Posts Tagged ‘Kung Fu Panda 2’

DP/30: Kung Fu Panda 2, director Jennifer Yuh Nelson

Tuesday, December 13th, 2011

Box Office Hell — June 16

Thursday, June 16th, 2011

Our Players|Coming Soon|Box Office Prophets|Box Office Guru|EW|Box Office . com
Green Lantern|58.1|38.7|61|n/a|50
Mr. Popper’s Penguins |22.5|13.9|19.0|n/a|13.5
Super 8 |18.8|22.0|19.5|n/a|21.0
X Men: First Class|12.5|13.3|10.5|n/a|13.0
Kung Fu Panda 2|10.7|10.8|n/a|n/a|11.5
The Art of Getting By |2.0|n/a|n/a|n/a|n/a

Box Office Hell — June 9

Thursday, June 9th, 2011

Our Players|Coming Soon|Box Office Prophets|Box Office Guru|EW|Box Office . com
Super 8 |35.2|n/a|32|45|30.5
X-Men: First Class |28.6|n/a|25.0|22.0|27.0
The Hangover Part II |15.0|n/a|n/a|15.0|14.5
Kung Fu Panda 2 |14.5|n/a|14.0|14.0|16.0
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides|9.3|n/a|9.0|9.0|10.8
Judy Moody and the NOT Bummer Summer |7.2|n/a|7.0|7.0|6.0

Shouldn’t An Average Of A $500m Gross Per Movie Be Enough For Wall Street?

Tuesday, May 31st, 2011

I continue to be astonished by the Wall Street analysts becoming Twittiots.

Today, the issue is DreamWorks Animation, one of the few public companies that is solely dependent on the revenues of their movies (including licensing) to remain in business and attractive to stock speculators.

I have zero problem with analysts or anyone else questioning whether DWA is a growth business or if it will be stagnant at best and sliding at worst. There are all kinds of opinions and my opinion of them is not the point of this entry.

The Hollywood Reporter did this story.

When you have the Peter Travers of Stock Analysts, Rich Greenfield, pushing his Agenda Of The Week and you get, ““The key drivers of DWA’s troubles are that its movies have not lived up to expectations and the global DVD market is in free fall as consumers continue to shift from buying to renting,” in response to the biggest Memorial Day opening of an animated film in history, you have to wonder why this one movie changed any of that. (To be as fair as possible to Greenfield, who seems to be perpetually auditioning for a CNBC or Fox Business daily show, he was a “sell” on DWA before the release of the film.)

When you have Janney Montgomery Scott analyst Tony Wible talking about how KFP2 didn’t meet HIS expectations of opening because its PROJECTED domestic gross is $20 million than his guess, which translates to about $9 million in net revenue to DWA (after exhibitors and Paramount take their cuts), you scratch your head an wonder… really? Less than $10 million off of his GUESS and so the company needs a kick in the balls?

Doug Creutz, analyst at Cowen & Co. seems to be the only non-jackass in the game, keeping his DWA position at “neutral,” taking international grosses seriously, and fairly considering whether a company with 2 films a year and no ongoing blockbuster franchises is in very good shape. He’s not rooting for them, but he is thinking about all the factors and not smelling his own farts.

You want my personal take? DWA is a little overvalued, but is a very solid business and should probably be taken private again.

There have been 22 DreamWorks Animation films in 14 years. Only 3 of the brands, representing 7 titles (projecting KFP2 into this group) that have cracked $500 million worldwide; Shrek, Madagascar, and Panda. The last DWA movie to do under $200 million worldwide was the first film with Paramount, Flushed Away, in 2006. There are 6 of those titles. And there is the middle class of this business, 9 films, grossing $200m – $500m, with 3D or without.

So excluding The Big Three brands, DWA’s last three films for Paramount grossed $382m, $495m, and $322m worldwide… all three in the Top 20 of worldwide grossers for 2010 and 2009. The weakest grosser for the company in the last 5 years grossed $288 million worldwide, #18 in the world that year.

So tell me… does that business suck? Is there a problem?

Well, the problem is that Wall Street is interested in growth and quarterlies and two film products a year is not enough to sustain either on a consistent basis. In a now aggressively competitive marketplace for animation, sustaining is hard enough, but growing in the way Wall Street wants growth is pretty much impossible. Getting lucky with a particular film is not really a sustainable stock market model.

But it was NEVER a sustainable stock market model.

If you can’t make a go of it with movies that gross $300 million or more every time out of the gate, you have a problem.

If The Market thinks $300 million every time out, with an average gross for your last five releases of just over $500 million worldwide, The Market has a problem… OR you don’t belong in The Market.

