Monday, December 11, 2006

WorldWide Animation B.O.

Fragrant and lucrative, if today's Variety report is to be believed (and why shouldn't it?)...

The success of "Happy Feet" underlines the massive worldwide market for CGI toons, with "Ice Age: The Meltdown" and "Cars" grossing nearly $1.1 billion worldwide earlier this year.

"Feet" kicked in its best take in the U.K. with $6.8 million at 713, including previews, followed by Spain with an opening of $4.7 million at 470, France with $2.4 million at 830 and Mexico with $1.7 million at 736.

"Feet" also showed traction in Italy, where its second frame matched the launch with $1.9 million at 565, and in Germany, where its soph sesh scored $1.2 million at 772, down just 20%. International cume has hit $40.8 million and worldwide takings total $178 million.

The trade mag also pointed out that Open Season is up around $165 million in worldwide grosses (and climbing), that Flushed Away is closing in on $100 million, and that Ice Age II and Cars together have collectively raked in over a billion dollars (separate and apart from DVDs.)

What this tells us is that animated features, despite the Cassandras in the MSM, continues to be a pretty profitable bet for media companies to place. So it's likely a safe prediction that the biz will keep on placing it. (And Variety's topkick Peter Bart expounds on movie box office in general; it's worth reading.)


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