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David Poland

By David Poland

Weekend Estimates by Power Deranger Klady

Wknd Estimates 651w 2017-03-26 at 10.01.20 AM copy
There is nothing ugly about Beauty & The Beast & The Box Office. Based on the international estimates, $690m worldwide after its 2nd weekend. Power Rangers did well for itself, not getting a big Saturday bump, but not suffering a major drop-off after Friday must-sees. Next weekend will be interesting. Life is getting lots of “it’s not so bad” comments from first-weekenders, though not passionately enough to overcome this weak opening. And CHIPs was exposed as a dirty unit without a pair.

There are now twenty-eight $1 billion-plus worldwide movies at the box office. #29 is one the way.

What is hard for analysts in looking at Beauty & The Beast is to figure out the “why.” Is this just the strongest Classic Disney IP? Is it the ways Bill Condon stuck to the original, or the ways he broke free? Is Emma Watson a key element or just one of many young actresses who could have done quality work? How important is the multigenerational aspect? Would it have happened without Frozen? Etc, etc, etc.

The reality is, we will never know how this stew cooked into a smash that will likely pass $1 billion worldwide before the end of Weekend #4 (maybe even at the end of Weekend #3). This is equally true of great success, great failure and all that is in the middle. We often convince ourselves of one idea or another. But we don’t really know. There are just too many variables.

One of the biggest confusions that comes with a movie like B&TB is that the numbers come in so quickly. As I have long written, opening weekend isn’t about the movie itself. The hold the second weekend is much more significant. When a movie does $400 million over 17 days then does $100m in the rest of the run… what does that mean? Only 7 movies have ever done more than $500m domestic. So is that just the saturation point? Or does the fall-off suggest a flaw?

It may seem extreme at such a high set of numbers. But if you watch box office closely, you see much of the same phenomena through all levels of grosses (in most cases). Opening weekend really does determine the life of almost every movie. There are variations in every case, but ultimately. there doesn’t tend to be much in the way of surprises after the opening.

Perhaps the industry would be better served trying to figure that out – both in success and failure – instead of trying to throw the baby out with the bathwater with day-n-date or anything that breaks the windows further. Personally, I believe that if the industry made steps to support and grow theatrical for films that do get a foothold on opening weekend, exhibition would eventually be willing to make concessions that would speed the cycle for films that fail, maximizing those opportunities. But as long as history tells exhibition that a foot in the door will lead to the door being kicked down without a lot of thought, they will fight for their lives… because they really have to.

Power Rangers. Legit nostalgia-driven success. People seem to like the movie. As noted yesterday, did they like it because of expensive effects? Not from what I hear. I gather that when the rangers line up, like in the TV show, there is a cheer. That is the money. I’m not saying they should have gone 1960s-Godzilla cheap. But that is what made the show go and is a big part of what people love. Looks like Saban will make good money on this reboot of his old show with The Breakfast Club, but he could have made more. Unlike him to spend into an idea. But a win is a win.

Kong: Skull Island is not a big hit… but it isn’t the disaster it should have been… er, it looked like when it opened. The film is hovering below breakeven now and could cross that mark, depending on international.

Life is on life support. But like so many movies these days, it could be saved and even made into a profit center with international. It depends on how real the budget is vs the reporting. Anything less than $100m international isn’t gonna cut it.

Logan passes $200 million domestic. $565m worldwide. In the money already. James Mangold becomes a go-to-action director on every studio list. More importantly, his vision is now more valued by those studios. Stacey Snider’s future at Fox will be defined, in no small part, by how she reboots X-Men.

Get Out is still going strong… a rare word-of-mouth acceleration. The comparison I see is The Sixth Sense. A word-of-mouth smash that your friends don’t want to ruin for you.

CHIPS crapped its jodhpurs. But as noted yesterday… BUDGET. Why did this thing cost $25m+? If it was made, like Get Out, for $5 million… or even the $15m range of a Hot Rod or a Let’s Be Cops… it would be fine. What were they thinking?

Wilson arrived on 300 screens… and with a $1,070 per-screen, don’t expect to see it on more screens before it fades away and heads to Home Entertainment.

IFC has to be frustrated with Personal Shopper. It’s tracking right along Certain Women, which eventually got to $1 million. Personal Shopper might too. They actually got to $1.9 million for Clouds of Sils Maria, but the Kristen Stewart business seems to be getting harder instead of easier… even though she is finally getting her due as an actress.

