Wednesday, December 25, 2013

The Continuing (Weird) Media Meme

From our fine, entertainment press:

The Cinderella story of this year’s holiday box office is … go figure, Disney’s newest princess movie, “Frozen.”

Yet, despite the surprise success of its 2010 predecessor princess pic, “Tangled,” which grossed nearly $600 million worldwide, the path to B.O. glory for the Mouse’s latest fairy-tale treatment was nowhere near a slam dunk. ...

Don't any of these people read, like, data?

The most profitable and highest grossing sector of moviedom is the one marked "Animated Feature." For the last several years, if not the whole decade, this has been pretty obvious.

So here, at the end of a year that saw Monsters University and Despicable Me 2 gross north of $700 million and $800 million respectively, when the direct-to-video Planes was released to theaters and turned a tidy proft, when the second installment of Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs saw respectable grosses, some in the media are still amazed that an end-of-year cartoon from the Disney/Pixar makes a whole lot of money.

Say what?

Four theatrical animated features (The Croods, Monsters University, Despicable Me 2, Frozen) will gross more than $2,000,000,000 in the span of twelve months. Two others (Turbo, Planes) will take in more than $500 million. Yet the hallucinations continue:

"The glut of animated features is crowding the market place and depressing cartoon grosses. .."

"The Cinderella story of the year is Disney's Frozen."

And blah, and blah, and blah.

What should be clear by now, but apparently isn't: Animated features are not a genre. When people want to see a given full-length cartoon, they drive to the local AMC and watch it. From the evidence, lots of people, year over year, want to watch cartoons. They don't give a rip if another cartoon is out there, anymore than they care that a Scorsese-DeCaprio movie is out at the same time as a David O. Russell picture.

If the SUBJECT MATTER attracts their interest, they go watch the picture. All an "animated feature" is, is a format.


Tim said...

"Animation is a genre" adherents should take a day and watch Wreck-It Ralph, Waltz With Bashir, Cinderella, Persepolis, Secret of the Kells, Princess Mononoke, The Care Bears Movie, and Heavy Metal all back to back.

Floyd Norman said...

So, can we finally conclude that Disney is not going broke, after all?

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