Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Green Froggy Watch

A kind commenter mentions:

As of this week (February 10, 2010) the box office track site The Numbers reports Frog's worldwide take as:

U.S. -- $101,011,000

International -- $95,000,000

Worldwide -- $196,011,000

So TPandTF is now close to double its reputed production gross cost.

Before we get into the "It's turned a profit!" "No it hasn't!" argument, remember a few things.

Feature films, particularly animated feature films, go on making money from a variety of sources for years and years. There is all the merchandising and supplementary market moolah (licensing; t-shirts, toys, video games, DVDs, etc. etc.) to consider, which never show up in a film's box office tally. But trust me, Bob Iger is happy to have the money.

The studios -- and you'd better sit down as you read this -- very often misreport what a film actually costs to make. So it's difficult for any outside to know if a film is actually (as opposed to officially) profitable.

Long ago, the rough rule-of-thumb was that a moving picture had to earn double its production cost to break even. More recently the rule is triple the cost. But who the hell knows, really? Money flows through our fine conglomerates like mud through a La Canada mansion, so pinning down the profit and loss is damn near impossible.

However, it's probably true that Froggy has a ways to go before all its foreign theatrical revenue has come in. I'm guesstimating that total theatrical revenue will ultimately be a 60% foreign/ 40% domestic split.

39 comments:

Floyd Norman said...

If they weren't making money the place would have been pad locked years ago.

The big moolah monster will do just fine, thank you.

Anonymous said...

If "Princess" is making money, then what's with all the flop sweat regarding Rapunzel and The Snow Queen?

Anonymous said...

The biggest profits for studios on films are TV sales. FAR bigger than home video mostly bigger than theatrical. Animated films have done better on video until relatively recently, mainly due to it's babysitting duties.

But video sales and a lot of toy sales of all movies is down more than 50% overall in the last 8 years.

Disney films are somewhat important to the bottom line for the company--a big hit certainly helps. But it's nothing but a DROP IN THE BUCKET when you think of the Disney company as a whole. TV, Theme Parks, Real Estate, Financial Investing--all of these have made far more money than the movies for the last 50 years.

Granted, the good films can drive many of these other businesses.

I hope Disney animation does take more chances with their animation. I could care less if they're musicals, fairy tales, or original stories, CG or hand drawn, or puppets. Stereoscopic or not--anything but the one dimensional films they've focused on for a decade. They'd better start being dramatic in their choices instead of tip toeing backwards. --as if the word "classic" is something they should be striving for more for than a strong stories and characters the audience cares for. And they should stop pandering so much to kids and marketing.

And Hollywood marketing better fall in line and realize that their job is to promote the films. Just saying "we can't market that film" is lazy. They are not part of the creative process of creating a film, they are part of the creative process of MARKETING the film, and figuring out creative ways to attract attention to the film. They can give valuable input, but they do not drive the final say. The film is the thing, and the creators must be respected if they expect any reciprocation.

Anonymous said...

Just read on a Disney blog that some more animators have left for greener pastures over to Dreamworks recently. Add this to Snow Queen and King of the Elves getting shelved...

Looks like Lasseter isn't all that he was cracked up to be... Can we put to rest all that chatter about him being better than Katzenberg, especially if his employees are leaving for Jeffrey's place?

Anonymous said...

If they weren't making money the place would have been pad locked years ago.
The big moolah monster will do just fine, thank you.


And for all the angry fanboy fingerpointing at December openings, fact is, it opened with "only" $24M, but it DID open at #1--
And when $24m constitutes a #1 opening, might it suggest that -nobody- was going to movies that week?

Besides, PATF was about the fact that Lasseter COULD make it, and make it he did. The audience seemed to respond to that, if not as much else.

r said...

to anon 8:27- I could'nt agree more!

rufus.

Anonymous said...

"Looks like Lasseter isn't all that he was cracked up to be... Can we put to rest all that chatter about him being better than Katzenberg, especially if his employees are leaving for Jeffrey's place?"

