Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Niche Player

Lionsgate, which has the number one movie at the global box office, is going with a cartoon produced by Splash in mid January (after Katniss Everdeen wears out her welcome).

Lionsgate, known for the HG franchise and some edgy live-action TV shows, is distributing this Splash Entertainment feature, much of which has been produced in India.

Splash Entertainment, if you don't know, is headquartered out in Warner Center, where the Brothers Warner used to make a lot of Westerns eighty years ago. It's owned and operated by Mike and Liz Young, who have mostly focused on TV animation but make occasional forays into theatrical animation (Clifford the Big Red Dog). Before it was called Splash Entertainment, the name was MoonScoop and co-owned by a French company, and before MoonScoop the handle was Mike Young Productions.

Norm was produced in India for what looks to be a not-excessive amount of money; with luck it will get some traction at the global box office and make its creators (and Lionsgate) some money. But I doubt it will make anyone forget Zootopia.

There will be two shorter followup features after the eighty-six minute theatrical, so it looks like NoN is being platformed to aid and abet the sequels. It could be a shrewd move making a whacky animal feature tied to the snow-swept polar region, particularly if the budget is right. We will probably find out how this offering does in relatively short order.


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