Monday, September 7, 2015

Current Animation Box Office Report

With the Labor Day estimates in, I figured I'd talk about how some films are doing right now...

Most notably, Inside Out is back in wider release. Playing in over 2,500 theaters this weekend, the Pixar powerhouse is back in the Top 10 and took in a strong $4 million for the 4-day weekend. Pixar has been doing this since Toy Story 3, it gives these films a nice boost before the end of their runs kick in.

Right now, it sits at $349 million domestically. At this rate, it could go up to $360 million, which would be a stellar 4x its opening weekend. You don't get that with too many movies that open with over $80 million! Best of all, a quality original story that's not based on any pre-existing source material happened to do this well...

Worldwide, the film is currently Pixar's 4th grossing film and climbing, with an excellent $735 million. $8 million more to go and it surpasses Monsters University!

Minions, much to the dismay of some (myself somewhat included), has topped $1 billion. Right now, the $74 million-costing flick sits at $1,043 million. A couple more millions and it tops Toy Story 3's $1,063 million gross and becomes the second highest-grossing animated film of all time behind Frozen. The film has made 14x its costs. The rotating globe studio is obviously very happy about that. Technically that would make it their most profitable film ever, as they claimed Despicable Me 2 was just that, and that film made 12x its budget.

I wonder if this success will convince some studios to spend less. DreamWorks, I feel, shouldn't be spending $120 million on their post-Kung Fu Panda 3 features if they want to stay afloat, because sometimes the overseas box office won't reward you if your domestic totals come up below expectations.

Minions has been doing fine here, too. It nearly broke the opening weekend record for an animated feature, which Shrek the Third still holds (unadjusted that film's opening weekend gross is... $148 million!) and its legs were actually similar to the ogre's third entry. It looks to finish up with $340 million or so, meaning it will almost make 3x its opening weekend. Most animated features make roughly 3.5x their openings, Minions was clearly more front loaded unlike something like Toy Story 3, which opened with $110 million and made 3.7x that amount. Inside Out too, $90 million opening, over $350 million, 3.8x multiplier.

Make no mistake though, Illumination is a force to be reckoned with. All of their films have done very well, and they've got a massive franchise that all came from their debut feature. What do I think? I just hope they take advantage of the low budgets and actually make something that takes some pretty big risks. The Secret Life of Pets, their next feature, seems fun but it looks like it'll be very safe. Also, don't be surprised when Minions 2 is penciled in for 2018-2019.

As reported the other day, the Mexican animated feature Un Gallo con mucho Huevos ('Rooster with Many Eggs') opened in 375 theaters here thanks to Pantelion Films, and collected $4 million with a great $11k per-theater average that topped the averages the other movies made this weekend. It also dented the Top 10! The film, which is rated PG-13 and has subtitles, made something of a little splash here. Hopefully this is the start of better things to come. More foreign films doing okay, more adult-oriented stuff, you know...

DreamWorks' Home is still in some theaters. $177 million domestic gross, outgrossed How To Train Your Dragon 2, has $387 million worldwide. Blu-ray and DVD sales are also pretty good so far, as the film is still in the Top 3.

The studio is happy because the domestic gross was very good-sized, thus there wasn't too much reliance on the overseas grosses. (Penguins of Madagascar grossed around the same amount overall worldwide, but the domestic gross was a meager $83 million.) While there will still quarter losses due to the downsizing and whatnot, DreamWorks continues their rocky road to recovery. Things should look up by the end of this quarter, and Kung Fu Panda 3 ought to boost morale when it hits in January. Fall 2016's Trolls is the next test...

Shaun the Sheep Movie, sadly, is no gangbusters smash nor is it anywhere near as big as Aardman's previous features domestically... And their post-Chicken Run features all made less than $60 million domestically. The sheep film has made $18 million off of its awful $4 million opening weekend gross, but at least it scored a strong 4.5x multiplier. Sadly it's not playing in too many theaters anymore, it was out of my local theater within two weeks. Worldwide, it sits at $82 million. Aardman won't fret, Early Man is in development and will bow in mid-2018. Aardman's films are usually lower budget and don't require huge grosses nor do they have all these tie-ins with other companies and whatnot. It's no loss for them. I guess we Americans should be happy that it even got a theatrical release here to begin with, when it could've very well gone straight to home media.

I should also comment on how Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection 'F' did a month ago. The pic's widest release was 913 theaters, and it opened with $1 million with a $9,000 per-theater average... And this film would only play once a day! The second weekend wasn't so stellar, but the film finished up with $8 million. That makes it the ninth highest grossing Japanese animated feature here in the states. No worries, for the film has made $60 million worldwide. Even when limited to small amounts of screenings, an audience was there. Plus, a good number of non-anime fans grew up watching the dubbed Dragon Ball Z on Toonami, so...

So overall this summer had its ups and its downs, which is expected. It was certainly a real step up from last summer, which only had one "event" that a lot of us wanted to see (which ultimately did good, but not excellently, at the domestic box office) and two films that not too many people wanted to see, and no interesting indie release in-between. Next summer has The Angry Birds Movie, Finding Dory, Ice Age: Collision Course, Sausage Party, and Kubo & the Two Strings. We'll get some hits there, and some interesting films in-between. It'll probably be like this summer, but probably better in ways.

This coming autumn, we have Hotel Transylvania 2, The Peanuts Movie, and The Good Dinosaur. All guaranteed successes there. There's also hybrid Goosebumps, which is a Sony Animation co-production, and that has some potential at the box office should it be good.

What do you think of this summer's animation box office? Do you think summer 2016 will be any different? Sound off below!


  1. Just a little bit of trivia: the title of Un Gallo con mucho Huevos is actually a rather adult joke. In Spanish, it can be translated as "A Cock with many Balls". And now you know why this movie is PG-13.

  2. If Minions has a sequel, I wouldn't be surprised if it makes less than half of what this one made.