognizing a young Tarrant, who is extremely confused by Alice, due to the fact that at this point in time they still had not met. She follows him to discover that she accidentally travelled back in time to the day of the Red Queen's coronation. As Alice hides, she witnesses the failed attempt of coronating Iracebeth, beginning with Tarrant mocking the Red Queen in the front of everyone when the royal crown doesn't fit on her abnormal head. This causes Iracebeth to melt down and to treat everyone who laughed at her. King Oleron, her father, deems her inappropriate to rule, and passes the title of queen to her younger sister, Mirana. Iracebeth is distraught, swearing revenge to the Hightopps due to Tarrant's act. Zanik reprimands his son for making mockery of the queen, but the Hatter doesn't understand the severity of his actions. As the fight escalates up, Tarrant announces that he is leaving the family to live away, to the despair of his mother, Tyva. Before following him, Alice witnesses the Red Queen blaming the White Queen for everything that happened due to a certain situation from when they were children.
Alice follows Tarrant and tries to convince him to go back and forgive his father, saying that, in the future, he will regret not doing so, but he refuses to, rather preferring to go live with Mallymkun and Thackery. He invites Alice to come with him to the tea party, but she returns to the town to warn the Hightopps about Iracebeth's revenge, the Horunvendush Day, which will cause their death. As she tries to do so, however, she hears Mirana talking to the Hightopps about the Fell Day, the day which a traumatic event caused Iracebeth to go crazy. Alice realises that, if she returns to the Fell Day and avoids that event of happening, Iracebeth would not be mocked in her coronation day, thus avoiding the Horunvendush Day of happening too and saving the Hatter's family. As she leaves, Time's falls right in Tarrant, Mallymkun, and Thackery's tea party. He asks for where Alice is, but Tarrant notices that there is something wrong about how Time is desperately asking for her, and tries to avoid him of finding Alice by saying that he invited she to the tea party. Time decides to wait, and Mallymkun and Thackery, despite not knowing Alice at this point, join the Hatter's game in making Time lose time. They make many bad puns about him, which first leaves him unimpressed (as he has heard all of them before), but as Chessur joins the game and Time loses more and more time, he starts to get angry. He starts to malfunction again, due to Seconds as a Hour having a hard time in maintaining the Grand Clock working due to the lack of the Chronosphere. He then loses his patience and asks when Alice is coming; Tarrant says that he never said that Alice was coming, but rather that he invited her. Time is so angry that he puts a curse on the Hatter, Mallymkun, and Thackery so they will always be stuck one minute before tea time until Alice attends the tea party, therefore locking up the three on the table until the day child Alice appears during her first trip to Underland. Time leaves in his flying pole to search for her in another moment in time.
Meanwhile, Alice uses the Chronosphere to return to the snowy Fell Day. As she arrives, she encounters a child Tarrant, Tweedledee and Tweedledum, as well as a kitten Chessur and a puppy Bayard. Tarrant is impressed by Alice's head and invites her to his family hat shop, saying that her head will be great for a beautiful hat. Reluctantly, Alice follows him. As they enter the Hightopp's hat shop, Alice meets Zanik. Tarrant explains that he brought Alice there for a hat; he asks her if she wants a fun hat and shows to her some things he can use to create one, including a bird. Zanik reprimands Tarrant, saying that the job of a hatter is not to create "fun hats," but to create hats that will fit what the society dictates. Tarrant tries to defend his arguments by showing him a small blue hat he did, the first of his life. Zanik is unimpressed by it, at first not even recognizing it as a hat, then trying to "fix" it, causing the hat to rip; he then throws it in the trash can. Hurt by his father actions, Tarrant starts to cry and runs away to his bedroom, leaving Alice and Zanik in the hat room. As Zanik tries to show Alice a hat he thinks will sit well in her head, she remembers the reason why she travelled back to the Fell Day, then refuses it and runs aways from the hat shop, searching for Iracebeth in the town.
