Monday, December 01, 2014

The (Inevitable?) Meme

No prizes for guessing what it is.

... By almost any measurement — box office, stock market, public image — it’s been an annus horribilis for the DreamWorks Animation chief and the studio he built.

The company’s latest big screen venture, “Penguins of Madagascar,” stumbled in its U.S. debut last week, earning $35 million over the five day Thanksgiving holiday. It had been expected to earn between $45 million to $48 million. In response, shares of DreamWorks plunged more than 9% on Monday morning. ...

Over the past year, DreamWorks Animation’s stock price has fallen steadily. It kicked off the year trading at $35.30 and opened Monday at $22.35. ...

For almost any animation company, the business of making cartoons is a roller coaster.

It was for Walt Disney Productions right before World War II. And right after.

DreamWorks Animation struggled right before it went all CGI, all the time. (Remember Spirit? Road to El Dorado? Sinbad, Legend of the Seven Seas? You have a problem when your $60 million production only makes $80 million worldwide).

Even John Lasseter isn't immune. He rightfully takes bows for exec producing Frozen, but he was also the honcho for Planes: Fire and Rescue, which opened at #3 earlier this year with an unspectacular first weekend of $17.5 million.

So let's remember, boys and girls, that the stinkeroo fairy visits almost everyone, sooner or later. I seriously doubt that "Here Lies John Lasseter, the director of Cars II" gets engraved on the big marble tombstone.


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