Sunday, May 18, 2008

Battle of C.G.I. Effects on Foreign Shores

... and day-glo "cartoony" viz effex lose out to the photo-realistic type:

Summer tentpole season hit a speed bump overseas, as the opening of “Speed Racer” met a wall of audience indifference ... “Speed” hit the $1 million mark in only three of its 30 markets — $2.5 million in South Korea, where it was a distant second to the second frame of “Iron Man”; $2 million in Mexico; and $1.3 million in Brazil.

The European markets were far less interested. Spain led the way with $891,000, followed by $714,000 in the U.K., $411,000 in Italy and an especially dismal $146,908 at 590 in Germany, where it finished eighth ...

The problem seems to be that nobody is overly enthralled with the flick. For example:

“Speed Racer” had received plenty of Teutonic press, since it was entirely shot at Studio Babelsberg outside Berlin and partially financed by federal and regional film grants. One exhib blames the pic’s failure not only on negative reviews and a lack of familiarity among Germans with the 1960s toon series upon which it’s based, but also on a possible aversion to its hyperkinetic graphics.

“I think people saw this computer game world and were not impressed,” he notes. “It was not something they wanted to immerse themselves in for two hours.”

By contrast, Iron Man colected $38.7 million in its second week. So in this case, photo-realism in the c.g.i. area made the difference. (Couldn't have had anything to do with acting and story, could it?)

And Horton Hears a Who has collected $136+ million in foreign lands, and over $150 mill stateside.

So does it crack the $300 million barrier, or not?


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