Sunday, April 9, 2017
Elusive Monkey: 'Spark' Only Opening in 350 Theaters Nationwide
It all makes sense now...
The arrival of the trailer less than two months before release, the relatively quiet marketing, the long wait...
ToonBox's second animated feature, Spark: A Space Tail, is opening in (according to Box Office Mojo) around 350 theaters this coming Friday. Talk about little-to-no confidence.
Open Road's first animated release, ToonBox's own The Nut Job, was a pretty wide release. It is actually Open Road's highest grossing film at the domestic box office. The sequel - opening in August - will also be a wide release. It always seemed like they had little use for Spark. The movie was completed back in early 2016, and was shown at the Toronto Animation Arts Festival International in April of that year. For a long while, it didn't have a concrete theatrical release date or a distributor.
Perhaps Open Road got cold feet after the performance of a similar spacey animated release, Ratchet & Clank. Unlike Ratchet & Clank, Spark is not based on any pre-existing source material. The trailer did give me Ratchet & Clank vibes, but it also reminded me of other platformer games that came out in the late 90s/early 00s, such as Jak & Daxter. When talking about upcoming movies with my manager today, this came up, and he described it as "Ape Escape on steroids" or something. To me, it almost looks like a pilot for a mid-2000s Cartoon Network CG TV series, honestly. Something they would've shown on their old Miguzi block, a.k.a. the wannabe-successor to Toonami.
But Open Road still has enough to confidence to book it in 350 theaters. I honestly didn't think it looked that bad from the trailer, but it didn't look like anything special either. Certainly better-looking than The Nut Job, and more interesting-looking than Nut Job 2. Well, I guess the distributor doesn't expect a small success out of this one.
What say you?