Monday, November 26, 2012

"Ralph" Holds On, "Guardians" Disappoints

It looks as if one animated film was able to soar this past weekend, while another one didn't do the same...

Thanksgiving weekend is normally a lucrative time for box office, but this weekend in particular was massive thanks to big blockbusters with good word of mouth like Skyfall, but this weekend also worked in Wreck-It Ralph's favor. Disney's current animated champion is now sitting at $149 million at the domestic box office, and it's only going to go higher thanks to the very positive buzz (that it rightfully deserves) it's getting. Wreck-It Ralph was also able to hold its ground against Life of Pi and Rise of the Guardians, both 3D and marketed to the family audience. Life of Pi however was mis-marketed, a film that I can't see as something appealing to family audiences. It still opened well for a film in the league. (And yes, I saw the film, I thought it was stunning.)

DreamWorks' Rise of the Guardians on the other hand didn't exactly rise. The film only opened with $23 million over the three-day weekend and it didn't get much of a boost from its Wednesday opening either. I was hoping that this film would be a big success for DreamWorks since their output has been consistently (for the most part) good for a while, plus the critical reception for this film was mostly positive. So what happened?

From what I gathered from all the pre-release buzz, the film most likely opened poorly because the concept just didn't appeal despite the fact that the trailers did a decent job at making these childhood heroes seem like something to take a bit seriously. To others, it looked too silly. Left and right, people were deemed the concept ridiculous and that it would have a hard time appealing, even to children. Maybe I'm just biased, but I'm surprised that the visuals, the funny bits in the commercials and the spectacle didn't work with audiences.

This opening means that word of mouth is definitely going to save this one, perhaps the way it saved other films that didn't make much on their opening weekends. A How to Train Your Dragon-sized multiplier is out of the question since that film had no family-friendly or animated competition in its way for a while. Rise of the Guardians will have to duke it out with Wreck-It Ralph, Life of Pi, the 3D re-release of Monsters, Inc. and The Hobbit. Can it make it to $100 million domestically? I think it can, what do you think?

What's your take on this weekend box office results?


  1. I hope it can! It's a stunning, really genuine film from DW. I'm gutted that such a heartfelt movie isn't doing well, especially since it's a first for DW.

  2. Let's hope RotG can reach that $100 million eventually, it looks stunning, both visually and in terms of the story and characters. I'm hoping to catch it this weekend, and I'm almost certain I won't be disappointed!

  3. I think "Rise of the Guardians" may get between $370 - $390 million worldwide.