Thursday, May 18, 2006

"HoodWinked" Enters at #1

A little late with this, but "Hoodwinked" entered the DVD sales charts at Numero Uno... Per The Hollywood Reporter: "Hoodwinked," the animated retelling of the Little Red Riding Hood tale, scored an upset victory on the DVD sales chart for the week ending May 7, narrowly beating 20th Century Fox's "The Family Stone." Although it's theatrical legs were not great, the flick is selling a lot of little metal discs, and I'm sure the Weinstein brothers are delighted. "Hoodwinked" borrowed some riffs from "Shrek" and cashed in. (And proves, I think, that John Musker's "Red Riding Hood" pitch to Eisner and Katzenberg twenty-one years ago was chock-full of commercial possibilities, had it been pursued. Mark Dindal was also kicking around a similar idea prior to "Chicken Little.") "Hoodwinked" demonstrates (yet again) why CGI animation continues to expand. There are baskets of greenbacks in it.

7 comments:

Kevin Koch said...

I rented in last weekend -- took me two tries to get through it. I now have a new respect for the animation quality of the Nasonex Bee.

There's an old saw in animation that goes, "Great animation can't save a bad story." I think Ice Age: The Meltdown disproves that (or at least proves that great animation can make up for no story). And I think Hoodwinked makes the case in the opposite direction -- there was enough story and potential humor there that with good character designs and full, professional, entertaining character animation, Hoodwinked could have been a huge hit.

Anonymous said...

Kevin, I seriously doubt mainstream viewers hardly even notice the lesser animation quality. I know my wife certainly didn't. And that is after years of preaching the difference between good and bad animation.

I thought Hoodwinked was entertaining on almost all levels. Except for farming out the work to begin with.

floyd norman said...

Being an animation professional can have its drawbacks. Though I have the highest respect for the filmmakers for getting their movie on screen, I still find it too difficult to watch.

"Lesser animation quality" is an understatement.

Kevin Koch said...

Anon, how do you explain why Ice Age 2 is making vastly more money than Hoodwinked? I think if most people saw both films in storyboard or animatic form, Hoodwinked would probably be judged funnier and more entertaining.

The average person may not be able to articulate the differences in animation quality, but it's clear they experience it, and they respond much more strongly to the good stuff.

Anonymous said...

Well. The two biggest reasons imo.

A) Ice Age received a much bigger advertising budget.

B) It has a built-in audience from the first one that ended up becoming popular.

I'm not clear on the foreign advertising/distribution, however, I bet that Fox went pretty far beyond Weinstein.

Anonymous said...

"hoodwinked" did nothing to advance our artform.

It did however advance the pockets of Harvey weinstein and the film's creators.

why is it that talented animation folks cannot get a film together, and yet a couple of live-action flunkies can pull this off?

how many more "hoodwinked" type movies are going to be made, cheapening our skills as animation artists, while live-action folks reep the
rewards.

Kevin Koch said...

Assuming you're correct that Ice Age 2 had a much larger ad budget (and I saw a TON of Hoodwinked ads), advertising can only go so far (as in, maybe boosting the opening weekend). And if the advertising shows crude and rudimentary animation (as Hoodwinked's advertising did), then it actually can work against you. We could also spend all day listing the many animated and live-action films with huge advertising budgets (and sometimes apparent "built-in audiences") that didn't do a fraction of Ice Age 2's grosses.

I think what really set those two films apart was one had vastly better production values, and especially dramatically better character animation, and I think that made all the difference in the box office.

Regarding the last post, I hope that the relative success of Hoodwinked will make it much more likely that some of our folks will get lower budget films (with better production values) made. You have to give those filmmakers credit, they went out and made it happen. We can sit and whine about it, or we can make it happen ourselves.

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