Friday, October 03, 2008

Most Profitable Moom Pitchers

If you haven't seen this factoid, take a gander at it now. SNL Kagan has produced a study which finds:

... that animated films have the best average profitability among all genres. Animated films contributed $230.6 million under a major studio deal, Kagan found ...

Remember how it used to be for animation? (You can if you're old enough.) There were Disney animated features, and then there was ... an arid desert broken by Yellow Submarine, Fritz the Cat and a handful of other cartoons. Big studios didn't want to get into the game because the big profits weren't there. Disney had a nameplate, nobody else could compete. That was the received wisdom.

Then came the 1990s and the HUGE profits generated by Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Lion King and Aladdin (If not for the woeful Rescuers Down Under this would be a string of unbroken hits.) The money cascading in to the Mouse House's bank vaults grew so large and deep that other studios had a religious conversion:

"Sweet Jeebus! We can't let this kind of money go by! We have to get into the Church of Animation and make our own Lion Kings!"

And so it came to be. There was Page Master. There was Quest for Camelot. There were Anastasia and several others, but in the early to mid 1990s they all crashed and burned. Fox Feature Animation went belly up, as did Warner Bros. Feature Animation. Turner Animation came and went.

But now another decade has slipped by, and the magic of CGI has leveled the playing field. Where nobody could compete against Walt's hand-drawn product, now many reap millions from the pixels found in computer imaging. (Ironically, Walt's direct heirs have been struggling.

Magical! Simply magical! And the chart above proves it.


Floyd Norman said...

It would appear that pixie dust simply cannot compete with pixel dust.

Let's hope I'm wrong, otherwise Disney's going to have a nice large building to lease.

Kevin Geiger said...

The playing field continues to level. This is a good thing for creators and audiences around the world.

Jon Hooper said...

I seem to remember a few pictures in the 1980's like Secret of NIMH, American Tail, Land before Time, All Dogs etc.

In fact I would have to say it was Bluth and Spielberg that ushered in the new golden age. If I remember correctly Disney was on the verge of shutting down feature animation, and it was the success of American Tail and Great Mouse Detective that changed some minds. That, and the realization by Eisner and Katzenberg that they could essentially print money by releasing the Animation Library on video. This , in turn, got them thinking maybe there is money to be made with this animation stuff.

Anonymous said...

"...and the realization by Eisner and Katzenberg that they could essentially print money by releasing the Animation Library on video..."

...thereby over-saturating the market with animated fare. The motive was as much to remind the public that only Disney made good animated movies as anything else (a typical Disney tactic for decades) but the result was disastrous. By the end of the 1990's nobody in the country could sit through a 90 minute cartoon without mainlining speed.

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