Sunday, December 6, 2015

'Good Dinosaur''s Second Weekend Drop: Where Will It End Up?

It appears that Pixar's latest took a big tumble in its second weekend...


The weekend after Thanksgiving is usually a time when films drop hard... Perhaps it's due to holiday shopping, or people not willing to spend money after the rush/Black Friday, I don't really know. But usually it's the time when films drop hard, especially animated films.

Let's look at some films that opened during the Thanksgiving week (usually the Wednesday before Thanksgiving)...

Tangled is a good one. It dropped 55% on its second weekend. But it picked right back up, and the film ultimately made a strong 4.1x its opening weekend gross.

Frozen dropped 53%, made 5.9x its opening weekend.

Even the underperforming Penguins of Madagascar is a good example. Dropped 57%, made 3.3x its opening.

The Good Dinosaur tumbled 60% this weekend, so it's doing alright. Some are already sounding the alarm, and I can see why some would be worried. I'm a bit worried myself, why's that?

Unlike Tangled and Frozen and other films that opened on the Thanksgiving weekend, The Good Dinosaur is going to sail right into a maelstrom.

We know what that maelstrom is going to be...

I get the sense that Star Wars: The Force Awakens is simply going to crush everything. It doesn't matter if the currently-playing films are audience-approved or not, I think Star Wars will just suck everyone in and leave competition hanging for a little while. Or maybe not, I don't have a crystal ball, but I do think that opening weekend is going to take a lot away from this film and other competition like The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 2 and SPECTRE. Families who avoid PG-13 films may be on Good Dinosaur's side, or they might be on Alvin and the Hipmunks 4's side... Yes, that film is opening the same day as The Force Awakens...

Then again I could be dead wrong, and Good Dinosaur will hold its own against the juggernaut. I do think it'll pick back up after Star Wars, if it is to get crushed that weekend. Star Wars can't just rule all of the box office, and there are other films opening after it, like Joy and Concussion. I mean, let's look back at Avatar. Avatar didn't explode on opening weekend, but its legs were ridiculous. Did other films get lost in the storm? Nope, Sherlock Holmes and Hipmunks 2 (sorry, that's what I'm calling these damn movies!) both pulled in $200 million at the domestic box office. The Princess and the Frog made 4.3x its paltry opening weekend gross. If The Good Dinosaur performs similar to those films, it could wind up with around $180 million.

However, I see a performance that's a little lower. I think it could still pull a good 3.5x multiplier and finish up with $136 million. In terms of G/PG family-friendly stuff, I don't see Hipmunks or Norm of the North as threats, the latter is probably going to do Nut Job numbers at best. I think Good Dinosaur has more than enough room up until the release of Kung Fu Panda 3. Even then, there will be no cannibalization. Maybe it'll see a resurgence after Star Wars, and play very well into January and February. I don't know...

Word of mouth is said to be bad, but it does have an A CinemaScore grade, and the 60% drop doesn't mean much. Again, Tangled, Bolt, and several others had similar drops. It's no indicator of how the movie is being received by audiences, but next weekend shall be. It's only weekend it has all to itself before Rey, Finn, Poe, Luke, Leia, Chewie, et al come crashing in. It's all but guaranteed to pass $100 million, but it appears to fall below $150 million...

Then again, stranger things have happened in the world of box office. For now, I see a solid 3.8x multiplier, making for a $148 million final gross. Overseas? At least $300 million.

How do you think it will do?


  1. If it indeed becomes a box-office flop, Disney's film division will end up like this...

    Pixar - focusing on prequels, sequels and midquels to Toy Story and Cars.

    Marvel - focusing on superheroes.

    Lucasfilm - focusing on Star Wars.

    Disney Live-Action - focusing on adaptations of animated classics.

    Disney Animation - focusing on computer-animated modern retellings of fairytales with titles named after adjectives.

    1. I agree with you about Marvel, Lucasfilm, and Live-Action Disney. In many ways, what you describe has already happened to them. Marvel and Lucasfilm are committed to their respective series, and Disney's live-action division has all but stated it won't be making any more original works now that Tomorrowland was a bust.

      But I disagree that this will affect Pixar or WDAS in any big way. While it's true that most of Pixar's movies in the near future are sequels, they do have at least one original movie that looks promising--"Coco", the Day of the Dead movie in 2017. If it is successful (and I believe it will be) then Pixar will be in the clear.
      Also, I cannot see how this would force WDAS to focus on "computer-animated modern retellings of fairytales with titles named after adjectives". Just looking at their upcoming slate, they have Zootopia and Wreck-it Ralph 2, neither of which are fairytales.

    2. They'll probably be asked to bring back one of their star characters. Hopefully, if that happens, the Mickey Mouse film becomes a WDAS production.

    3. Here's what I think will happen

      Marvel-- Unaffected. Will continue to do what it's been doing

      Lucasfilm-- Same as Marvel

      Live-action Disney-- Will focus on remakes of animated films, unless The Finest Hours does exceptionally well.

      Pixar-- Will probably resume making more original movies after their current batch of sequels (plus the original movie Coco) is finished. The soonest possible date for this is March 13th, 2020.

      WDAS- Unlikely to be affected. We have two original fairytale movies (Moana and Gigantic), two non-fairytale movies (Zootopia and the Wreck-it Ralph sequel), and one fairytale sequel (the Frozen sequel).