Monday, July 11, 2016

Most Successful Year?

This can't be true.

... The highest grossing box office year for animation was 2013, which saw over $1.6 billion in ticket sales thanks to having three films in the top 10: Frozen, Despicable Me 2, and Monsters University. This year, there are four films currently in the top 10, and animation has already grossed over $1.1 billion, with half a year left to make up the difference. It won't take much for the remaining features combined to be successful. Kubo and the Two Strings will see one more major animation release this summer and even if it doesn't set the box office on fire, it should set everything up for a massive holiday season.

We used to be told (over and over) that animated features gobbled each other up at the box office. That there was a glass ceiling for long-form animation and our fine, entertainment conglomerates were making too many cartoons, damnit!

But the premise was always flawed, because animation is just one more format for telling stories on a big screen. If you're telling a variety of tales that audiences want to see, then there really is no cannibalization.

There are now two animated features in the marketplace that people want to see, one about fuzzy domesticated animals and one about fish in the sea. For some reason, upright carbon-based life forms have no trouble paying tickets to view both, probably because different characters and plotlines inhabit each of them. This is not a hard concept to grasp if you frontal lobes aren't too small and under-used.

I believe the media is now catching on to this dynamic. Because the talk about one cartoon dining on another cartoon has pretty much stopped. Finally.


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