Saturday, March 02, 2013

Niche Players

The Big Players latched onto CG animated features a while ago, and now all of the big entertainment conglomerates release animated long-forms that cost anywhere from $70 million (the Chris Meledandri model) to $200 million (the Disney/Pixar model).

But it turns out the marketplace has more than enough room for smaller pretenders to the animation throne:

Par, UIP Add to Tad Treasure in Latin America

Spanish toonpic Tad, the Lost Explorer is fast becoming one of Europe’s biggest toon hits of the past few years, “Tad’s” B.O. trove underscores the breakout opportunities for indie toons — from the U.S. or abroad — targeting family auds.

Bowing Aug. 31 in Spain to a stellar $3.6 million gross. Paramount swooped on a further 13 territories, 12 in Latin America, after pic’s first frame in Spain.

Now it’s payback time. Opening Feb. 1, “Tad” grossed $6.1 million in Mexico through Feb. 24. In Peru, “Tad” has dug up a chart-topping first 10-day $1.5 million. Also opening No. 1 in neighboring Chile, “Tad” has mined $691,652 at local wickets for UIP. It is also No. 1 in Ecuador.

“Tad’s” total worldwide trawl through Feb. 24 stood at just above $40 million ...

If I were a visual effects shop fighting for survival, I would be looking to build a niche presence in lower budget animated and hybrid features. (You know, owning content?)

To rely on visual effects sub-contracting exclusively doesn't work real well if you're interested in staying in business.


Celshader said...

I've worked in VFX since 1999. I've also seen VFX studios try to create their own IP since 1999.

I hear Hydraulix had a success with SKYLINE. For the rest, however, it did not work out.

I have also seen VFX artists leave the industry to self-publish their own software and games. Those efforts have been more successful, since it takes a lot less income to sustain one artist than it does an entire facility.

Steve Hulett said...

Real FX is making a run at producing content. Didn't work out for Imagi, but other entities might make a go of it.

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