Moonlight has earned almost $6 million domestically since it won Best Picture, pulling it out of the bottom slot among Best Picture nominees. with $27.7 million. It has also become the #1 grosser in the history of A24. Impressive.

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45 Responses to “Weekend Estimates by Power Deranger Klady”

  1. EtGuild2 says:

    Jordan Peele is in a strange race to catch F. Gary Gray’s STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON record for highest domestic grosser by a black director, before Gray steals the record back in a few weeks. $170 million remains the steady target, which would be good for #2 among R-rated horror films behind THE EXORCIST and ahead of HANNIBAL. Can’t overstate how nuts that is.

    Adjusting for inflation, and being liberal with the term “horror,” this is what the list of biggest movies since 2000 looks like:

    1. I Am Legend
    2. Hannibal
    3. World War Z
    4. The Ring
    5. Get Out


    1. I Am Legend
    2. World War Z
    3. Get Out (probably)

  2. That Guy says:

    CHiPs certainly looks like it cost $5mil so it’s not like it would’ve been a downgrade if it actually cost that.

  3. lockedcut says:

    Beauty and the beast is the IP. It’s the greatest Disney film, with the best songs and more importantly, the phrase I keep hearing people saying is ” they didn’t screw it up!” If they leave the songs out of mermaid it will be a flop. If they leave the songs out of lion king it will still succeed but it won’t come close to beauty and the beast possibly also true of Pocahontas and Milan. If they take the songs out of Aladdin it will be a flop. If they try to make Pinocchio and Snow White without the songs people will be furious. It is likely the only IP that would survive abandoning the beauty and the beast approach is lion king, and tacking a new direction is going to leave a lot of money on the table.

  4. Sideshow Bill says:

    the best movie I saw this weekend is the trailer for THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI.

    Good lord. What a cast. Take my money now.

  5. JS Partisan says:

    Beauty is a mix of things. It’s the IP, it’s Emma Watson, and it’s a female audience driven movie. It’s a perfect storm, and we will now watch Hollywood try to do it again. Hell. Disney is going to try it again, with the Little Mermaid. Someone better call Jennifer Lawrence.

    David, there hasn’t been a non cgi Zord, on a sentai show, in almost 14 years. Again, you think making the material cheesy, is better than making a good movie. Sorry, but the kids would laugh man in suit out of the theaters, as would they a poorly acted piece of cheese, so Saban needed to spend the cash. Hell. It’s a really nice action set piece, that makes you want donuts afterwards. Who doesn’t want action and donuts?

    And if you need two theatrical power Ranger movies, that are cheesy as fuck. They already exist, and you can watch them online.

  6. Nick Rogers says:

    Although perhaps not as enthusiastically as JS, I also thought Power Rangers was legitimately good — serious without indulging in grimdark BS, a sincere paean to the power of teamwork and the understated notion that, up to a point, Zordon was just another parent disappointed in them. The major action sequence is also *just* smeared enough to seem like sentai homage without going too far on man-in-suit. I say all of this having never watched the series and not at all enjoying the only one of the two previous MMPR films.

  7. Geoff says:

    I think with Beauty & the Beast, it’s gotta be the IP – the animated film was revered and has aged MUCH better than most of its contemporaries including ‘Mermaid and Aladdin. The Lion King has the potential to explode just as much just not sure how you pull off making the animals as relatable. I don’t see why they’re pushing to re-do Aladdin….SO much of the success of that film hinged on Robin Williams voice-work though I would gather they could maybe pull it off by hiring a comedian with similar talents, though who would that be right now??

    And sorry JS but Power Rangers is going to do solid business but it just has ZERO breathing room with Ghost in the Shell coming out next week and Furious F8te coming in two weeks later – BOTH of those films will be doing gangbusters overseas just when ‘Rangers needs to have some actual legs. I’m guessing it does around $120 million domestic, MAYBE $300 million worldwide which would make it marginally less profitable than a Divergent sequel – Lionsgate simply got themselves boxed in with the release date, next viable window to open it would have been August.

    As for Kong Skull Island, the domestic legs have been better than Godzilla ’14 and the international looks to do significantly better – $550 million worldwide looks like a WIN for Warner Bros, it will end up being significantly more profitable than either Pacific Rim OR Godzilla ’14.

