Sunday, December 01, 2013

Disney Cartoon Grosses (The Modern Era)

BuzzFeed offers rundown (inflation adjusted) that shows what Disney animated features have taken in domestically since TLM (The Little Mermaid):

Disney Grosses -- Opening Weekend -- Total

1) Lion King (1994)-- $78,744,000 -- $600,726,200

2) Frozen -- (2013) $66,713,000 -- * * * *

3) Pocahontas -- (1995) $54,650,000 -- $262,003,900

4) Tarzan (1999) -- $54,229,700 -- $271,071,000

5) Chicken Little (2005) -- $50,296,500 -- $169,911,500 ...

And so on.

BF also has a handy bar graph comparing domestic grosses. Scroll to the bottom to see it ...

The early 1990s was a heady time at Disney Feature Animation.

There was a feeling of momentum and invincibility that was palpable (or so it seemed to the frequent visitor.) I remember walking through the Flower Street studio midway through Aladdin. The first Gulf War was happening, and the creative staff had abruptly changed the city named "Baghdad" to a city named "Agrabah." The story department had spent a frantic three and a half weeks reworking the middle of the feature. (Years after, the story supervisor told me that he, directors John Musker and Ron Clements, and Jeffrey Katzenberg spent a lot of time in the directors' office arguing story points.) Yet nobody thought it was going to be anything but successful.

Despite the tumult, the picture was a blockbuster hit. And Lion King which came directly after under equally trying circumstances -- the first director was replaced -- was even bigger. It was only with Pocahontas that the box office started to decline, but even then the picture had a big opening and a healthy gross.

The other points to keep in mind is that, twenty years ago, foreign box office was a much smaller slice of the money pie. And the production costs for the films were half the budget outlays here in the 21st century.


Ryan Summers said...

I had no idea Chicken Little opened that big.

Steve Hulett said...

The only feature developed and released under David Stainton's tenure.

So, much as I have misgivings re Mr. Stainton's abilities as an executive, his (very short) track record is actually good from a box office standpoint.

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