Saturday, June 10, 2006

The Weekend of "Cars"

And here comes John Lasseter's first film as director since '99... We'll get to see how the film fares on Saturday and Sunday. As you can see from the June 2-8 stats, "Hedge" was outpacing "Da Vinci" until "Cars" rumbled into the marketplace, but now it's slipped behind the Hanks/Howard opus. Not really unexpected... UPDATE: The weekend estimates are in, and "Cars" looks to be in the $63 million range. (Uh oh. Jim Hill Media informs us that the picture has to do $75 million to be rated a "success," per unnamed Wall Street analysts. So what do we have here? A number one, $63 million FAILURE?) UPDATE 2: Our friends at the L.A. TIMES pick up the "underperformance" thread and unspool it. So let us review the received wisdom of...somebody. "Cars" opens number one with $63 million dollars, but this is a bad thing, since it had to do $12 million more for the green eyeshade people in New York to be content. And "Over the Hedge," which dropped 50% this weekend (in line with every other top-tier film in the marketplace) took in $10.1 million, slightly ahead of "Da Vinci." It's now at $130 million domestic. Big disappointment for analysts. Then there was "Ice Age 2". It's up around $190 million domestic with over $400 million out there in the rest of the world. THAT one is considered a big success. We've got three CGI animated films out of a total of four released in the last few months that have made -- or are going to make -- way above one hundred million in the Unites States and Canada. My guess is the three will all take in between $400 million and $700 million in theatrical grosses, and that they will earn even more in home video. Even though two of the three are getting labeled as under-performers (maybe), I bet the conglomerates go on making animated features. What do you think?


Anonymous said...

We should all "fail" so well.

Anonymous said...

It's all if the worst thing that could have happened to animation's future prospects was the money "Shrek 2" and "Incredibles" made--their numbers spoiled it for every other release ever to follow? Ludicrous!

It's pretty much the exact same scenario that followed "Lion King"'s success. If I remember correctly, there were quite a few subsequent releases from WDFA that performed REALLY, really well--yet the drumbeat picked up & repeated all over the media was a huge "UH-OH!!"...which hardly helped Disney's profile and outlook when (as had to happen) one or two films weren't as fantastic as "Aladdin" or "Lion King" with audiences, though they were still hits. Lately Dreamworks in particular has really been put through some total BS in the Wall Street analyses. I guess now Pixar has received such huge attention and is seen as so superhumanly infallible that there's a whole crowd of investment people spoiling for a dramatic change, any change, that they can write about, the better to look as if they have a clue.

What's the deal with these guys? These reactions are so far removed from reality.

Michael Crawford said...

"Removed from reality" just about sums it up, I think.

The point is that "Cars" did really well and will continue to do well as kids continue to get out of school. The fact that it's actually a good movie will help it bring in return visitors much more than, say, "Da Vinci Code".

Someone elsewhere pointed out very cogently that the running time for "Cars" is longer than the usual Pixar feature, and that in itself would have cut down on the number of showtimes per day.

Finally, I think the fact that something is going to be such an obvious blockbuster and will be in theaters all summer makes it less crucial to see it opening weekend. I'm as big an animation fan as you can find, especially where Disney-Pixar is concerned, and the random vagaries of life prevented me from seeing it this weekend (saw Prairie Home Companion instead, which I highly recommend). I'll be seeing "Cars" probably a few times, but I won't be in that opening tally.

Just as always, the naysayers with their various agendas will take this to mean whatever they want it to mean. As long as Lasseter has made a great movie, I don't really care.

Steve K. said...

These analysts need to just stop this b.s. How the heck is a number one film a flop?

Site Meter