Alrighty then. A year ago, Blue Sky Studios (of Fox-News Corp.) released The Peanuts Movie. It's domestic opening weekend went like this:
$44,213,073 in 3,897 theaters.
Twelve months later, DreamWorks Animation's Trolls rolled out. And its opening numbers went this way:
$46,581,142 in 4,060 theaters
The two cartoons had pretty similar three-day windows. But then the roads diverged. ...
The second weekend drop for Trolls was a mere 25%, while The Peanuts Movie declined an alarming 46%.
TPM's final global box office was $246,233,113, with a domestic gross of $116,054,702. This total came at the end of twenty-one weeks of theatrical release.
Now consider Trolls.
The DreamWorks picture's been out since early November, and has already grossed $262,371,439 worldwide. (This, after 17 days of release). It's domestic tally stands at $116,163,206, 44.3% of its world gross, and will obviously climb higher.
In retrospect, The Peanuts Movie had the disadvantage of being a well-worn American property that didn't play as well overseas as Fox might have hoped. (The recent Ice Age: Collision Course performed only half as well as Peanuts domestically, but has beaten the Charlie Brown movie hollow overseas. To date it's worldwide cume is $407,168,056. These days, foreign markets are real important).
The lesson here: American companies need their animated movies to play in foreign markets, since they contribute 60%-80% of the total take, and too often American-centric features don't cut it in the rest of the world. It also helps to have lots of comical non-humans populating your productions.