Saturday, March 05, 2011

March Horse Race

Now with electric Add On.

With the first weekend in March, it appears another animated feature has climbed to the top of the box office chart. As the Nikkster tells us:

... Paramount's Rango appears headed to $11 million Friday going to $40 million and probably more. That's a feat considering it's a non-summer 2D toon and the kiddies aren't even out of school today. ...

Note: When Nikke says "2D", she means you don't put on the plastic goggles to watch the picture in Genuine Moving View Master..

Add On: Rango now looks as though it will end up in the high thirties. The breakdown:

1. Rango (Paramount) NEW [3,917 Theaters] -- Friday $9.6M, Estimated Weekend $38M

2. The Adjustment Bureau (MRC/Universal) NEW [2,840 Theaters] -- Friday $6.7M, Estimated Weekend $21M

3. Beastly (CBS Films/Sony) NEW [1,952 Theaters] -- Friday $3.5M, Estimated Weekend $10M

4. Hall Pass (New Line/Warner Bros) Week 2 [2,950 Theaters] -- Friday $2.7M (-41%), Estimated Weekend $8.5M, Estimated Cume $26.5M

5. Just Go With It (Sony) Week 4 [2,920 Theaters] -- Friday $1.9M, Estimated Weekend $6.7M, Estimated Cume $88.4M

6. Unknown (Dark Castle/Warner Bros) Week 3 [2,913 Theaters] -- Friday $1.8M, Estimated Weekend $6.5M, Estimated Cume $53M

7. The King's Speech (The Weinstein Co) Week 15 [2,240 Theaters] -- Friday $1.6M, Estimated Weekend $6.5M, Estimated Cume $123.8M

8. I Am Number 4 (DreamWorks/Touchstone/Disney) Week 3 [2,903 Theaters] -- Friday $1.6M, Estimated Weekend $6M, Estimated Cume $46.7M

9. Gnomeo & Juliet (Disney) Week 4 [2,984 Theaters] -- Friday $1.5M, Estimated Weekend $6.5M, Estimated Cume $83.3M

10. Take Me Home (Rogue/Relativity) NEW [2,003 Theaters] -- Friday $1.2M, Estimated Weekend $3.5M

So. We've got two animated features in the Top Ten, and both of them performing admirably. Not shabby.

Add On Too: Despite Rango's robust debut, the L.A. Times is pessimistic about domestic box office:

A diverse crop of four new movies premiering this weekend wasn't enough to bring the box office out of its recent slump. ... [t]hat worsened a severe downward trend, with box office receipts down 21% year to date ...

And Add On the Third: New York Mag weighs in with its analysis:

How It All Went Down: Equal parts Chuck Jones and Chuck Norris, Gore Verbinski’s animated nod to the spaghetti Western hardly seems appropriate for the youngest of kids, but that hasn’t stopped parents from loading the minivan anyway. And if you think Rango is cleaning up now, when just 3 percent of kids are on spring break, imagine how it’s going to be doing in two weeks' time when a third of all schools are on vacation. ...

So I guess the experts assume the lizard will have holding power, yes?


Anonymous said...

I'd love to see this movie kick butt at the box office this weekend. I saw it Friday and it was very enjoyable. The animation and set design were phenominal. Half the fun of the movie is looking at all the cool character designs they came up with (that's not to say the story and humor aren't up to par, they are, but I just really dug all the design work)

Anonymous said...

Technically looks great but several viewers say its not really for kids. Wonder how that may affect the drop off next week.

Anonymous said...

You sir or madam, are part of the problem:

"Technically looks great but several viewers say its not really for kids. Wonder how that may affect the drop off next week."

First, let's just say it again that animation is not "for kids". It has a wide appeal to children, but whether or not the movie is targeted at children is entirely related to the story being told.

Rango's target audience is 13+. And that's big plus sign. Just like Pirates of the Caribbean was.

Working at a theatre, you get a pretty accurate cross section of the people seeing movies. Most of the people buying tickets for Rango are in or out of high school. Just like Pirates.

So the movie not being K-8 friendly isn't going to make a dime of difference for Rango.

If Pirates had been animated, would it have been a kids movie?

What about Indiana Jones? Back to the Future?

Anonymous said...

