Friday, September 17, 2010

Early Fall Derby

Now with Add On

The Indian animated feature Alpha and Omega lands at #5. And Ben Affleck appears to have himself a hit.

1. The Town (Warner Bros) NEW [2,861 Theaters] -- Friday $8.5M, Estimated Weekend $25M

2. Easy A (Screen Gems/Sony) NEW [2,856 Theaters] -- Friday $6.7M, Estimated Weekend $18.5M

3. Devil (Universal) NEW [2,809 Theaters] -- Friday $5.3M, Estimated Weekend $13.5M)

4. Resident Evil: Afterlife 3D (Screen Gems/Sony) Week 2 [3,209 Theaters] -- Friday $2.9M (-73%), Estimated Weekend $9.8M

5. Alpha & Omega (Lionsgate) NEW [2,625 Theaters] -- Friday $2.3M, Estimated Weekend $8.7M

As the L.A. Times relates:

"Alpha and Omega" is the first film of a 5-year-old partnership between Lionsgate and Indian animation studio Crest Entertainment. Even though it's playing in 3-D and will benefit from ticket price surcharges, the story of two wolves on a journey together is expected to generate only about $10 million on its first weekend

Though animated on the sub-continent, A & O was story-boarded in Burbank.

Add On: A and O ends up at #5 with $9.2 million, the only animated feature in the Top Ten.

Despicable Me and Toy Story 3 drop by 40+%, landing at #13 and #18 respectively.

(DM has made $244.7 million, while the third Toy Story's collected 410.6 million domestic dollars.)


Anonymous said...

A 10 million opening (Nikki predicts closer to 10 than the times) for A&O is very, very good. It wasn't made for much and wasn't marketed very heavily - compared to a Pixar or DW film.

Congrats to Crest and Lionsgate...maybe we have another player...?

Anonymous said...

OTOH, the reviews seem to consensus about CGI wolf fur that "looks like a Swiffer duster".
There just isn't that much love for a third party "player". (And considering it came from Richard Rich's company, could tie in neatly with that Black Cauldron thread a few articles back.)

Me, I took one look at the "relocated couple" road-trip plot in the trailer ("We're here to...repopulate?") and thought, aha, NOW we know why Pixar canceled "Newt". ;)

VFX Soldier said...

Depends on what we call "player":

Hoodwinked was made in the Philippines for about $17.5M and had an opening weekend of 12.4M. It went on to make 110M worldwide:

According to Nikki, A&O was made for 20M and looks like it will make 9M this weekend.

If these are what garner "player" numbers these days why aren't they making more films in the Philippines?

Anonymous said...

It's a GOOD thing that a film made for just 20 mill can make money. This film was marketed pretty smart. They deluged children's channels and family web-sites. Clearly it wasn't made for anyone other than young families and so far their strategy seems to be working.
Is it "art"? not by a long shot, but I doubt they were aming for that. All that matters is that Lionsgate is happy enough to keep making films. Right?

Anonymous said...

Thank God this piece of crap isn't going to be a hit. The last thing we need is godawful outsourced animation making it big over here.

"It's a GOOD thing that a film made for just 20 mill can make money."

Had this been a domestic film, or even a fully foreign one, I would agree with you. But nothing outsourced to India on the cheap should ever make money.

You do realize that if outsourced movies start to get profitable, it will hurt the prospects of domestic animators, right?? Third world crap needs to flop every time.

Anonymous said...

There's only one way to do a film for 20million - shipping a large portion of the work overseas. Don't be so xenophobic. ANY animated film that makes money is a good thing.

And you do realize that many artists were hired here to work on it as well - right? And that Crest in Burbank is a union signature and pays better wages than Pixar...?
Maybe we should root for Pixar films to flop since they pay below scale?

Anonymous said...

Hoodwinked was made in the Philippines for about $17.5M

Actually, Hoodwinked was made in the Philippines for much less than $17.5 million, then it was shipped to India where it was almost completely redone. Not to mention that the voicework was also completely redone, at considerable expense. Ultimately, it was a fluke, though a profitable one. But if it was such a great model, what happened to Hoodwinked 2?

There's only one way to do a film for 20million - shipping a large portion of the work overseas.

Simply not true. 'Battle for Terra' was made completely in Los Angeles for less than $20 million, and frankly looked better than A&O.

Anonymous said...

From Wikipedia:
"Between $4 million and $8 million was spent making Battle for Terra. At its peak the production's crew consisted of roughly 7 animators and 7 CGI generalists. An editor, rigger and infrastructure supervisor rounded out the team. 1½ years were spent on full production including generation of the 3D stereoscopic version. There were no traditional departments or supervisors for animation, layout, design or lighting, so director Aristomenis Tsirbas was also tasked with production design, lighting, camera, and general CGI supervision. He also created most of the CGI models and animatics for the feature. In order to produce a CGI film incorporating hundreds of characters and multiple locations within a very low budget, many time and money saving techniques were employed which included simplified character design, limited use of CGI hair, alien designs that omitted legs, and quick animation turnaround"

Was Battle for Terra a Union shop? Sounds like less than an ideal situation.

Anonymous said...

Maybe we should root for Pixar films to flop since they pay below scale?

Im on board with that :)

Steven Kaplan said...

Anon 9/18 8:20pm -

Battle for Terra was done non-union. I worked as a stereo artist on the production and had an incredible time. I was not there when the heavy-lifting was done on the original project. By the time I was brought in to help complete the stereo render, the film had been worked on twice and taken to a few festivals. The production house we were at had two other shows in the pipe, so we worked the night shift.

Meni and the crew were awesome to be around. There was a ton of talent in a small space and I felt honored to be there. As for the implication that we were worked hard and paid little, that is certainly not the case. The company paid for every hour I was there, including what small overtime we worked. We had the stereo render completed, with additional tweaks to some of the effects, within seven months.

Anonymous said...

seems very unlikely Terra was produced for what they claim

Anonymous said...

I was also on the Terra crew, and the Wikipedia article is essentially correct from what I saw. As Steve Kaplan said, the pay was fine, the hours good, and the crew was great. That crew went on to Sony, DreamWorks, Disney, Blue Sky, and a few other studios you might have heard of. The Terra budget was low because there was minimal overhead (no big studio, no army of useless production staff), the director did a huge amount of the development/preproduction work himself, and people just got stuff done. If it had been a playful comedy, instead of a overly serious sci-fi drama, it could have been quite a money spinner.

What's relevant is that a comparison of Terra and A&O makes a lie of the 'accepted wisdom' that low-budget animation has to be done overseas.

Anonymous said...

Of the two I can see why A&O made some money and BfT didn't. It might've been made really cheap, but it looks even cheaper than A&O. Though they do share several similiarities like good BGs and I assume good 3D (though I never saw Terra in 3D) as well as bad animation and character design.
At least A&O has an audience (very young children), but who did they make Terra for...?
I doubt Terra, and the way it was made, will be a business model many will follow....

Site Meter