The trailer for the
film of the classic novel Alice in
Wonderland seduces. Director Tim Burton (the mastermind behind, among
and the Chocolate Factory) seems so right to interpret the sparkling
madness of Lewis Carroll's 1865 book. The film will be released in about two
weeks. The public and seasoned film lovers, too, have already taken a fancy to
Too bad for them.
Most cinemas in The Netherlands won't be showing the film. Producer Walt Disney
is releasing the DVD of Alice months earlier than agreed to because, so the
company says, it will suffer less from illegal downloading. That's nonsense. DVD
sales of Disney movies, for example in supermarkets, are doing well. This is a
commercial measure that theater operators fear will cost money at the box
office. And this, they will not accept. They're not unanimous, however, because
the Amsterdam Booking Company will show the movie, for instance in Den Bosch, Heerenveen, Spijkenisse and Wageningen.
The boycott by
theater operators seems harsh, but few of them will suffer over it. There are
too few screens and too many films. And Disney won't shudder either, since it
will profit one way or the other.
The public is the
victim. First it will have to wait until June. And then it won't really see Alice,
because it will arrive only on DVD while the film is in 3D. A spokesperson for Pathe [a major cinema operator] said: "The film is in
3D, so you have to see it in the theater." Well, show it in your theaters Pathe! But Pathe has no intention
of doing so. And with that, it sends moviegoers a strange signal: apparently,
three dimensional effects aren't.
Is there some
sort of misunderstanding, then? Indeed, at the premier of the 3D movie Avatar,
superlatives reigned. Film history was written, comparable to the introduction
of sound and color. True, 3D had been touted before as the salvation of cinematography
and the film industry, first during the Hitchcock era and then
again in the horror industry of the 1980s. Back then, it wasn't much of a hit. But
this time, according to the gigantic advertising campaign, the system has been
incomparably improved. This was unanimously confirmed by the critics. Theaters
were full and 3D was a fact; 3D was the future; 3D was here to stay.
theaters must show Tim Burtons' Alice. This is an opportunity to demonstrate
that a film like this can only be done justice in their theaters - that a film
in a cinema is radically different from a DVD film at home. Let the movie
theater operators resolve their financial dispute with Disney on a business
level. In other words - behind the scenes.
The slogan that
is being used to entice the public with Alice in Wonderland is adapted
from Lewis Carroll: "You have a very important date in cinemas in 2010."
That's in cinemas, not at home in front of a TV. Appointments are meant to be
kept, even if an angry Queen of Hearts fails to do so.
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