From the Nikkster:
... [T]he movie that all of Hollywood is talking about tonight is Disney's Mars Needs Moms 3D. Why? Because the Dick Cook leftover is going to be one of the biggest money losers of all time. Costing $150M and, even with the higher 3D ticket prices, it'll be lucky to pull in $10M this weekend -- that's right all weekend. It's rare that any Disney 'toon flops at all, much less this badly. But my insiders say this movie is why, after Rich Ross screened it, Disney cut ties to Robert Zemeckis' Imagemovers Digital. ...
First point: I don't really consider Mars an "animated feature" in the way that we generally think of animated features. It's not animation but motion capture, rotoscope with a newer name.
Second point: I think mo cap is fine within the right environment. Certainly it worked like gangbusters in Avatar. And it's been kind of successful in other films. (We can't wave away Polar Express, a sizable commercial success after all the dollars were counted.) The problem is, I don't think the general public has ever embraced the technology. As much as I admired much about Zemeckis's Christmas Carol, I can understand why many were luke-warm to the feature. There was always that "I'm looking at dead people" aura about it.
But it's not Zemeckis or Disney for whom I feel badly. It's the (now former) IMD employees who poured their hearts and souls into this, even as they were being slipped the axe and IMD facility in northern California was closing.
There are more motion capture projects in the pipeline, Mr. Spielberg's Tin-Tin feature prominent among them. Later this year when the picture comes out, we'll see how Paramount does with it. I've got a queasy feeling about the movie, but maybe that's just me. This is Spielberg, right? How many flops does he have?