Monday, November 30, 2015

Speaking of Heights of Glory ...

Even the mighty sometimes drop down a rung or two. The Good Dinosaur's grosses are not (apparently) super robust by Pixarian standards:

... While Pixar's latest animated feature garnered $39.1 million in its first three days and $56.6 million domestically for the entirety of the Thanksgiving weekend, the dinosaur flick had the weakest launch of any film released by the animation company, ever. ...

Many knew there were ... ahm ... issues, no? It wasn't a secret. Directors replaced. Release dates shifted. There were portents.

Making an animated movie is hard. There are no movie stars to root for, just the artists' blood, sweat and tears, the writers' and animators' crafts, the surfacers' and lighters' aesthetic choices. And sometimes the story doesn't come together and the through-line is muddy and there's too many ideas pulling in too many directions. And all the patching and restructuring helps, but it doesn't have that flow, and what the hell are you gonna do?

As a grizzled old feature director said to me eons ago: "You've gotta convince the audience it's real and worth caring about. Because there aren't any real people up there to help you do it. There's nothing up there but drawings and colors." ...

Today the "drawings" thingie would be "pixels." But the same idea.

And so The Good Dinosaur didn't land with a thwacking ker-thud, but there were no bands marching and fireworks bursting after its first weekend either. Disney/Pixar merely got an "okay" opening. But if the bottom doesn't fall out through the holidays, and overseas markets hold up, the movie should make money.

And Pixar's record will remain intact.


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