    I really enjoyed it – relatively weak characters for the most part but fantastic action, very well-paced, and every actor did pretty much what they were hired to do…except for John Goodman who was kind of wasted in the second half of the film. REALLY pushed the boundaries of what you can get away within a PG-13 though – there were at least two scenes that were almost right out of the original Predator that I’m guessing were allowed with just the right surgical edits. Anybody else wonder if they should have just gone full-blown R-rated with it?

  8. Stella's Boy says:

    The characters are weak and I am not impressed with Jordan Vogt-Roberts. The Kings of Summer didn’t do much for me. How did he go from that to Skull Island? The set must have been interesting as Samuel L. Jackson’s publicist interrupted with “next question” when an interviewer asked him about his relationship with Vogt-Roberts. The tone is a mess and characters come and go and, in Goodman’s case, feel forgotten about. I didn’t dislike it, mainly because I love almost everyone in the cast, but I left somewhat disappointed.

  9. Movieman says:

    “How did he go from that to Skull Island?”

    I wondered the same thing when Colin Trevorrow went from “Safety Not Guaranteed” to “Jurassic World,” SB.

    P.S.= I rather liked “Kings of Summer.” But I certainly didn’t peg Vogt-Roberts as a future director of franchise-y event movies after seeing it.

  10. palmtree says:

    When I saw The Jungle Book, my first thought was this is the dress rehearsal for The Lion King. Almost an entire movie of animals talking was totally convincing and intense.

    Meanwhile, I actually think The Little Mermaid IP is a bit stronger than BATB, mainly on the strength of its songs. They are so much catchier and better crafted. BATB may be better storytelling overall, but Mermaid stays with you more.

  11. EtGuild2 says:

    This probably has no bearing, but it’s interesting to remember that LITTLE MERMAID was not a real hit at the box office, and only really took off on video–penis castle artwork be damned!

  12. Geoff says:

    EtGuild2 yes it was – it grossed over $80 million domestically 28 years ago which is WAY more than any other animated film had made in quite some time. Infact unless you count Who Framed Roger Rabbit, The Little Mermaid was the highest grossing animated film of the ’80’s.

    That said, I think it’s a VERY tricky live action adaptation that could easily look like soft core porn – from that era, The Lion King is probably a safer bet and actually, I think it would do them well to try out Pocahontas as well.

  13. EtGuild2 says:

    Geoff, that’s about as much as LEGO BATMAN made first-run. I don’t consider LEGO BATMAN a real hit, but perhaps we have different standards. I’d also caution against ever using Box office figures before around 1987, as that’s when consistent reporting came into play. That being said, yes, it beat out the heap of garbage (the Fox and the Hound aside) Disney released in the 1980s.

    Not belittling TLM, but it wasn’t the “Second Golden Age” smash many remember it as at the box office. It made a fraction of LION KING, ALADDIN, etc. It would be like comparing SHARK TALE to SHREK.

  14. Bulldog68 says:

    @ Lockedcut “If they leave the songs out of lion king it will still succeed. If they leave the songs out of lion king it will still succeed but it won’t come close to beauty and the beast ”

    Really? Lion King songs were like the equivalent of Frozen songs back in the day. Adults were singing Hakuna Matata to their work buddies annoyance. Not to mention Elton John’s Can You feel the Love Tonight hit. Also Circle of Life was pretty memorable, and Be Prepared was a rousing and powerful song that would go over gangbusters if done in real life.

    I think you’re also forgetting that the Lion King, more than any other Disney cartoon has had a very successful afterlife as a Broadway Musical that has toured all over the US with versions of it across the world. So you can’t do Lion King without the music.

    And the box office speaks for itself. $312m on initial release and the 3D release doing $94m, exactly double what the B&TB 3D release did. It still sits at an impressive #17 on the All Time list and when adjusted for inflation is still the largest animated hit released after 1990. Lion King will be huge.

  15. Maniac Cop says:

    No, Mermaid was a big hit. You need to take into account that it was the unforeseen first movie of the Renaissance. Aladdin, Lion King, et al just had the advantage of opening after Disney had already reestablished its brand. A better comparison would be Oliver and Company, the year prior, which grossed $53 million, and that was even seen as successful for the time.

  16. EtGuild2 says:

    I think you guys are confusing “pretty widely seen” with “big hit.” I’m not saying THE LITTLE MERMAID wasn’t a success. But was it a big hit given that it was one of the two most expensive animated movies ever made by a huge margin at the time? No. In fact, it resulted in Disney slashing budgets moving forward for a time back to pre-BLACK CAULDRON days to the point where LION KING barely cost more (and Beauty and Aladdin far less).

