Saturday, April 25, 2009

While We're On The Subject ...

... of various animated product, Box Office Mojo does some dandy comparsons with dandy interactive charts between the 'Toon empires.

DreamWorks Animation vs. DreamWorks Animation

Monsters Vs. Aliens -- production budget: $175 million -- domestic gross: $166.3 million ...

Madagascar 2 -- production budget: $150 million -- domestic gross: $180 million

March Animation Madness

Horton Hears a Who -- domestic gross: $154.5 million

Meet the Robinsons -- domestic gross: $97.8 million ...

Animation Action

Star Wars: The Clone Wars -- domestic gross: $35.1 million

TMNT -- domestic gross: $54.1 million ...

Sure, it's comparing pictures by box office, but it's the only sane way to do it.

Otherwise, you have nerds, professionals and general-interest fans yelling at each other about which movie is best. And as the Romans tell us: De gustibus non est disputandum.

That's why horrid, disgusting moolah is the only concrete scorecard. All else is disputable opinion.


Anonymous said...

False premise. Certainly there are other sane ways of doing it.

The fallacy of this approach is revealed by the startling conclusion that "Titanic" is the greatest film ever made, soley by virtue of its boxoffice total. Few educated people would agree.

No, this is merely the easiest way of doing it. Which is why studios do it. And which is why they score so many duds, both critically and financially.

Anonymous said...

How many people went to see a given movie? How many went a second time? How many tickets were sold, regardless of the per-ticket price? I think that would be a good barometer.

- Anon 2

Anonymous said...

Why with the music industry they can count copies sold and tour tickets sold but movies can't? You compare something in 2005 with something in 2009 and the gross are misleading because of inflation and ticket prices, throw in marketing cost and you never know the truth.

Because the studios like to boast on the money however misleading those figures are. Besides there are many other ways of recouping money invested for the suits, with merchandising and syndicating. Box office numbers are dubious at best and certainly money is not the only sane way the world can turn.

Wall Street has spoken...

Anonymous said...

"False premise. Certainly there are other sane ways of doing it."

Such as?

You're free to disagree with the way movies are compared, as long as you bring an alternative to the table. Shouldn't be a problem for you, since you're certain there are "other sane ways" to compare...

Anonymous said...

Last time I heard studios were in the business to make MONEY!! Not number of tickets sold or number of repeat viewings. If these contribute to the overall BO then they're happy, but without the Box Office totals they don't care about any of those other things otherwise they'd give away free tickets (even more than they do now). They could easily inflate those 'other sane' methods by any number of ways, but it won't help why they're in make MONEY!!!!

robiscus said...

"they're in make MONEY!!!!"And there was the reason for multitudes of animated films being made in the nineties that all had the exact same formula. They were all trying to make "MONEY!!!!" by tapping into what had a record of success - and then the public turned their backs on a recipe that became incredibly stale incredibly fast.

The bottom dropped out. Studios closed. People were fired. The whole dynamic changed and the animation community suffered. This all happened in the name of making "MONEY!!!!"

Blind ambition towards an empty goal like that can be the rational for anything. I'd say that most business models that put profit above product will eventually fail.
I challenge you to name an exception to that rule.

A novel idea would be if studios made quality pictures that tell a story with new ideas. When they do that, the profits will follow. When they pigpile on a trend in the name of "MONEY!!!!", an inevitable failure follows.

Your take on the issue is shortsighted.

Anonymous said...

Anon #1 here.

The problem here is that Steve is using boxoffice to try to determine which film is best.

Obviously, there is certainly no problem using those numbers to determine which film is very popular, at least at the moment. But that should not be confused with best. (Think Iron Giant, which would score low in boxoffice)

So what are "saner" ways to determine "better" films than using boxoffice? They would all be harder to calculate, and none would be very perfect. All would include subjective factors, and generally be messy. But in the end they would be better than blindly using simple boxoffice grosses.

A careful combination of critical reviews from professional critics, the general public, aficianados of animation, boxoffice grosses, and video rental patterns, all carefully weighted for appropriate sample size, would bring about a better, saner method. Never perfect, but saner.

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