To add fuel to the fire, THE LONDON TIMES has a lengthy article on the "glut" of animated product (doesn't everyone?) which comes to us courtesy of Kathleen Milnes...
Embedded in the article, the TIMES had a handy list of worldwide grosses for '06 animated films:
Ice Age 2: The Meltdown $647m
Over the Hedge $327m
Chicken Little $314m
Monster House $135m
Open Season $134m
Barnyard: The Original Party Animals $94.5m
The Wild $94m
The Ant Bully $54m
When you have six of ten films that gross north of $100 million, and two others that come close to the century mark, animated features aren't in some catastrophic economic meltdown, no matter what pundits say. While it's probably true that, after production costs, prints, and advertising, some of the above films will not be huge money-spinners, we're willing to wager that a majority of the above candidates are a) going to nudge into the black and b) provide their copyright owners with healthy income streams for years to come. From the TIMES article:
Flushed Away and Happy Feet find themselves in an overcrowded Toontown. “This year has seen the result of the gold-rush mentality that prompted many animation start-ups trying to get a slice of the DreamWorks and Pixar pie,” says Rick DeMott, the managing editor of the online trade magazine Animation World Magazine. “We have ended up in a kind of cracked, pop culture-saturated wonderland.”
If there's a gold rush mentality, it comes from CG animated films performing well at the box office. Unlike the mid-nineties, when everyone except Disney was flaming out with their hand-drawn animated product, a decade later there are plenty of profitable players, from Blue Sky to the Weinstein Co. in the animation business.
Doesn't sound like the glut has led to economic meltdown, at least not yet. Or are we missing something?