Photos: ‘Alice in Wonderland’

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  1. The Mad Hatter

    Johnny Depp plays The Mad Hatter in the 3-D remake of "Alice in Wonderland." With his outrageous appearance, the character could be a cousin to Depp's Willy Wonka and his Sweeney Todd. (AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. The White Queen

    Anne Hathaway is shown as The White Queen. After playing a princess twice in “The Princess Diaries” films, Hathaway finally graduates to playing a queen. This is the actress's first time working with director Tim Burton. (AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. The Red Queen

    Helena Bonham Carter is shown as The Red Queen. Tim Burton's girlfriend is no stranger to extreme makeup. From her ape makeover for "Planet of the Apes" to her role as the meat-pie making Mrs. Lovett in "Sweeney Todd," Bonham Carter has come a long way since her early roles in period films such as "A Room With A View." (AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. Oh, brother

    British actor Matt Lucas portrays Tweedledee and Tweedledum. The odd twins are the first people that Alice meets on her Wonderland journey. (AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. Alice

    Mia Wasikowska is shown as Alice. In Burton's film, a teenage Alice falls back down the rabbit hole into the world she visited as a child and has forgotten for a decade. (AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. Fantasy world

    Depp, left, and Burton, photographed in 2007, have worked on seven films together, including "Edward Scissorhands," "Ed Wood," "Sleepy Hollow" and "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory." (Kevork Djansezian / AP file) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. Back to Wonderland

    Alice returns to a Wonderland in turmoil, and must step up to help fight the terrifying Red Queen. (Disney Enterprises) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. And ... action!

    Director Tim Burton has been behind the camera since his childhood in Burbank, Calif., when he would make short films in his back yard. (Leah Gallo / Disney Enterprises) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. Explaining his vision

    Burton works with Mia Wasikowska on a scene. The Australian-born actress was chosen for the role of Alice after a lengthy search. (Leah Gallo / Disney Enterprises) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. Bundled up

    Producer Richard Zanuck and Wasikowska on the set. Most of the film was shot in the cities of Plymouth and Torpoint, England. (Leah Gallo / Disney Enterprises) Back to slideshow navigation
  11. Creepy caterpillar

    Actor Alan Rickman provided the voice of Absolem, the caterpillar, but his face wasn't composited onto the character. (Disney Enterprises) Back to slideshow navigation
  12. Castle charms

    If the castle in "Alice in Wonderland" looks a little like Cinderella's castle at Disneyland, don't be surprised. The film is a Walt Disney production. (Disney Enterprises) Back to slideshow navigation
  13. Puppy love

    Hathaway's White Queen greets the Bloodhound. (Disney Enterprises) Back to slideshow navigation
  14. Cat got your tongue?

    The famed Cheshire Cat is voiced by legendary British comic Stephen Fry. (Disney Enterprises) Back to slideshow navigation
  15. Lady in red

    The Red Queen hates animals, and uses them as furniture. (Disney Enterprises) Back to slideshow navigation
  16. Dog days

    The Bloodhound's voice is provided by Timothy Spall, who worked with Burton in "Sweeney Todd." (Disney Enterprises) Back to slideshow navigation
  17. Ready for battle?

    Crispin Glover provides the voice of the Knave of Hearts, the arrogant head of the Red Queen's army. (Disney Enterprises) Back to slideshow navigation
  18. Crazy for you

    Depp's Mad Hatter has orange hair, an allusion to mercury poisoning suffered by many real hatmakers, who used mercury to cure felt. (Disney Enterprises) Back to slideshow navigation
  19. Alice in armor

    Alice learns she is the only one who can slay the Jabberwock, the dragon who terrorizes Wonderland, and must prepare for battle. (Disney Enterprises) Back to slideshow navigation
  20. Try my potion

    Hathaway drew inspiration from singer Blondie and actress Greta Garbo, among others, as she prepared to play the White Queen. (Disney Enterprises) Back to slideshow navigation
  21. Seeing red

    The Red Queen, whose character also includes the Queen of Hearts from the "Alice" books, rules Wonderland with an iron fist, and an army. (Disney Enterprises) Back to slideshow navigation
  22. Twin bill

    Actor Matt Lucas' face was digitally added to twins Tweedledum and Tweedledee. (Disney Enterprises) Back to slideshow navigation
  23. Off with his head!

