Friday, November 28, 2008

Bolt's Legs

The Disney flick appears to be gaining some traction as it trots into its second weekend:

Disney's Bolt finished No. 4 with $4.3M Thursday and a big comeback of $5.1M Wednesday in 3,651 plays after a difficult debut last weekend when Twilight skewed younger than expected. But the superpooch could also end up #3 because of big kiddie matnees with a projected $24M for the 3-day weekend and $33M for the 5-day holiday since Thanksgiving audiences love family pics so much.

The Guardian in the United Kingdom thinks the feature's prospects are bright, even with its ... ah ... less than serendipitous launch:

Bolt was unlucky to go against Twilight last weekend but it's a classy piece of film-making and should grow through enthusiastic word of mouth. This is the kind of weekend it will use to really dig its claws into the box office and it should hold well on about the same amount as Australia.

And there's other hopeful signs. The Italians appear to be taking the white shepherd to their hearts.

In Italy, Disney's "Bolt" is bowing big on 540 screens, 31 of which are 3-D equipped, in a crowded frame which also sees "Max Payne" making its Italo outing. But neither "Bolt" nor "Payne" are expected to oust "Twilight," in its sophomore sesh, from the top Italo spot.

Disney's dog hero pic has drawn rave reviews with Corriere della Sera praising "Bolt" for its "originality" and "tight editing," while comparing its mix of fantasy and reality worlds with that of "Pinocchio." ....

The bottom line? The picture has gotten good word of mouth, and looks to do middling well domestically, and fine overseas.

The Mouse House's story crew worked and reworked the picture's gags and continuity right up through the early part of this year, and production turned and burned to hit the release date. During crunch time, I heard everything from "No way we make the deadline..." to "Hey, we're in under the wire, but there's some funky shots I wish we could work on more ...".

Outside the studio, I've heard complaints that Bolt's design was too uninspired and "generic," the trailers weren't good enough, etc. But there are always a zillion eager analysts willing to step forward when a picture underperforms. They always have a ready-made explanation about why events didn't go as swimmingly as expected and hoped, and who's to know? Maybe they're right. It's impossible to prove one way or the other.

But since I'm a believer in Occam's razor, I'll go with the simplest, most obvious reason for the dollar totals of the flick's opening weekend: Twilight's demographics collided with Bolt's audience and the vampires won.


Anonymous said...

Totally agree with you, Steve. Bolt got bit by Twilight, end of story. But it's great that the movie is rebounding, as I hoped it would. I saw it again today to a mostly-full theater, and the audience responded enthusiastically. I'm betting Bolt will do well throughout the rest of the holiday season. It's the best animated film of the year IMO. Yep, better than Wall*E! So there!

Anonymous said...

It's hard to beat Kung Fu Panda. certainly Dreamworks best film to date.

Anonymous said...

The Friday numbers are in, and Bolt did substantially BETTER than he did opening night a week ago. Even accounting for the holiday, that's virtually unheard of.

It looks like the word finally got out that it's actually a really good movie and people are going to see it. It looks quite possible that it will make more in its second weekend than it did in its first. Not bad at all.

Anonymous said...

Bolt is no where near Kung Fu Panda in regards to a great film. Chicken Little numbers were better than Bolt. I am sure these numbers will be address as a company whole. Ed said, they won't see profit until they hit $400 mil. I can't see them getting near that number at this rate. I am concern for Disney.

Steve Hulett said...

They reach $400 million by having it do $120+ million stateside and $280 million internationally.

Whether they reach these figures or not is anyone's guess, but I'm estimating they come close.

It's certainly within the realm of possibility.

Anonymous said...

wait a minute. I don't care how crazy this is but I have to say it... your telling me they will not have a profit until Bolt reaches 400 million with global theatrical?

that is insane. that means that it costs them at least 200 million to produce, promote and print. how do these film budgets continue to get so huge.

Anonymous said...

"that is insane. that means that it costs them at least 200 million to produce, promote and print. how do these film budgets continue to get so huge."

Yeah, I thought computers were supposed to make everything faster, better, cheaper ? I must have heard it wrong ...

Anonymous said...

I saw Bolt this weekend in both 3-D and 2-D, and while it is a decent film, I found myself oddly unmoved throughout. First, Bolt as a character just seems weak, and as I didn't care about Bolt, I didn't buy the whole film. The kids in the audiences were laughing, but this isn't a crossover film that can appeal to adults, I think. And, by the way, the film looks much better in 2-D. It loses its visual allure in 3-D, the colors looking murkier. So, while I like Lasseter, I am nervous that he may be losing his touch as an executive producer. I would have liked to have seen what American Dog looked like. It certainly wouldn't have seemed so generic.

Anonymous said...

Took the wife and two kids to see it last Saturday and no one really liked it. It was good, but not great.
Story wise it reminded me a lot of Toy Story.

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