In the castle in the center of Witzend, a child Iracebeth and her sister, Mirana are in the kitchen, enjoying the tarts their mother, Queen Elsemere, baked. Mirana complains that Iracebeth ate all the tarts but one; Iracebeth replies that Mirana can eat the crumbs, angering her sister. The Queen orders the girls to leave the kitchen; they do it, but Mirana returns and takes the last tart without her mother noticing. She eats it in the bedroom she shares with Iracebeth, shoving the crumbs to under her sister's bed. As Iracebeth enters to feed her ant farm, Queen Elsemere notices that the last tart disappeared and confronts the sisters in their bedroom; she notes the crumbs under Iracebeth's bed and asks if she ate it. Iracebeth denies and says to Mirana confess what she did; Mirana, however, lies by denying that she ate the last tart. With the crumbs under Iracebeth's bed being the "proof" that she ate it, Queen Elsemere accuses Iracebeth of being a liar. Shocked by her sister's lie and the accusation of her mother, Iracebeth starts to cry and runs away from the castle.
Alice, still searching for Iracebeth, finally sees her running in her direction. She notices two frogs bringing a heavy clock and then realizes that Iracebeth, whom is crying too much to notice them, is going to hit the frogs, causing the clock to fall on her. Alice runs desperately to try to avoid it from happening; she jumps on the frogs, causing the clock to fall and break on the ground, and avoiding Iracebeth, who then continues to run, from hitting it. At first, it seems that Iracebeth escaped, but as Alice stands up, she sees Iracebeth slip on the snowy ground, fall and then hit her head with force on the edge of a monument adorned with white roses. Her head immediately starts to deform due to the internal bleeding. As she is rescued by the people of Witzend and her family takes her back to the castle, she curses the white roses; it is clear that the accident not only damaged her appearance, but her personality too.
Alice, shocked by what happened, remembers the words of Time about not being possible to change the past. She also sees, from the window of the Hightopp's hat shop, Zanik recovering Tarrant's small blue hat from the trash can and guarding it with him in his pocket. She then remembers the first time she saw Time in his castle: after killing the old man by closing his clock, he took it to a chamber where the clocks of the other dead were kept, but there were no Hightopps clocks in there. As Alice prepares to use the Chronosphere to finally travel to the Horunvendush Day and discover what really happened to the Hatter's family in that day, she is confronted by a weakened Time, who was finally able to find her. He scolds her for stealing the Chronosphere and thus putting all time in danger. To prevent Time from taking the Chronosphere away, Alice runs into a nearby mirror and returns to London.
She wakes up to discover herself locked up in a mental hospital, under the cares of Doctor Addison Bennett, who accuses Alice from suffering from "female hysteria." Her mother, who is extremely uncomfortable with Alice being in there, explains that, after storming Lord Ascot's old office, Hamish and the others found Alice on the ground, looking under the furniture, talking nonsenses about the "atmosphere," and then he ordered Alice to be locked up in there. Alice realizes that "atmosphere" was actually "Chronosphere," and as the Chronosphere is not with her in there, that it probably fell under the furniture as she returned back to London through the mirror while running away from Time. Doctor Bennett tries to shot a syringe in Alice, but Helen protests. Noticing that Alice's mother is not going to cooperate, Doctor Bennett brings down the syringe and tries to convince her that Alice will be fine while in there. As Helen continues to protest, a nurse pushes her away from Alice's bedroom. Taking advantage from the situation, Alice gets the syringe and shots Doctor Bennett, who passes out. Alice gets his keys and, with the encouragement of his mother, who orders Alice to run away, storms out from the bedroom. She is chasen by the hospital staff, but is able to run to the roof of the building without being caught. There, using the skills she learned while in the sea, she jumps to ground, steals a carriage by claiming to the coachman that is insane, and drives back to the Ascot property. Without being seen, she invades Lord Ascot's old office again, finds the Chronosphere under the furniture, and then returns to Underland.