    From a profitability standpoint, THE LAND BEFORE TIME was more successful than LITTLE MERMAID’s first-run. Again, MERMAID did very well, but it’s not even in the same ZIP code as the animated BEAUTY, much less ALADDIN or LION KING. It’s Illumination’s LORAX, or Pixar’s BUG’S LIFE, a successful film that looks huge but pales in comparison to stablemates, especially when taking budget into account.

    Luckily, it’s the “How To Train Your Dragon” of its day and got a big boost on video.

  17. palmtree says:

    IP is about more than just box office record. TLM established the Disney princess brand as we know it today. The songs in it are widely known classics, not just one or two of them either…damn near all of them! It is a female-driven heart-strings tugger in the same mold as B&TB and Frozen and Titanic.

    I guess a parallel might be Fast and Furious, where it’s an IP that only became tentpole status after spending a decade as a mid-level franchise. Not a perfect analogy, but you get the point.

  18. EtGuild2 says:

    Absolutely! I adore TLM; it’s my favorite Disney animated movie post-classics, and grew up with the soundtrack on casette. I just always thought it was funny people lumped it in with BATB, ALADDIN and LION KING financially, when it wasn’t anywhere close to the phenomenon of those when it came out. Just like it established the modern princess movie, MERMAID was really the film that established the power of VHS entertainment for the thumb-sucking and knee-scraping demo IMO.

  19. Hcat says:

    If The Little Mermaid was not a hit than Die Hard and Lethal Weapon were not hits either.

    Like those Mermaid didnt reach the box office heights of what came later but it doesnt diminish its accomplishment. It was a massive deal when it came out and directly influenced the box office of all the following Disney hits. Beauty was a game changer in that it was really the first time people were going to a cartoon without kids, just as the previous year people flocked to Home Alone without a member of the target audience in tow. Lion King outdid the previous three films but was surely assisted by the summer bow.

    But decades on it is the quality of the films that are watched over and over again that fuels these IP remakes. Mulan didnt do Pocahontas money but that will be remade because it has been seen more often since their release (though this is probably all decided more by t-shirt and toy sales rather than box office).

  20. Stella's Boy says:

    This is the greatest Little Mermaid debate ever.

  21. Geoff says:

    Etguild yes with RESPECT TO ITS GENRE, The Little Mermaid was a sizeable hit for its time….and by the time it came out in late ’89, weekly box office reporting had become a national mainstream practice….and beyond the trades, it was all over Entertainment Tonight, CNN, USA Today, and even MTV – we’re not talking the early ’70’s here.

    You can say it didn’t gross a even a third of what The Lion King did five years later, but look at the progression: The Little Mermaid did around $85 million in ’89, Beauty & the Beast did around $130 million in ’91, Alladin did around $220 million in ’92, and The Lion King did over $330 million during its initial release in ’94….that trajectory is pretty much the textbook example of BUILDING a franchise or a brand. 😉

  22. Geoff says:

    And yeah, Die Hard is a fantastic comparison here to the “success” of The Little Mermaid: back in ’88, it cost an unusually high $40 plus million and Fox gave Bruce Willis the then record-setting salary of $5 million to star – it ended up just making over $80 million domestic and probably BARELY made profit.

    And yet each of the two respective sequels made more than their predecessors and NOBODY almost thirty years later is disputing it’s “hit” status.

  23. Hcat says:

    Wondering where you got the 40 million figure for Die Hard, I have never read over 30.

    And while I will defend Little Mermaid’s hit status, I will say Disney’s IP mining strategy is an abomination and I hope this laziness is rewarded with the bottom falling out and with five of these in different stages of production. But since I never got my wish with the same hope for the superhero genre, I will probably continue to be disappointed.

    On a side note, despite this year they are having so far there is a sky is falling article in the Hollywood Reporter today. It always amazes me that even though the top grouping of films keep grossing more and more but the top television shows keep drawing less and less that television is still seen as the stable entity and future of entertainment.

  24. EtGuild2 says:

    “If The Little Mermaid was not a hit than Die Hard and Lethal Weapon were not hits either.”

