Now with a multitude of Add Ons ... and relocated to the weekend.
About an hour ago, Nikki Finke admitted she had had her headline written for the holiday b.o.: "Hair No Match For Harry".
But maybe not ...
At 2:45 pm Nikki quoted "rival studios" saying that Tangled could be opening "much bigger that expected". The CW has been in the range of $35 to $40 mil for the five-day weekend. At 5 pm she quoted a Disney exec predicting numbers in the high $60s. Word may have gotten out that Harry Potter 7.1 is too intense for little ones (I personally observed a parent leading a sobbing five- or six-year-old out of the Cinerama Dome last Sunday, after the scene where Hermione is tortured).
We shall see ...
Add On: I went to see Tangled (flat screen edition) today. Happy to report there were no sobbing kids being led from the theater. Feature went over well. It was great seeing the whole thing after watching bits and pieces for the past sixteen months.
Good movie. And assuming projections hold up, the Mouse will have its first bonafide animated hit after several lower-grossing efforts. Congratulations to the crew, top to bottom. They did themselves proud.
Add On Too: Time Magazine makes some salient points:
... [T]his Disney near-classic wades into the DreamWorks style of sitcom gags and anachronistic sass. ("Sorry, Blondie," Flynn tells Rapunzel at one point, "I don't do backstory.") But the visual palette is more sophisticated, especially in the scenes where sparkling nocturnal lanterns illuminate Rapunzel's birthday; and the film gradually achieves the complex mix of romance, comedy, adventure and heart ...
Add On #3: The Nikkster says in an update: Disney sources now tell me that Tangled opened with $10M-$11M today ...
Add On #4: Ms. Finke has the projections for the holiday weekend:
1. Harry Potter/Deathly Hallows, Pt 1 (Warner Bros) Week 2 [4,125 Runs] -- Friday $14.4M, Estimated 5-Day Holiday $90M, Estimated Cume $230M
2. Tangled 3D (Disney) NEW [3,603 Runs] -- Friday $11.7M, Estimated 5-Day Holiday $69M
3. Burlesque (Screen Gems/Sony) NEW [3,037 Runs] -- Friday $2.8M, Estimated 5-Day Holiday $17.8M
4. Megamind 3D (DreamWorks Animation/Paramount) Week 4 [3,401 Runs] -- Friday $2.6M, Estimated 5-Day Holiday $22M, Estimated Cume $135M
5. Love And Other Drugs (Fox) NEW [2,455 Runs] -- Friday $2.1M, Estimated 5-Day Holiday $15.1M
We have two animated features in the Top Four. And of course Harry and the other wizards rely on a lot of animated visual effects for their pizzazz.
Add On #5: Animation does well on Turkey Day:
... "Tangled"... took in something north of $8 million on its second day of release.
And "Megamind" ... took the fifth slot for the day, collecting about $2 million as it ended its third week in theaters with more than $115 million in its account.
Add On #6: The Nikkster tells us, "... [T]hough I and many others took early swipes at new marketing czarina MT Carney, she ensured this toon wasn't dismissed as just another Disney fairy tale princess story, taking pains to attract boys by emphasizing the toon's male hero and making some surprising TV ads aimed at parents. (I especially liked the clever hair growth spot during a recent Saturday Night Live.) This was the largest U.S. word-of-mouth screening program for a Disney animated film ever ..."
2. Tangled 3D (Disney) NEW [3,603 Runs] Wednesday $11.8M, Thursday $8.1M, Friday $19.7M -- Estimated 3-Day Weekend $50M, 5-Day Holiday $70M
3. Megamind 3D (DreamWorks Animation/Paramount) Week 4 [3,401 Runs] Wednesday $2.6M, Thursday $2M, Friday $5.3M -- Estimated 3-Day Weekend $15M, 5-Day Holiday $19.7M, Cume $132.6M
So as we come around the far turn of the holiday weekend, the animated entries are running "place" and "show" against the wizard. Disney Feature Animation (aka Walt Disney Animation Studios) is back in the game, this time assisted instead of hindered by Disney marketing, and Megamind will pick up almost $20 million for the holidays. Splendid work all around.
Add On #7: Richard Corliss of TIME Magazine weighs in on the long weekend:
... [A]s an overachiever, Tangled takes the prize. An arduous six years in production, with numerous directors and reimagineerings - and a final budget in the $260 million range, which may make it the costliest animated feature ever ... Industry touts forecast another Disney disappointment ... Instead, the picture amassed a fairy-tale $69 million, for the second biggest Thanksgiving week opening, after the $80.1 million for Toy Story 2 in 1999. ...
(There's really no way for civilians to know how much Tangled cost, and Disney accountants aren't saying.)
... Tangled unfurled with an estimated $49.1 million on approximately 5,400 screens at 3,603 locations, lifting its sum to $69 million in five days and ranking as the second highest-grossing Thanksgiving opening ever (behind Toy Story 2).
So now maybe the Mouse will now pick up the production pace and hire more animation employees back. Here's hoping.