This time, she uses the Chronosphere to go straight to the Horunvendush Day. She witnesses the Jabberwocky destroying Witzend, exactly as the Hatter once told her, but then she sees that the Hightopps never died, but were instead captured by the Armoured Cards and taken away, causing the blue hat, which was with Zanik, to fly away from his pocket and fall in the woods. The Red Queen claims revenge for what happened to her during the coronation day and then flies away on the Jabberwocky. Alice immediately returns to the present and goes straight to Tarrant's house, ready to tell him that he was indeed right and that his family were never murdered. However, as she arrives there, she discovers that she is too late, and that the Hatter is bedridden and lifeless, with almost all the color having disappeared from him. Each one of their friends says their final goodbye to Tarrant, leaving Alice alone with him. Alice tries to wake up the Hatter, but he continues to lose color and life. After Alice tearfully says that she believes him, Tarrant awakens and reforms back to his normal self, all the color returning to his hair, eyes and face. The Hatter, Alice, and the rest of their friends decide all go to the Outlands, where the Red Queen is living in an organic castle since her banishment, and where they believe the Hightopps are being held hostages in, to save Tarrant's family.
While they travel to there, Iracebeth decides to play with her ant farm, the same she had since her childhood. After tormenting the ants with an "earthquake", she receives the visit of Time, who is very weak. He explains to her that he was unable to catch Alice and that she disappeared with the Chronosphere. Angered with Time's incompetence, she orders her vegetable guards to lock him up and says that from that moment on she's on charge of retrieving the Chronosphere. She is convinced that, one time or another, Alice and her friends will appear in her castle. A moment later, that's exactly what happens, as Alice, Tarrant, Mirana, Nivins, Mallymkun, Thackery, Bayard, and the Bandersnatch all arrive ready to find the Hatter's family. They decide to split out to find Tarrant's family faster. None of them succeed, each one encountering different obstacles along the castle; eventually, Alice and Tarrant are able to make to the last room, in the very top of the castle. Tarrant is confident that he will find his family in there, but after he and Alice search the place, the Hightopps aren't there either. Tarrant falls down, defeated. But as he looks closer, he sees that the ants in the ant farm are trying to pass a message to them: they are drawing a hat! As Tarrant goes inspect it closer, he finally see his long lost family, shrunken and trapped in the ant farm. As they prepare to leave, the Red Queen traps them. She takes them all to where she is keeping Time hostage, takes the Chronosphere from Alice and forces the White Queen to go with her in a time-travel. Time tries to alert Iracebeth about the fact that she cannot time-travel, but she ignores him and does it anyway. After they fly in the Chronosphere, Alice and the others are freed by the vegetable guards, who resent Iracebeth for eating pieces of them. Time, who is now extremely weak, urges Alice to stop Iracebeth from changing the past and thus destroying Underland. Alice regrets stealing the Chronosphere, now seeing with her eyes the state Time is in and the danger to all Underland. She orders that the others take Time to his castle while she and Tarrant uses Time's flying pole to go after Iracebeth and Mirana.
Using the Chronosphere, Iracebeth takes Mirana straight to the Fell Day. She forces her sister to witness the moment when she lied about the tart; when adult Mirana is still incapable of entering the bedroom and telling the truth, an enraged Iracebeth storms in and calls child Mirana a liar. Child Iracebeth screams as she seems her adult self appear; as Iracebeth and her past self see each other, time becomes irrelevant, and both of them rust immediately. Alice and Tarrant are able to find Iracebeth and Mirana, but by the time they get there, the rust is starting to spread. They are able to get adult Iracebeth, now a rust statue, back in the Chronosphere and the four of them travel back to the present, while all of Underland, even the Ocean of Time and all the past, starts to rust. They arrive at Time's Castle, but as Mirana tries to carry Iracebeth, she is herself engulfed by the rust and turns into a rust statue too. Alice and Tarrant, still holding his parents in the ant farm, rushes through the castle in direction of the Grand Clock, where the Chronosphere needs to be put back. But Tarrant is also engulfed by the rust, as are the others who brought Time back to his castle, as they try to help Alice, each on their own way, to get to the Grand Clock. Eventually, Time is able to use his last forces to slow down the rust a little bit so Alice can get a vantage and put the Chronosphere back where it belongs. She gets very close, but before she can do it, she is caught by the rust and turns into a rust statue herself. The rust engulfs all of Underland, leaving everything rusted in time, even the magical mirror in Lord Ascot's old office.