    This is the whole point. People misremember that those movies were smash box office movies, but they weren’t close to, say, BEVERLY HILLS COP, till VHS. Perhaps I misspoke in saying “real hit.” By that I meant that TLM was more in line with, yes,DWA’s SHARK TALE or Sony’s HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA, which you could argue are all “hits,” but it wasn’t the studio-era defining IP that people remember it as, as least until the home market. DIE HARD (and arguably LETHAL WEAPON) are much more influential to the action genre than Axel Foley’s misadventures, but we can in many ways thank the slow-burning appreciation of video for both that and the following explosion of the sequels at the BO.

    Disney remained in trouble after LITTLE MERMAID’s release, and the RESCUERS DOWN UNDER didn’t alter the course. BATB, as a result of Disney’s turmoil, cost much less than THE BLACK CAULDRON. I would argue that TLM’s box office performance served to save Disney Animation from ignominy at that point, but that it was BEAUTY that was the financial hit that served as the springboard for the 2nd Golden Age (along with MERMAID’s VHS sales).

    (and yeah I remember a McTiernan interview where he cited $25 million…others say $28. Certainly not $40).

  25. Geoff says:

    Ok I stand corrected – I remember years ago reading something in USA Today about but apparently that number was actually for Midnight Run which came out around the same time. The official number for Die Hard was $28 million which apparently did NOT include the $5 million they paid Bruce Willis. And hell next to some other big action films released the same year like Rambo III (wow did it REALLY cost $63 million in ’88??), that’s not a bad number for an actioner.

    However Etguild, I’m still not seeing what you’re saying about TLM being a money loser either – I looked that up and the official budget number all of these decades later is STILL $40 million which isn’t exactly cheap for the time but considering it more than equaled its domestic gross overseas and did around $200 million worldwide, I’m not seeing how Disney took a bath on it either. And the year before they spent $31 million on Oliver & Company so it’s definitely a win.

    And despite all of this debate, I DON’T see The Little Mermaid being a smooth transition to a live action film – just too weird when you think about it and the plot is is actually pretty misogynistic. The Lion King and Pocahontas are MUCH better fits for that era. Though what do I know….I thought this year’s release of Beauty & the Beast looked mostly weird and off-putting from those trailers.

    And HCAT, Disney’s IP mining strategy will only last as long as they have viable IP to mine – as to whether they can successfully sequelize these films remains to be seen as was demonstrated last year with Alice Through the Looking Glass. Eventually the higher ups at Buena Vista (do they still have that name officially?) are going to have to start making films for adults again…..especially when you have guys like Jason Blum out there who are still making more easy profit than anybody else.

  26. palmtree says:

    Politically, The Little Mermaid is really regressive. But then again, a remake is a perfect chance to update that aspect as well. All the more reason to do it.

  27. EtGuild2 says:

    “I’m still not seeing what you’re saying about TLM being a money loser either”

    Haha, I’m not either Geoff! Totally missed that part of my own argument somehow : )

  28. Geoff says:

    Um Etguild in the paragraph below – you omitted the fact that it made around $200 million worldwide on a $40 million budget…and yes that’s NOT including home video.

    “I think you guys are confusing “pretty widely seen” with “big hit.” I’m not saying THE LITTLE MERMAID wasn’t a success. But was it a big hit given that it was one of the two most expensive animated movies ever made by a huge margin at the time? No. In fact, it resulted in Disney slashing budgets moving forward for a time back to pre-BLACK CAULDRON days to the point where LION KING barely cost more (and Beauty and Aladdin far less).”

  29. Geoff says:

    And when has Disney EVER managed costs for animated films anyways?? Hard to consider that a caveat for The Little Mermaid ONLY. They have always spent WAY more than the competition with a few giant exceptions like Titan AE and Final Fantasy. Tangled cost over $300 million, Frozen wasn’t far behind, and even the Pixar films have been blowing past $200 million on a regular basis since Toy Story 2.

  30. EtGuild2 says:

    I don’t see the portion where I said “Disney took a bath” or “lost money.” Beyond that, the $211 million figure is simply false.

    The figure prior to 1997 was more like $160 million worldwide. That’s a problem when Mojo forgets to properly separate re-releases. The $211 million figure includes $27 million from the ’97 domestic re-release, plus ~$5 million from Britain, $5 million from Germany, and god knows how much from elsewhere (it had never opened previously, for instance, in Russia or South Korea).

    Is $160 million on a $40 million budget a real hit? Not to me for a flagship studio film, but you may have a different opinion. Again, adjusted for inflation, it’s on par with LEGO BATMAN today.

    In terms of managing costs, Disney did just that in the early 90s due to the almost division-sinking results of its 80s films.

