Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters gets a two-day head start on Planes thanks to an Aug. 7 debut and is based on the popular children's book series of the same name. 21st Century Fox is distributing the film, just as it did its predecessor: 2010's Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief.
Author Rick Riordan penned five Percy Jackson novels in all, each of which could be adapted into a film in the same way that Time Warner adapted J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter books into one of the most successful film franchises of all time. Sea of Monsters is book two of Riordan's series.
Fox investors shouldn't expect Percy Jackson to reach Hogwartian heights. Yet it could be much worse: Google's Trends data paints a discouraging picture for those hoping Planes will be a catalyst for Disney stock:
The message? Families are likely to spend more to see Percy Jackson slug it out with creatures of the deep than they will to see Pixar's airborne take on Cars. ...
First off: This is a DTS production, not a Pixar movie.
Secondly, it started life as a Direct-To-Video feature, not a theatrical presentation. Reports are that John Lasseter (who oversees the division) thought Planes had solid commercial prospects and bumped it up to the big screen. DTS's Glendale studio had a crew of animators working on the picture.
In April, Box Office Mojo was not hugely positive about Plane's future grosses:
... August is historically a dead zone for animated movies, and it doesn't help that so many major animated releases are coming before it. ...
And Neon Tommy was not optimistic in June:
... [T]here isn't much hope for "Planes," a movie which takes place in the same world as the "Cars" franchise did. ...
I think the movie will generate profits for Diz Co. (and lots of merchandise sales) but probably not big box office.