Gee, guess they'll have to start learning how to draw The One Dreamworks Expression: :/

(Either that, or start betting against Jeff's movies like Jack Black.)

Anonymous said...

^ I'm asking an honest question here. Why are people leaving Disney left and right, and what's with projects getting shelved? And why are they all leaving for Katzenberg's realm?

We can bash Dreamworks all we want, and have our own opinions - but the facts are that it looks like the artists prefer The One Dreamworks Expression over The Mouse House, even with Lasseter in charge.

And the more talent leaves Disney for Dreamworks, the more Dreamworks will be that much more dominant than Disney in years to come. I don't see how The Mouse House gets back in the game like this.

Anonymous said...

King of the Elves isnt dead.

Its in development.

Anonymous said...

"I'm asking an honest question here. And what's with projects getting shelved?"

Um, "Blind superstitious fear, out of real-world context"?
Think that was established a few articles back.

Anonymous said...

"King of the Elves isnt dead.

Its in development."


Wut?

Do you know something nobody else knows, or are you just very behind?

Anonymous said...

Um, "Blind superstitious fear, out of real-world context"?
Think that was established a few articles back.


Okay, so you answered the 2nd question in that paragraph. Care to try the rest?

Why are people leaving Disney left and right, and what's with projects getting shelved? And why are they all leaving for Katzenberg's realm?

Anonymous said...

Why are people leaving Disney left and right?

That's really overstating things. There's no exodus.

Anonymous said...

I heard that Dreamworks hangs onto animation employees between projects, while Disney does not.

If true, that could make Dreamworks a more attractive place to work than Disney.

Anonymous said...

Do you know something nobody else knows, or are you just very behind?

Nothing is ever "dead." Films are either released, or unreleased.

KOTE is in development. And development is development.

At one point, Toy Story 3 was in development at Circle 7, then it wasnt. Now it's being released. Just sayin'.

Anonymous said...

"Nothing is ever "dead." Films are either released, or unreleased."

Okay, but you're saying "in development" isn't the same as "actively being worked on", correct?

Michael said...

Anon 8:27 -

Well said. Marketing has always seemed like a driving force but it seems like Hollywood is now completely ass-backwards. You pick a franchise, set a release date, and then decide what kind of movie you're going to make. You then hire a gajillion people to work 80hrs a week so you can make your release date and they slap together whatever they can, and then you fire everyone. What?

As to why people would leave for DWA, it certainly seems like the much more stable place to work these days. That's nothing to sneeze at.

Anonymous said...

I guess it sounds like Lasseter/Catmull is trying to incorporate the Pixar slave-hours over at Disney, except that Disney Animation is sure as heck not Pixar, so less incentive to actually want to pull the slave-hours they need.

I hate to put that on Catmull/Lasseter - but this is happening on their watch now (they've had time to implement their culture or what have you for a couple of years now). Maybe they don't care if they lose talent because they think people will want to come work for Disney regardless?

In any case, kudos to Dreamworks on keeping animators happy.

Anonymous said...

Big layoffs coming for Dreamworks I fear. How can they just keep hiring and hiring and hiring?

Anonymous said...

^ 3 movies coming out this year, 2 next year. They're supposed to be averaging 5 movies per two years.

That's how.

Anonymous said...

That's too much. Quality will go down the faster they try and churn out movies.

Anonymous said...

Quality only goes down if you're overworking your employees, if they're stressed.

How do you not overwork/stress out your employees? You hire more people to help out.

People are still going to their movies so they're making money. I wouldn't worry about their quality.

Anonymous said...

That's really overstating things. There's no exodus.

There's no full exodus because DreamWorks doesn't have room to hire everyone. But the fact remains that Disney has tossed out some of its top talent, and it's driven away some of its top talent, and its laid off some of its emerging talent. Couple that with the clear pattern that they don't know what kind of movies to make, and the utter incompetence of their development process, and it's not a bright future.

Derrick said...

Sure, KOTE is going to be a new Bolt...
cliche treatment of the story, bland character designs... the perfect nanny for kids.

