Saturday, June 18, 2016

Massive Splash: 'Dory' Breaks Record for Animated Opening Weekend, Pixar Pipeline Details

Finding Dory, as expected by many including myself, is on track to destory the record for best domestic opening weekend for an animated film. Taking in an estimated $54 million on Friday, it is possibly on track to finally dethrone the green ogre.

Unadjusted, Shrek the Third’s opening was $121 million, all without the aid of 3D and IMAX 3D, and in a time - 2007 - when ticket prices were much lower. Adjusted, that opening weekend gross is $151 million. Can Dory top that? Maybe, that would be nice...

The funny thing is, Finding Nemo broke the opening weekend record for an animated film back in summer 2003. It was topped by Shrek 2’s opening weekend gross a year later, and that was topped three years later by Shrek the Third, and it held it ever since... Now the record goes back to the Pixar fish. Full circle, indeed.

Either way, it’s another score for feature animation this year. Another billion bag for distributor Disney, for sure. Zootopia, Civil War, possibly Jungle Book, now this... Just wow...

Entertainment Weekly, hot on the heels of this news, put up a little report on upcoming Pixar films for those who aren’t in the know about their slate.

Interestingly enough, they seem to know what’s in store after the summer 2019 release of The Incredibles 2. As many of you may know, Pixar has two untitled films slated for March 2020 and June 2020 respectively. Pixar President Jim Morris stated in an interview with Hong Kong-based publication Time Out that more originals are on the way, one of which is to be directed by Mark Andrews (Brave), and another by Dan Scanlon (Monsters University). The former was hinted at a long while ago, too, and according to some old reports it might be a sci-fi picture.

"As of earlier in 2016, EW learned that at least the next four films following The Incredibles 2 were all originals, but take that with a grain of CGI salt. Pixar’s signature story-building process takes years, and the studio has been known to shelve a tale if it simply doesn’t captivate. (R.I.P., Newt.)"

It's very true that one of those four stories could run into problems, but an original could replace that troubled original... That's exactly what happened to Newt...

The good thing is, we know little to nothing about what’s coming out after summer 2019. By contrast, back in April 2008, we had a whole slate of films laid out in front of us: The titles, the release dates, the crews behind them. This very slate was the one that unveiled Newt to the public. This move went against Pixar’s secretive ways of the olden dayes, and when Newt had to be canceled in early 2010, many fans were left heartbroken. It especially hurt hard for some when a Monsters, Inc. follow-up was slated around the same time. (Back then simply referred to as Monsters, Inc. 2, even though it was a prequel all along.)

As much as I miss Newt, I understand Pixar’s decision to not go forward with it. By early 2010, it was in trouble and the studio felt that they could get it back on track by replacing director Gary Rydstrom with Pete Docter, fresh off of Up... But Docter pitched an idea he had been developing prior to that point, and they decided to go ahead with that instead. It must’ve really not been working for Pixar. They flat out abandoned it, and given everything I’ve heard, it just wasn't cutting it. It had little-to-nothing to do with another studio’s very similar project. At least with other troubled movies, they got them out somehow - even if there were some warts, depending on your views of films like Brave and The Good Dinosaur. They went ahead with those, but decided to leave Newt in the dust.

Inside Out was ultimately its replacement, and perhaps that was for the better, though I'd like to see them somehow revive the idea of a newt-starring picture. Just change the story completely and go from there.

Anyhoo... Nowadays, we have no idea what’s going on. Pixar has thankfully gone back to their covert methods. They should reveal what those untitled 2020 releases are when they are ready, when they are in good enough to shape to advance, to get into production and make it to the big screen.

So four possible originals, huh? Mark Andrews’ film, Dan Scanlon’s film, Pete Docter’s new project, those are probably a go no matter what, and now something else... The plot thickens...

UPDATE [Sunday 6/19/2016]: It beat it...

$136 million estimated. While Shrek the Third's unadjusted opening is still higher, Dory pocketed more cash. The thing is locked to top $400 million now, what with great critical reception behind it and positive word-of-mouth. Worldwide, though... Will it be the one to finally unseat Anna and Elsa with their $1.2 billion haul?

Maybe. Finding Nemo grossed $867 million worldwide in 2003... 13 years ago, when ticket prices were lower... Plus, no 3D, no IMAX, no add-ons, smaller population, et al. I think it's got a shot. If Minions could get close, I suspect this could breeze right past Frozen without fuss.

It's a staggered worldwide release, so we'll see.

1 comment:

  1. Unadjusted, that opening weekend gross is $151 million.? You meant adjusted?