Saturday, August 13, 2016

Party Time: 'Sausage Party' Breaks Out of the Gate

Well look at that... The R-rated animated comedy is a little bit of a break-out...

Sausage Party is currently #1, narrowly beating out last weekend's frontloaded flavor Suicide Squad, and it looks to make a solid $32 million for the weekend. The picture, bolstered by strong critical reception, is already a winner. Now, we shall see what happens from here on out. What will be the response? More raunchy animated features that are similar to this one? More animated films that just simply happen to have R ratings? Will it pave the way for more projects getting wide releases? Like The Adventures of Drunky, Malevolent, and The Goon?

Either way, this is good news, plus the film is supposed to be of high quality (you'll know from me as soon as I can see it). Suicide Squad is still expected to win the weekend overall with $44 million, a very step drop-off from its record-breaking opening weekend... But having seen that one, I'm not surprised. It's another potentially good DCEU installment ruined by Warner Bros.' meddling, though I'd say see it for yourself.

The Secret Life of Pets is expected to make around $8 million, bringing it to $335 million domestically. Not bad, not bad. How much juice is left? It'll probably make around $355 million when all is said and done.

In Disneyville, Pete's Dragon is set to open with a very low $20 million... But there won't be any panic, because Pete's Dragon only cost $65 million to make. The likes of The BFG and Alice Through the Looking Glass each cost more than $140 million to make. Disney once again did a ho-hum job on the marketing for the dragon picture, but its critical reception is very strong. (Some of the praise is pretty hyperbolic too, acting as if it's a movie that redefines cinema, or is a "true Disney film" for that matter.) It makes one wonder why Disney, knowing they had a possible hit on their hands, didn't amp it up.

But they have a long history of doing that with good films.

UPDATE: August 15th

The totals are in, Sausage Party may have settled for the #2 spot, but it made a good $33 million. That's significantly higher than This is the End ($20 million) but not Neighbors high ($49 million), though it managed to out-open that latter film's sequel. Again, hoping it starts something good, but knowing how the industry follows but doesn't lead, I'm cautiously optimistic.

Not all is bright, though. Stories are getting out on how Sausage Party wasn't a pleasant project to work on. A good chunk of the film's team wasn't credited, and many are anonymously reporting about Nitrogen Studios' shady ways (something we've heard of in the past), business practices, and the abuse that the animators/team got from one of the film's directors - Greg Tiernan. Cartoon Brew is currently rounding up evidence and are talking with whoever they can contact. The news story is slowly but surely spreading...

Hopefully, somehow some way, the team get their due.

The Secret Life of Pets now sits at $335 million, as expected, domestically. Worldwide it's now at $593 million. Talk about making a mint...

Ice Age cinque is at $58 million domestically (ouch!), and $305 million worldwide. They've almost made 3x the budget. My theater lost it this past week, that's how far it's falling. Like I asked before, does Blue Sky pack it in? Or will they make yet another in a few years?

Finding Dory is in the small-theater phase of its run now, as it's up to $476 million domestically and $897 million worldwide. We're starting to see it gain some traction once again across the ocean...

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