And I don’t just blame the analysts. It is the whole overhyped mentality about opening weekend. A little bit of information is a profoundly dangerous thing.

SIFF Review: Kung Fu Panda 2

Thursday, May 26th, 2011

Kung Fu Panda 2, a mostly harmless sequel to its mostly harmless predecessor, is more notable for being the only Dreamworks film since 1998’s Prince of Egpyt to be directed by a woman, Jennifer Yuh, than for anything it contains it its relatively hefty (for a kiddie flick), toddler bladder-testing running time of 95 minutes.

Peppy pacing mostly keeps the storyline flowing along, and if your kids (or you) haven’t seen the first Kung Fu Panda, you should be able to keep up. In the first iteration of the franchise, Po the Panda (energetically voiced by Jack Black) was chosen as the Dragon Warrior in spite of being obese, clumsy and completely incompetent. Everybody hated him because he was obese and clumsy and completely incompetent and ate all the food, then they liked him because he got good at Kung Fu. Then he ran away to the 2008 Cannes Film Festival with Angelina Jolie after kicking Brad Pitt’s ass in a kung fu match. Or something like that, the details aren’t that important.

Just know that Po the Panda is now the Dragon Warrior, and he hangs in the Valley of Peace with his fellow warriors (including aforesaid Jolie as the sleek, sexy Tigress, rrrrrrrrowww) and his Yoda-like mentor Shifu (Dustin Hoffman). As an aside, anyone remember the days when animated films didn’t have to have big movie star names attached to them? Anyone?

So in this new Kung Fu, we get to learn the reason why Po is the last panda left, and he gets to match up against the enemy who killed his parents and all the other pandas and take his glorious, bloody revenge upon him and impale his enemy’s head upon a stick in the smoldering ruins of his castle stronghold. Er, I mean, he’ll try to reason with the guy, of course, and understand his feelings and his Mommy-and-Daddy-exiled-me angst, and why he felt he had to kill all the cute little pandas. And then, seeing their similarities are more than their differences, they’ll work through their conflicts using the Non-Violent Communication model to reach consensus, and be BFFs 4Ever while Elton John croons a touching closer.

Or something like that.

It’s all very colorful, and the pacing clips right along. There’s a deliciously bad bad guy who doesn’t really have a reason to be so bad (well, at least before he got exiled), and lots of bad wolves running amok. Why are the wolves always the bad guys? Why not the squirrels, or the hedgehogs? No one knows.

Important lessons are learned along the way, blah blah blah, and there are plenty of fights that are exciting without being too scary or violent for most small fry. Yes, it’s predictable, but so are the books you probably read to the kids at bedtime, right? Kids like predictable. They have their whole lives to care about character arcs and dramatic tension and movies being interesting.

We saw the 3-D version, and let me just say, I am starting to hate 3-D. It’s too damn dark, and most of the awesome 3-D effects are gratuitous. I don’t like it, I don’t need it. But … my kids love it. They love the special 3-D glasses, they squeal with delight as something swoops toward them, they jump when something looks like it’s going to hit them. They dig it. And since the only reason I’m going to a movie like this anyhow is for them, I might as well suck it up and do the 3-D, right? That’s what enough of us do to keep studios cranking them out, anyhow.

This film is fine for the younger set, and not completely intolerable for the grownup forced to accompany their kid to see it. Worst case, you snack through the previews, then get a 95-minute nap while your kids have a good time. Or something like that.

Po The Panda Has Them Now…

Thursday, May 26th, 2011

Box Office Hell — May 27

Thursday, May 26th, 2011

Our Players|Coming Soon|Box Office Prophets|Box Office Guru|EW|Box Office . com
The Hangover Part II |94.6|n/a|98.0|92.0|100.0
Kung Fu Panda 2 |82.5|n/a|77.0|81.0|90.0
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides|49.0|n/a|53.0|55.0|42.0
Bridesmaids |17.7|n/a|19.0|15.0|17.0

Critics Roundup — May 27

Thursday, May 26th, 2011

Kung Fu Panda 2||||Yellow|Red
The Hangover Part II|Yellow|Yellow|Red||Red
The Tree of Life (Limited)|Green|Green|Green|Green|Green
United Red Army (NY)|||Green||

“Meet Jennifer Yuh Nelson, Director Of Kung Fu Panda 2”

Monday, May 23rd, 2011

“Meet Jennifer Yuh Nelson, Director Of Kung Fu Panda 2

Super Bowl Trailers: Kung Fu Panda 2

Sunday, February 6th, 2011

Trailering Kung Fu Panda 2

Monday, November 8th, 2010