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David Poland

By David Poland

Ducking The Shark Tale Total

For some reason, one of the blogistas feels that I have avoided Shark Tale‘s failure to fail completely after a September estimate that it wouldn’t hit $100 million.

I was wrong. On the other hand, what I have been avoiding was a repeated analysis of what a mediocrity the numbers are. The wall known as The Incredibles leaves the shark story one more reasonably open weekend. Given that, Shark Tale is unlikely to pass A Bug’s Life (Pixar’s lowest grossing title) as the eighth highest grossing CG animated film ever and even if it does, it will come up short of Ice Age.

Is that the horn you want tooted? I’m underwhelmed.

It’s no Team America, but $160 million for Shark Tale is a step above embarrassing, not a cause for a parade… except perhaps for Chris Wedge and Fox, who have Robots on the way.

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13 Responses to “Ducking The Shark Tale Total”

  1. Mark says:

    It does what every animation movie does. Opens well. Problem is its a bad movie and has Zero legs.

  2. John Crichton says:

    Man, just can’t say “You know, I was just so wrong on this one folks…” can you?
    For those just joining us, on August 26th in a revised reassement of his fall box office predictions, Mr. Poland wrote:
    “The $75 Million- $100 Million Club – This is a controversial grouping. I’d be happy to see Shark Tale do Shrek-ian business, but I am not yet a believer.”
    Apparently, several of us had written in at the time to ask, and I’m paraphrasing for us all, “Are you on crack or what???” Notice, he didn’t even think it could break $75M.
    To wit: how could he not see that this thing, no matter how lame, would do at least $100M given that A), it would have no competition from other kid-friendly titles; B), THE INCREDIBLES release was over a month away; C), virtually the entire school-age nation would have been back in the classrooms for several weeks, long enough that parents would be thinking it was time to reward/distract them.
    Apparently sharing this same crack-pipe is Mark below. No legs? Not sure which box office numbers he’s been tracking, but I think drops of 34%, 29% and 35% (chronologically) are pretty damn good in this day and age. Considering that it started at nearly $50M, that’s pretty damn good indeed.
    Thing is, have yet to see the film and at this point doubt I’ll even check it out on DVD. The story didn’t sound promising and the trailer was dogs*!t.

  3. David Poland says:

    $50m – $75m was wrong… on the other hand, the film won’t gross half of what Shrek 2 did. I was just half wrong on this one folks.
    The crack pipe stuff and the anger… I don’t get it. Yes, too harsh a numerical assesment. But also, correct in some ways, as I wrote above.
    3.5 times opening is the minimum for the 10 top computer animated movies before this one. And perhaps Shark Tale will get to $167 million. Perhaps not.

  4. John Crichton says:

    CLARIFICATION – The crack-pipe references were supposed to be a tip-off that these posts were written in a more snarky, not angry vein. I guess I should have used smilies at the end of every line instead. 🙂

  5. jesse says:

    I think the real story here is Shark Tale’s gross in relation to the fact that it was a pretty shit movie. Sure, $160m is a little soft in that it falls short of possibly every Pixar movie (even those from nearly a decade ago) as well as the Shrek series, but think about the computer-animated family films that have come out so far– isn’t Shark Tale probably the worst-reviewed? And that’s saying something, in a medium where even really middling stuff (like Ice Age) tends to get a free pass just for being tolerable. Then consider how several pretty terrific Disney 2-D films failed to clear 150 (I’m thinking especially of Lilo & Stitch). $160m for a movie as boring and uninspired as Shark Tale has to be seen as a win at least in terms of marketing, scheduling, that sort of stuff. It may not have Pixar-sized legs, but Shark Tale’s final gross will exceed many of the summer’s $50m+ openings. Nothing last fall made this much, did it?
    Of course, DreamWorks Animation is extremely foolish to keep leaning on these celebrity voices in terms of creativity, but that’s another story.

  6. bicycle bob says:

    dave never said shrek like business. read what he wrote. so he was off by a few million. sometimes movies make more. sometimes they make less.
    chill out

  7. Janet says:

    Plus, children have no taste, they will see any cartoon 100 times over, and parents can’t stand to hear their kids whining.

  8. Martin says:

    $160 to me seems like a hit. Its out of the summer season (where stuff like Nemo mades tons of cash). And animation has been kind of a tossup lately, although I suppose most of the failures were 2D. I think that the executives at dreamworks have to be happy with the numbers. Did anyone really expect Shark Tale to be in Nemo territory, or even Ice Age? Maybe when it got the greenlight, but the last 6 months before its release they had to be hoping for $130-$150 as a win. PLus it will do a ton on DVD. It seems to me its a genuine hit.

  9. mike says:

    underwhelmed at $155,000,000? what does it take to impress you, mister man? shark tale is currently the 8th biggest movie of 2004. #8. how is that underwhelming? thank god we’re not lovers as you are obviously impossible to satisfy.
    to compare shark tale’s gross against other cgi comedies is absurd as well. the movie competed in the october 2004 landscape and no other. each movie makes what is does becuase of a unique combination of content, marketing, perception and most of all timing. some do better, some don’t. the performance of ice age, bug’s life, or finding nemo for that matter, is irrelevant.

  10. mike2 says:

    There seems to be another mike on this board, so I’m changing my sig to mike2 so we won’t be confused.

  11. Mark says:

    155$ when they were expecting 200$ is under performing. Don’t fall prey to falling for the big numbers.

  12. bicycle bob says:

    its a shitty kids movie with costly animation
    its hoping to cover costs on dvd anyway

  13. Stella's Boy says:

    While I’m sure Dreamworks isn’t horrified by its numbers, it did have pretty much zero competition throughout October right? And it had to have been expensive, especially when you consider who the voices are.

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