When everything seems lost forever, the Chronosphere, which was almost put back in his place by Alice before she turned rust, makes a electrical connection with the Grand Clock engine, and thus starts to work again. As the Grand Clock starts to run, all the rust disappears from Underland, including the Ocean of Time and the past, and everything is back to normal. Iracebeth is shocked and saddened to discover that she couldn't change the past; Mirana, however, confesses the truth to Iracebeth and asks for her forgiveness, and Iracebeth, saying that was the only thing she wanted to hear from her sister, forgives Mirana and the two sisters reconcile. Alice also asks for Time's forgiveness, which he gives; to show how sorry and grateful to Time she is, she gives him an old clock which she kept always with herself because it belonged to her father. Tarrant frees his family from the ant farm and uses Upelkuchen to make them grow back to their normal size; he and Zanik finally makes amends. Alice bids her friends farewell, but before returning to London, she confesses to the Hatter that she feels this is the last time they will see each other. Tarrant agree, but says that she doesn't need to feel sad about it, because he will always exist in her imagination and dreams. When Alice points out that a dream is not reality, he remembers her that no one has the right to dictate which is which. As they hold hands, Alice returns to London. It is the day of Helen signing the contract she made with Hamish; Alice arrives, surprising Hamish, and says to her mother to sign it, saying that the Wonder is just a ship, and that others will one day come to her. Upon hearing that, Hamish starts to hysterically laugh, and Helen is disgusted by his attitude. She refuses to sign the contract, ripping it in front of Hamish and saying that she is grateful that Alice never married him, because he is a horrible person. Although it makes Alice and Helen lose their house, they now have the Wonder just for themselves making Hamish gets their house for nothing in a completed hollow victory. They create a new trading company called Kingsleigh & Kingsleigh and vows to remove Hamish and his company from the market in just one year. James Harcourt, who also worked for Hamish's company, leaves it and starts to work for Alice and her mother. As the Wonder leaves London, it does with Alice and Helen, together.
- Johnny Depp as Tarrant Hightopp, the Mad Hatter
- Mia Wasikowska as Alice Kingsleigh
- Helena Bonham Carter as Iracebeth of Crims, the Red Queen
- Anne Hathaway as the Mirana of Marmoreal, the White Queen
- Matt Lucas as Tweedledee and Tweedledum
- Michael Sheen as Nivins McTwisp, the White Rabbit
- Alan Rickman as Absolem, the Butterfly. This role marks Alan Rickman's final performance given his death on January 14, 2016
- Stephen Fry as Chessur, the Cheshire Cat
- Timothy Spall as Bayard, the Bloodhound
- Barbara Windsor as Mally, the Dormouse
- Paul Whitehouse as Thackery Earwicket, the March Hare
- Lindsay Duncan as Helen Kingsleigh, Alice's mother
- Leo Bill as Hamish Ascot
- Geraldine James as Lady Ascot
- Sacha Baron Cohen as Time, a peculiar creature who is part human and part clock
- Rhys Ifans as Zanik Hightopp, the Mad Hatter's father
- Wally Wingert as Humpty Dumpty 
- Matt Vogel as Wilkins
- Andrew Scott as Dr. Addison Bennett
- Ed Speleers as James Harcourt
- Simone Kirby as Tyva Hightopp, the Mad Hatter's mother
- Louis Ashbourne Serkis as Tarrant Hightopp, the Mad Hatter as a child
- Richard Armitage as King Oleron, Iracebeth and Mirana's father
- Hattie Morahan as Queen Elsemere, Iracebeth and Mirana's mother
- Leilah de Meza as Princess Iracebeth, the Red Queen as a child
- Amelia Crouch as Princess Mirana, the White Queen as a child
- Joe Hurst as Bim Hightopp, the Mad Hatter's nephew
As of June 28, 2016, Alice Through the Looking Glass has grossed $74.8 million in North America and $175.1 million in other territories for a worldwide total of $249.9 million.
