Saturday, October 25, 2008

Trouble For Diz's Bollywood Dog Picture?

Uh oh.

According to some early reports, the House of Mouse's Indian animated flick seems to be running into headwinds:

Samir Karnik’s Heroes has opened to a fairly good response as compared to this week’s other release, Roadside Romeo. The Yash Raj – Walt Disney’s first joint venture, the animated film, Roadside Romeo has also been given thumbs down by the critics and its report isn’t encouraging ...

Roadside Romeo has got a very poor opening with just a 20-25% response. The reports are not encouraging and the film will find it hard to make a mark at the box office ...

Let's stipulate that I've got no clue what "just a 20-25% response" means. I'm assuming it indicates that the Mubai and Delhi cinemas showing Disney's animated offering are not ... uh ... Standing Room Only. But truth to tell, I don't know exactly what it means.

But here's my hope: I want Bolt to tear up the wickets when it debuts in the sub-continent. I want it to out-perform the Bollywood picture. I desire this for a very selfish reason: I think it's good for the Burbank-based animation studio if its product outperforms the overseas variety.

So go ahead. Call me selfish. Call me beyond the pale in wanting the home-grown product to continue to dominate worldwide box office. I'll just have to deal with it.


Anonymous said...

Don'tworry, Steve, You're not alone in your 'selfishness'

Anonymous said...

I hope Bolt does big business too. In fact I'm sure it will. Its trailer gets great reactions from audiences in every theater I've seen it in. It's gonna be big. As for "Roadside Romeo"...that thing looks like ass. Big surprise (not) that it's failing. Bad product should not be rewarded, wherever it comes from.

Anonymous said...

Cartoon Brew reports:

Roadside Romeo Secretly Released in L.A.

"Disney has quietly opened Roadside Romeo today . It’s “Absolutely ‘howl’arious!” says the India Times in a four-star review.

Should you wish to see this flick, it’s playing at the NAZ 8 Cinemas in Artesia, with English subtitles. The theatre is located at 6440 E. South Street, in Lakewood, CA. It’s playing all week at 5:00 6:00 7:00 8:00 9:00 10:00 and 11:00pm.

Move over Wall•E - Roadside Romeo is now qualifed for for an Oscar nomination! "

Wait a minute ... I thought this Disney/Bollywood coproduction was being justified by Disney as "not outsourcing" since it was intended as a coproduction that would be distributed within India? But now they're releasing it in the United States anyway as a Yash Raj & Walt Disney Pictures release . What's up with that ?

Ok, for the time being it looks like Roadside Romeo may sink pretty fast at the box-office, BUT if it was a box-office smash and Bolt doesn't do so well, then it would seem to me that the company has no qualms whatsoever about outsourcing all animation work to India or China, or wherever they can get it done at the cheapest price.

So let's say Roadside Romeo doesn't do well and animation people in Burbank can breathe a sigh of relief, but just wait for the next one. If one of Disney Corp.'s Bollywood animated features outperforms the movies made in Burbank and Emeryville then I'd start to worry. (actually I'd start to worry now and start to look for a new line of work if that happens. )

(Cue Kevin Geiger to come in to tell us why this isn't actually bad news ... 5, 4 ,3, 2 ,1 ... )

Steve Hulett said...

I've been watching foreign-produced animated features since "Once Upon A Forest" (anybody remember that effort? From Hanna-Barbera?)

To date, they've all laid eggs. The two semi-exceptions: "Hoodwinked" and "TMNT" ("Ninja Turtles" by another name). But neither got past a $50+ million domestic gross, and the studios are looking for bigger fish they can fry.

There's a reason that Imagi opened a satellite studio in Sherman Oaks.

Anonymous said...

I do remember "Once Upon a Forest" . A big chunk of it was done at Wang and some more at A-Film in Denmark, but I recall a lot of it being worked on by a large L.A. crew housed at the old H&B studio annex on Cahuenga.

I think a lot of the same crew also did the animation for Pagemaster.

Once Upon a Forest Credits

Anonymous said...

And by that logic then The Simpson's Movie was a "foreign animated feature" , too.

A huge portion of it was done at Rough Draft in Korea.

Anonymous said...

I'm not a huge fan of Disney but for once that's a myopic view from you Steve.
RR is very much a foreign film with Disney putting in some money and some supervising expertise. It is an attempt to create a market for feature animation in India which is currently non existent even for the likes of Kung Fu Panda (look up the numbers). The idea is that home grown product can bring in people to this genre and the fallout will be enjoyed by all.
You seem to have no opinion on Imagi pumping in huge $$$ and creating jobs in LA for their "foreign" films - as is Crest with Rich Crest. This is only possible because foreign companies want to grow the industry globally and want to utilise American expertise. Besides these studios invest millions in Dell, HP, Autodesk and Microsoft equipment.
If RR fails it is a loss to all of us because there are a billion people who could get turned on to watching animation and buying toys. Whether you like it or not, animators in US do not get employed for social service but only if the market will buy animation product and the merchandise.
The US economy needs all the friends it can find right now.

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