    Even the frog servants should know better than to anger the Red Queen. (Disney Enterprises) Back to slideshow navigation
  24. Eye see you

    Crispin Glover's Knave of Hearts is the only one who can calm the Red Queen. He's seven-and-a-half feet tall and wears a heart-shaped patch over one eye on his battle-scarred face. (Disney Enterprises) Back to slideshow navigation
  25. Crazy characters

    The Dodo, the Dormouse, and the White Rabbit join Tweedledee and Tweedledum in Wonderland. The White Rabbit is voiced by Michael Sheen, well-known for playing Tony Blair in "The Queen." (Disney Enterprises) Back to slideshow navigation
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By
updated 3/23/2010 8:29:49 PM ET 2010-03-24T00:29:49

Disney's plan to quickly release the blockbuster "Alice in Wonderland" on DVD is sparking new heat in a debate between Hollywood studios and movie theaters over how quickly films move from the big screen to people's living rooms.

Moviegoers will have the option of watching "Alice" at home in about three months, worrying some theater owners who fear that narrowing the gap between theatrical runs and DVD debuts will undermine ticket sales as some fans skip the cinema and wait for the DVD.

"A robust, exclusive theatrical window remains vital for the health of cinemas and the movie industry as a whole," John Fithian, president of the National Association of Theatre Owners, told members in a speech Tuesday at their annual ShoWest convention.

Studios like short windows between theatrical and DVD releases because it speeds up their cash flow and allows them to pull in DVD business while films are fresh in audiences' minds. Longer lags for DVDs also leave more time for movie pirates to sell counterfeit copies.

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The issue is a key topic this week at ShoWest, where studios trot out stars, films and footage to promote upcoming releases.

The time window between theatrical and home-video releases gradually shrank as studios cashed in on booming DVD sales starting in the late 1990s. The average gap between big-screen and DVD releases has held steady at about four months in recent years.

Now, cinema operators worry other studios might follow Disney's lead, though the head of Sony Pictures assured theater owners that Hollywood is not aiming to squeeze them out in favor of DVD revenues.

Video: 'Alice in Wonderland'

"Showing films in theaters is what makes a movie a movie. It's what makes stars stars. It's what makes films famous. It's what makes the public perk up and pay attention," said Michael Lynton, Sony chairman and chief executive officer, in the ShoWest keynote address Monday.

Theater owners and studio executives say they are open to flexibility on DVD release patterns for some movies if it benefits both sides. Cinemas always beg Hollywood to release big movies in typically slow months at theaters rather than bunching up top hits during the busy seasons.

"You always have the issue of lots of movies coming in the summer, lots of movies coming in the holiday period, and so our members have been talking to distributors about getting movies into late winter, like 'Alice,' trying to get movies into September. Places where we typically don't have great movies," Fithian told reporters Tuesday.

But putting a potential blockbuster in theaters in September might mean shortening the time until the DVD release to three months or less so the film can be in stores for Christmas, which Fithian said theater owners are open to discussing.

The huge business Tim Burton and Johnny Depp's "Alice in Wonderland" did over normally slow March weekends might ease theater owners' worries. "Alice in Wonderland" shot past $200 million domestically and $400 million worldwide after just two weekends.

With audiences now watching movies and other entertainment on portable devices such as laptop computers and cell phones, studios need to experiment with release patterns for new technology without undermining big-screen business, Sony chief Lynton said.

"We do not want to open a new window in a way that closes yours," Lynton told theater owners.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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