The movie is being targeted younger - thus the Burger King tie in and the barage of video game ads. The add campaigns are on par with Pixar and Dreamworks. My five and seven year old dug the film as did I. Definitely more adult than the other studios, but no more so than the first Ghostbusters movie.

I also want it to do well, and as long as it dominates it's opening weekend, the suits will see it as a success.

Anonymous said...

This was the single worst kid's cartoon I've ever.seen. So ugly and juvenile I could hardly believe my eyes and ears. Glad I didn't pay to see it!

Steve Hulett said...

Gonna make a nice pile of money on its first weekend, despite your displeasure.

Anonymous said...

but it'll drop off very fast. IT makes Mars Needs Moms look positively great by comparison.

Anonymous said...

Is Glen Keane leaving Disney?

Anonymous said...

If Keane can get more creative freedom at DWA, then I wish him godspeed.

To hell with WDAS. I'm done with studio loyalty at this point. I want this industry to thrive. I want to slap down my ten bucks at the box office for quality animation that will immerse me in another world and thoroughly delight me with strong storytelling. And I don't care which animation studio produces those quality films, as long as they get produced.

Good on JK for respecting former Disney animators and giving them a favorable environment to create in. I loved Dragon and what Chris and Dean accomplished with it. Their maturity and growth since Lilo & Stitch is clearly evident in that film. I can only imagine similar possibilities awaiting Glen at DWA.

If it's a good offer, Glen, take it and don't look back.

Anonymous said...


Dreamworks employee

Anonymous said...

I think DWA has soaked up enough Disney talent over the last 10 years. Do they really need Glen too?

Anonymous said...

"Dreamworks employee"

Hardly. Try further north. Much further.

"I think DWA has soaked up enough Disney talent over the last 10 years. Do they really need Glen too?"

If WDAS cared enough about losing these people, then they might still be there. Problem is, they don't.

JL basically held the door open for Chris on his way out. And don't forget Pixar talent like Hayward, Romano, and Sweetland who got better deals elsewhere. (It still remains to be seen what will happen with Brenda, now she's off Brave. I doubt she'll stick around after her contract ends.)

If Disney animators can find more creative freedom at DreamWorks, then that's Disney's problem to solve. Why should anyone remain loyal to a studio which lets its top talent walk out the door? If DWA is savvy enough to pick up these artists and give them a home, good for them.

Why hate on DreamWorks for having the smarts to recognize talent they can use. You should be hating on Disney for being such asshats and letting them go.

Anonymous said...

Romano, Hayward, Sweetland, Silverman, Pinkava, Rydstrom, Sanders.

The all quit. They were not fired.

If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, get out of that overheated kitchen and go create amazing successes for the competitors!

Brilliant business strategy! With great ideas like that, no wonder they're stuck on Cars 2 and Reboot Ralph.

Anonymous said...

The all quit. They were not fired.

Of course they all quit and weren't fired. NO ONE in the history of the entertainment industry has EVER been fired. I know this from reading the trades every day for many years. People only depart from a studio 'to pursue other options.' It is always a 'mutual' decision. 'Pride of accomplishment' is always expressed by both sides. It is always something the departing person has been 'thinking of doing for a long time, and the time is finally right.' The separating parties always 'look forward to potentially working together again in the future.' The terms of the separation are never spelled out, but are always 'mutually advantageous.' 'Well wishes' are expressed liberally by both sides.

Funny how that seems to be the case, every single time. So much happiness and good will in our industry. Now everyone smile for the camera ...

Steve Hulett said...

Anybody who believes that nobody gets fired but only "steps down to pursue other interests" is delusional.

Executives and talent are thrown under the bus at different animation shops all the time. You think Katzenberg "resigned" from Disney? You think directors, after two or more years on a picture, voluntarily step down?

Not hardly. When things aren't working to studio heads' satisfaction, they're dismissed and some cosmetic alibi is issued.

Anonymous said...

Steve, Steve, Steve, don't break the illusion. To make cartoons is to a live in a pixie-land of eternal childhood, to live on lollipops and smiles and mutual support and good will. Aren't we all family here? Don't we all love each other, and respect each other, and always live by the golden rule?

Anonymous said...

^^^ Isn't that written in the Pixar handbook they give to new employees to help explain why they're getting paid below union scale

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