Monday, April 22, 2013

Animation's Hard Charger

It's Fox in the theatrical realm.

'Croods' Success Underscores Fox's Evolution Into Dominant Animation Player

Analysis: The studio is dominating the family market this spring with the DreamWorks Animation hit and Blue Sky's "Epic" on the way

The Croods opened to $43 million on March 22 and for the past month, as it has rolled up $154 million and never dropped below third place at the box office. “The Croods” has brought in another $272 million overseas.

And it's not done yet. “The Croods” will remain the only real cartoon in the U.S. market for the next month – until the May 24 debut of “Epic,” another Fox release. And that one will have the family market to itself until June 21, when Disney rolls out “Monsters University.” ...

Fox’s stranglehold on the kids market this spring and the emergence of its in-house animation unit Blue Sky underscore the point studio chairman Jim Gianopulos made last week at CinemaCon: Fox is now a dominant player when it comes to animation. ...

When Jeffrey Katzenberg was making noises about leaving Paramount, I thought that he would decamp to Time-Warner, since T-W had only a small presence in big-screen animation and needed to beef up its arsenal. I ruled Fox News Corp out because it already had a successful animation studio with Blue Sky Animation.

Silly me. I didn't factor in Fox's ongoing lust for all types of animation: Hand-drawn and CGI, small-screen and big screen, cable and broadcast.

Among ALL our fine, entertainment conglomerates, Fox is often more out-there with animated product than Disney. It's got fewer cartoons on cable, but it more than makes up for that weakness with a squadron of animated half-hours on the Fox broadcast platform. And (like the Mouse of Mouse) Fox distributes the full-length cartoons of two animation studios, Blue Sky and DreamWorks Animation.

Like we've been saying, Rupert and his minions are serious about doing the animation.


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