  31. Geoff says:

    “Is $160 million on a $40 million budget a real hit? Not to me for a flagship studio film, but you may have a different opinion. Again, adjusted for inflation, it’s on par with LEGO BATMAN today.”

    It IS a real hit when most animated films were lucky to gross half that for 15 years prior….when is doing 4x budget worldwide NOT a hit?? 🙂

    You are right though about the cost management at that time from the studio…..there was that whole infamous “MEMO” about it at the time from Katzenberg I remember reading about that too – it was after Dick Tracy came out in 1990, strange though that they ended up spending even more on The Rocketeer the following year. I loved both movies regardless! 🙂

    Though it seems the cost management pretty much stopped after he left to form Dreamworks – they spent about $130 million on Dinosaur in 2000 and $140 million plus on Treasure Planet in 2002.

    And though I’m sure that WB is a bit disappointed with Lego Batman likely doing around $300 million WW on an $80 million budget, that’s still pretty solid for a studio that rarely hits it out of the park with animation – neither Lego nor Batman are going away anytime soon as viable IP’s.

  32. spassky says:

    Equity is more valuable than box office to Disney. Why are you guys wasting your time arguing about how much The Little Mermaid made in THEATERS 30 years ago. g e t r e a l.

  33. EtGuild2 says:

    I thought I was making an innocuous comment that was fairly widely accepted. After years on this blog though, I know that the knives can come out at any second so I’m prepped to suit up for meaningless quantitative data combat!

    Anywho, speaking of animation, saw BOSS BABY last night unfortunately, and it’s the same type of dreck Katzenberg swore they’d move away from in their shift back from three to two movies a year at DreamWorks. Another interesting concept squandered with generic, soon dated humor….and it’s tracking only on par with PEABODY & SHERMAN, which finished with $110 million domestically. The fact they’re pushing Alec Baldwin so hard…can’t recall such a flagrant celebrity voice push since SHREK (or maybe RANGO or FANTSTIC FOX which were different animals)…reeks of desperation to me.

    It’s amazing DreamWorks hasn’t launched a new theatrical franchise in 7 years now (we’ll see if TROLLS 2 happens or falls the way of CROODS 2) and wastes original, conceptually interesting content over and over and over again.

  34. Pete B says:

    Taking a break from the TLM debate…

    Just got back from seeing Kong: Skull Island at the theater and I really don’t get Dave’s hate for it. I actually had a better time at Kong than I did at Logan. Yes, that’s blasphemy I know, but I had super high expectations for the one and none for the other.

    And no, I’m not saying Kong is a better movie than Logan, cause its definitely not. But it is 10x better than the crapfest that was Godzilla 2014.

  35. Geoff says:

    What “knives” Etguild?? Some of us just disagreed with you, we didn’t attack your moral fiber.

    And if you’re talking about ANIMATED franchises, I’m not sure about the knock on Dreamworks – over the past seven years, Illumination has launched one franchise, Pixar has launched none, Sony Animation has launched one, Warner Bros Animation has launched one, and I don’t think Disney has really launched one unless you count Wreck-It-Ralph…apparently there’s a sequel due a year from now but that just illustrates the point: it would be coming out SIX years after the original, the turn-around time on animated sequels is just pretty long – the only animated franchise I can think of that’s been RELATIVELY prolific are the Ice Age films which seem to come out every three years.

  36. EtGuild2 says:

    Jesus….you really do try to argue about everything. Why on earth would I be comparing Warner, Sony and Illume to a company that’s released twice as many movies as all three combined and goes back 15+ years? That’s crazy. For the record you’re also both crazily wrong and misleading. The only two pieces of original IP at Sony since 2010 (i.e. Non-Aardman) turned into franchises.

    DreamWorks’ strategy, laid out in practically every shareholder meeting from 2008-2014 was to launch new franchises almost every year. They finally abandoned that, along with their transition to three-a-year, in 2015 after the write offs were piling up.

  37. EtGuild2 says:

    Look at it this way, giving DWA and others the benefit of the doubt on Upcoming releases. In-house Originals that launched franchises in the last 7 years:

    Sony: 2 for 2
    WB: 1 for 2
    Illume: 3 for 5
    DWA: 1 for 7

    One of these things isn’t like the other. Pixar is a different animal. They’re 0 for 3 but often take a decade plus to launch a sequel. INSIDE OUT is the biggest original in company history (first run). Disney, same ballgame, with three new franchises in development and a fourth, ZOOTOPIA, only a matter of time. Dreamworks made a lot of these movies with the explicit goal of franchises announced ahead of time. And it’s almost certainly going to continue to 1 for 9 with BOSS BABY and CAPT UNDIES.