Alice Through the Looking Glass opened in the United States on May 27, 2016, alongside X-Men: Apocalypse, and was initially projected to gross $55–60 million from 3,763 theaters over its four-day Memorial Day opening weekend, but projections were continuously revised downwards due to poor word of mouth. It had the added benefit of playing in over 3,100 3D theaters, 380 IMAX screens, 77 premium large formats, and 79 D-box locations. It made $1.5 million from Thursday previews (to the first film's $3.9 million) and just $9.7 million on its first day, compared to the $41 million opening Friday of its predecessor. Through its opening weekend, it earned $27 million, which when compared to its predecessor's $116 million opening is down 70%. While 3D represented 71% ($82 million) of the original film's opening gross, 3D constituted only 41% ($11 million) for this sequel, with 29% coming from traditional 3D shows, 11% from IMAX, and 1% from premium large formats. It became the studio's third Memorial Day opening flop following Tomorrowland in 2015 and Prince of Presia: The Sands of Times in 2010. During its first week, the film grossed $40.1 million. In its second weekend, the film grossed $10.7 million (a 60.2% drop), finishing 4th at the box office.
Outside North America, the film was released across 43 countries (72% of its total market place) the same weekend as the US, and was estimated to gross $80–100 million in its opening weekend. It will face competition from Warcraft and X-Men: Apocalypse. It ended up grossing $62.7 million, which is well below the projections of which $4.1 million came from IMAX shows. It had an opening weekend gross in Mexico ($4.5 million), Brazil ($4.1 million), and Russia ($3.9 million). In the United Kingdom and Ireland, it had an unsuccessful opening by grossing just £2.23 million ($3.1 million) during its opening weekend, a mere 21% of the first film's £10.56 million ($15.2 million) opening from 603 theaters. It debuted in second place behind X-Men: Apocalypse which was on its second weekend of play. In China, it had an opening day of an estimated $7.3 million and went on to score the second biggest Disney live-action (non-Marvel or Lucasfilm) opening ever with $26.6 million, behind only The Jungle Book. However, this was down from its $35–45 million projections. Although the sequel's opening numbers in China is almost equivalent to the first film's entire $34.9 million gross, it is still considered a disappointment given China box office has grown more than three times since 2010. As a result, it became Disney's first film of 2016 to flop in the Middle Kingdom and thereby ending their long streak of hits following Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Zootopia, The Jungle Book, and Captain America: Civil War. Elsewhere, it opens in France (June 1), Japan (July 1), and Korea (September 8).
Alice Through the Looking Glass has received generally negative reviews from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a rating of 29%, based on 258 reviews, with an average rating of 4.50/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Alice Through the Looking Glass is just as visually impressive as its predecessor, but that isn't enough to cover for an underwhelming story that fails to live up to its classic characters." On Metacritic, the film has a score of 34 out of 100, based on 42 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A–" on an A+ to F scale, the same grade earned by its predecessor.
Stephen Holden of The New York Times wrote in his review, "What does all this have to do with Lewis Carroll? Hardly anything" and that overall, "It's just an excuse on which to hang two trite overbearing fables and one amusing one." Ty Burr of The Boston Globe gave the movie 1.5 out of 4 stars and found the film, "gaudy, loud, complacent, and vulgar." Stephen Whitty of New York Daily News called the film "hugely expensive and extravagantly stupid" and that, overall, the movie "is just one more silly Hollywood mashup, an innocent fantasy morphed into a noisy would-be blockbuster."
Kyle Smith of New York Post gave the film a positive review writing, "The screenplay (by Linda Woolverton) isn't exactly heaving with brilliant ideas, but it works well enough as a blank canvas against which the special-effects team goes bonkers." Matthew Lickona of San Diego Reader said that while he found the visual effects to be "stupidly expensive" and the story familiar, he called it, "a solid kids’ movie in the old style".
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