Sunday, October 09, 2011

The Overseas Horse Race

In foreign lands, animation continues to punch out box office:

... Real Steel ... elbow[ed] its way to the No. 1 box office spot, grossing $22.1 million ... Rise of the Planet of the Apes gross[ed] $6.2 million at 624 locations. Foreign cume to date stands at $245.4 million. ... The Smurfs tied for fourth place, drawing $7.3 million from 4,673 venues in 68 markets. The 3D title has to date racked up a foreign gross of $393.4 million. ...

Disney’s Lion King 3D in its ninth weekend overseas at 28 markets also grossed $7.3 million for an international gross total so far of $28.1 million. ...

The success of animation, whether it's wrapped inside live-action films like Smurfs and Real Steel or standing on its own, means employment opportunities continue in the U.S. and other places.

Last Spring, the buzz around Sony Pictures Animation was that the division might close if Smurfs didn't perform. Well, hey now! The little blue people went on a box office rampage, and SPA isn't going away, but instead has multiple projects simmering on the hot plate.

With the exception of some pure Mo Cap features, a wide array of animation has been doing well. Lion King 3D out-grossed the dimensional Toy Story double feature, and so Diz Co. is hurriedly dusting off the hand-drawn Beauty and the Beast, (sitting on ice in a 3-D version before conversion work on LK3D started.)

DreamWorks Animation has positive vibes circulating for Puss in Boots and Aardman/Sony releases Arthur Christmas for the holiday season, while Warner Bros. rolls out Happy Feet 2. Walt Disney Animation Studios is well into work on Wreck It Ralph, and the Mouse has more development now in its Burbank Feature division than in several years.

I'm not saying everything is unicorns, garden sprites and sparkling rainbows, but global animation is more robust now than at any other time I can remember. It's the reason that TAG has more members working; it's the reason new studios are opening up. There's a lot of movies that need a lot of animated characters and effects.


Anonymous said...

Good for Disney to have another megahit like Real Steel. It's a fun--albeit dumb--movie.

Anonymous said...

Disney is only distributing the movie because of the deal they made with DreamWorks.

Since "The Help" and "Real Steel" have been sucessful, perhaps Disney will renew their contract and agree to distribute more DreamWorks films.

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