Saturday, December 30, 2006


I just caught up with VARIETY's insightful front page story from a couple of days ago. It seems the trade paper has come across an amazing slice of reality:

Surveying the most crowded year in history for animated features, there's no escaping the fact that the right release date helps. A lot.

Successful toons tend to have very strong legs, dropping just 20%-30% each week. Those legs can get cut off, however, when another animated feature for families opens.

DreamWorks' "Over the Hedge," for instance, had a decent $38 million bow and declined less than 30% in its second and third weekends. In its fourth frame, however, "Cars" opened, and "Hedge" took a 50% hit, putting a big dent in its B.O. momentum.

It's good to know that when two high-profile animated family films collide in the marketplace, one or the other suffers. I guess this is sort of like when two horror films come out close together, or two spy adventures debut within a week of each other, that the first film in release usually takes a hit.

I never realized this before, so it's fine that a knowlegable show biz trade paper puts it on the front page. Next week, VARIETY will clue us that the sun rises in the east.


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