The usual "We're in the middle of a glut" press mantra seems to have faded a bit, but two cgi features will get released within a week of each another, TMNT and Meet the Robinsons. And we'll get to see whether the foreign-made turtles beats out the domestically produced Wilbur Robinson at the nation's cineplexes.
My guess is that both features will rake in cash, but for different reasons.
"Turtles" is a pre-sold property. Its live-action predecessors did well, its hand-drawn teevee version is still out there in permanent syndication. But "Robinsons" has a different dynamic:
Disney successfully experimented with 3-D in its 2005 animation "Chicken Little," which was released primarily in 2-D. The 84 screens that showed the film in a special 3-D format grossed three times the average of national box office sales for the original version. Still, despite the format's popularity, too few 3-D equipped screens existed to make a huge impact on the national level. Since then, the number of 3-D screens in the country has increased. "Meet the Robinsons" will be shown in the new format in 600 theaters in almost every major U.S. city, and has the potential to shake up the industry.
So there you have it. The established brand-name franchise going against a time-travel epic in eye-popping 3-D.
Which, do you think, will end up on top?