Friday, July 07, 2006

Weekend Box Office -- A Pirate's Life

Advance word is that Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest might be one of the biggest box office hits ever, so this is a good time to tip our hats to Marc Davis, the animator who created the characters and "story" of the original ride 50 years ago. Without the charm and quality he and the other imagineers put into that ride so long ago, Disney wouldn't have this film franchise to profit from. If you want to see if Pirates 2 sets any box office records, here's a link with those numbers. A Scanner Darkly also opens today, but on so few screens that it probably won't make the top ten. Cars will roar past the $200 million mark this weekend and be settled in 7th place on the all-time CG feature list. Ice Age 2 will drop back to #8 on that list despite collecting a few more penny rolls this weekend. And Over the Hedge should claw past the $150 million benchmark. As always, we'll update this through the weekend... UPDATE 1: Pirates 2 sailed to the biggest opening day ever (not adjusted for inflation, of course) with an estimated $55.5 million. The previous top single day and opening day records was Star Wars: Ep. III, with $50 million. Arrg, matie! That thar's a fist fulla dubloons. Cars dropped only 28% from it's previous Friday take, from $4 million to $2.8 million. Compare that to Superman Returns' 56% drop, Devil Wears Prada's 48% drop, and Click's 34% drop. UPDATE 2: As was widely predicted, Pirates 2 set a new weekend record, looting an estimated $132 million (Spider-Man 2 opened with $114.8 mill). Cars dropped just 29% from last week, for 5th place and $10.3 million ($205.5 million total). Over the Hedge wound down to 16th place ($670k and a smidge under $150 mill total), and A Scanner Darkly had a solid $24 k per screen average for 17th place. Perhaps the most striking thing about the weekend was how little Cars was affected -- perhaps because this was the biggest total weekend at the boxoffice since Boxofficemojo has been tracking them. Now it'll be interesting to see if Pirates 2 is another opening-weekend wonder, or if, as some have predicted, it threatens Titanic. UPDATE 3: The actual numbers are in, and Pirates did even better than the estimate -- $135.6 million! Wow and double wow. And Cars only had a 26% drop from last weekend. All in all, saying it was a very good weekend for Disney might be an understatement.


Anonymous said...

What a shame that Disney couldn't give a nod to the great Marc Davis, the guy who created this cool idea so many years ago.

I was next door to Marc in D-Wing when he began doing sketches of pirates back in the sixties. It all began with him. You would think a little credit might be forthcoming.

I'll be looking for his name in the credits, but I doubt I'll see it.

Reel Fanatic said...

I was really looking forward to A Scanner Darkly, but such subversive stuff just doesn't play in my little corner of the world, so I guess I'll have to wait for DVD

Kevin Koch said...

If there's an art house theater near you, you've got a decent shot of seeing it. They'll be widening the release over the coming weeks, though it's never going to get a wide release.

Floyd, was there a credit for Marc? Man, think of the money Marc Davis has generated for Disney over the years!

Jenny Lerew said...

Disney--the company--owes Marc Davis more than they could ever have compensated him for, for the genesis of something that has turned into such an amazing franchise for them(and for that latter-day success they rightly credit Johnny Depp)...I'm glad that he did get some loving recognition from the brass(in addition to the artists, who of course always went nuts for Marc)before he died...but I also remember his reaction to the ill-conceived Pirates "rehab" of about a decade ago. That was a shame. Anyway, I'd say that what's warranted would be a nod along the lines of "based on characters and concepts by Marc Davis", although as a salaried employee of WDP, it doesn't work that way retroactively or otherwise--his work was work for hire, just like "Superman" was for that artist. But I'm hoping there's a credit in there somewhere. What the heck--there are loads of fans and artists who won't forget where it all originated. Marc's was a singular genius(and what an incredibly generous, kind man!).

Kevin Koch said...

I just spent the afternoon with Alice Davis. Disney was good enough to invite her to the opening of the revised Pirates ride and an early screening of the movie. I'm pretty sure there wasn't a credit for Marc in there or she would have mentioned it.

You're right that Marc should have been much better compensated for everything he created for the company. Aside from the absolutely fantastic characters he animated (which have had a pretty high percentage of spinning off into live action movies and animated sequels), but he designed a lot of the best of Disneyland, and how many live-action movies have those rides also spawned? I think Walt's genuine appreciation was enough for him, but he should have left the company a bazillionaire.

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