Anonymous said...

"Gee, guess they'll have to start learning how to draw The One Dreamworks Expression"

...which is One More Expression than you can draw, chumley.

Anonymous said...

One thing I wonder is how much patience Iger has with Lasseter....

...and what happens when he loses patience?

Does Lasseter go crawling back to Pixar and serve as a good little soldier for the Walt Disney company?

Does he leave and form his own studio, taking along with him a bunch of strong talent from Pixar?

Should be interesting to see. I honestly don't see Disney recovering from this unless they fix their hiring practices. They'll keep hemorrhaging talent until Lasseter learns a thing or two from Katzenberg.

Anonymous said...

3 movies coming out this year, 2 next year. They're supposed to be averaging 5 movies per two years.
That's how.


Any -good- ones? That might help their longterm grosses a bit more effectively.
They're killing their big green golden goose, they don't have any proven franchises to replace it, the Oscar nominations they've been trying to repeat have been fewer and fewer, and if they're expecting Chris Sanders to direct every single one of their movies from now on, that...remains to be seen.

Steady employment on a sinking ship isn't a better prospect than an unsteady one.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm...let me guess...a Pixie...?

Anonymous said...

They're killing their big green golden goose, they don't have any proven franchises to replace it, the Oscar nominations they've been trying to repeat have been fewer and fewer, and if they're expecting Chris Sanders to direct every single one of their movies from now on, that..." blah blah...usual BS negativity blah....

Currently in production at Dreamworks are the Panda and Madagascar sequels(both of which are proven franchises), Puss in Boots and the ORIGINAL Dragon, MegaMind, Crood, Guardians and more that haven't been announced yet.

Anonymous said...

Currently safely in production at Disney and Pixar are Rapunzel, The Bear and the Bow..... Sounds like the others are in trouble and could be shelved like the others.

No wonder they're leaving for Dreamworks.

yahweh said...

The truth seesm to be that despite JK and JL's different backgrounds Jeffrey views his DW artists as family and valuable and John see his Disney artists (and many at Pixar) as cannon fodder - use them till they drop and then replace them when they do.

Who would've thought this was possible, eh?

Anonymous said...

^ Yeah, I know. It's looking like JL views only his main group of guys as family (Stanton, Docter, Bird, Unkrich), and everybody else can be replaced; whereas Katzenberg has really gone out of his way to treat his employees well and has welcomed the Disney outcasts with open arms.

Seems as time passed, Katzenberg has humbled himself enough to trust his animators, while Lasseter has become elitist.

And this is all coming from someone who thought Lasseter going to Disney was the greatest thing since sliced bread. I admit now that I was wrong to be as excited as I was.

Anonymous said...

Looks like Blue Sky Disney was right about the "Tangled" title. I was hoping they were wrong. Sigh, crappy name.

Anonymous said...

Terrible name.

TERRIBLE.

C'mon Disney employees. Someone pony up the balls to tell Lasseter he's lost his mind.

Pussies.

Anonymous said...

Yeah! Bunch of pussies don't want to speak out against the Emporer and lose their jobs over something that won't change until marketing says to cahnge it.
Pussies.

Anonymous said...

You wont know unless you try.

Michael said...

I think the problem is that people *have* tried, and were never heard from again. It's clear who's calling the shots, and I don't blame anyone for not going on a kamikaze run.

Anonymous said...

There are worse things than losing your Disney job...like keeping your Disney job.

The happiest day I ever had was the day I left and never looked back.

Anonymous said...

If you want to lose your job (and I sense some here do, and they're welcome to), think it's an interesting experiment to see whether anyone can lose their job for protesting that a film seemed to be a bit more -popular- than the boardroom decreed it to be--

They can throw numbers at you if you claim that PATF got a tough break at the worst season of the year, and what's the worst they can do if you ask for a little proof on, okay, just who exactly SAID the audience problem was with princesses? (Did anyone? I can't recall...)
What could happen?: "We won't have troublemakers saying our films were good, clean out your desk!"?

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