  38. Bulldog68 says:

    “DreamWorks’ strategy, laid out in practically every shareholder meeting from 2008-2014 was to launch new franchises almost every year. They finally abandoned that, along with their transition to three-a-year, in 2015 after the write offs were piling up.”

    I’m the furthest thing from on insider, but that seems like a really aggressive boast, not doubting it’s truthfulness EtGuild, but when has that ever been accomplished? Why would you promise your stakeholders that you’ll knock it out of the park every time you’re up to bat?

    While I’m sure every time an animated movie is launched, there is always the franchise prospect in the back of the studio’s minds, don’t they normally wait to see if the movie succeeds or not. Trolls was mildly successful @ $153m. Was a sequel announced? Sony did three sequels to less with Hotel Transylvania @ $148m, Smurfs @ $142m and Meatballs @ $124. DW’s Home, Shark Tales and Megamind all equaled or outperformed these domestically, but maybe with bigger budgets.

    If that was their promise, then they’re foolish and no wonder it smells of failure when they don’t break out. You gotta think they feel like also rans at this point though, when it seems everything from Illumination and Disney is just rocketing pass $200m without much effort.

    At least they still have Shrek 2 which only got passed by Finding Dory last year, and still remains the largest grossing Computer Animated movie when adjusted for inflation.

  39. EtGuild2 says:

    Yeah they pushed RISE OF THE GUARDIANS as a franchise ahead of time, along with CROODS before and after. BOO! has been mentioned for years as a potential franchise only to be shifted time and again…maybe it’ll finally get lucky. HOME was supposed to be a franchise and the sequel was spun off into a comic book. ME AND MY SHADOW was supposed to, if not portend a franchise, signal a returned commitment by the studio to hand-drawn animation…which never happened. Going back earlier, MONSTERS V ALIENS was supposed to be a franchise. The explicitly stated strategy was to head to three releases a year, alternate between a 2/1 and 1/2 sequel format, and continually establish new brands.

    To be fair, a lot of this stuff has been semi-franchised to kiddie streaming TV shows (TURBO, PEABODY) so they at least get some coin out of it. But amazingly, they are continuing to announce dreams ahead of time…they’re calling CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS “The Epic First Movie!” And yes, a TROLLS sequel was announced for 2020. Pardon my skepticism on it happening if they don’t get another helluva pop tune and continue to take in big ancillaries.

    In good news…BOSS BABY appears to be well above tracking! Maybe I spoke too soon, and their marketing strategy pushing Baldwin is a good move. And maybe the Universal buy will herald the start of a new age following six straight years that could be described as “transitional.” Product wise though, they have yet to move away from crap aside from PANDA and DRAGON. At least TROLLS was weird!

  40. EtGuild2 says:

    Btw after 34 movies and subracting the Aardmans, my DWA Top 10:

    10. The Prince of Egypt
    09. Kung Fu Panda 2
    08. Puss in Boots
    07. Kung Fu Panda 3
    06. Kung Fu Panda
    05. Shrek 2
    04. Antz
    03. How To Train Your Dragon 2
    02. Shrek
    01. How To Train Your Dragon

  41. Geoff says:

    Oy oy oy Etguild – you said something vague about ONE studio and I examined it a bit compared to its competitors, lighten up man it’s a BLOG for open discussion! 🙂

  42. Geoff says:

    Oh yeah and Boss Baby looks like it’s going to do $50 million opening weekend actually beating B&TB….you got me on predicting this stuff, didn’t see that one coming.

  43. Mike says:

    EtGuild, I don’t remember Shrek 2 being that good, but I find most of the Shrek movies to be unwatchable now. I also thought Croods was way better than I expected and would definitely crack my top 10 (if I had one).

  44. Bulldog68 says:

    Similar list EtGuild, but I’d replace Puss In Boots and Prince of Egypt with Over the Hedge and Madagascar. Also thought Shrek 4 was decent but had too much stink of Shrek 3 on it to overcome.

  45. David Poland says:

    The Little Mermaid launched the new era of Disney animation and made a fortune for them in home entertainment and merchandising. The Disney animated franchise then continued to grow until it peaked at The Lion King. Then Pixar became the leader.

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