Monday Morning Quarterback Part I

By BOP Staff

November 6, 2012


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Player One! Go!

Kim Hollis: Wreck-It Ralph opened to $49 million over the weekend. How did Disney accomplish their best non-Pixar animated opening in their storied history?

Edwin Davies: Setting aside the fact that they made a great film (I watched it on Friday and fell in love with it pretty much straight away), Disney also settled on a conceit that appealed to both kids and parents for wildly different reasons. The kids who grew up playing games in arcades and love all that 8-bit stuff will have the warm, fuzzy glow of nostalgia running through their vein at the sight of Q*bert et al running around, but they'll also now have families of their own who'll want to be entertained by a fun and kinetic adventure. Wreck-It Ralph ticks both boxes, since it has a clear-cut appeal for kids whilst having plenty of jokes in it for the parents/geeks. Creating a film that works for kids and which parents will be more than willing to sit through is a rare and wonderful feat that Disney pulled off very well. It also helps that the film got great reviews, which probably swayed parents who don't have that sense of familiarity with video games or were worried that it was going to be just fan service.

Max Braden: There was plenty of advertising and plenty of appeal to kids, as well as adults who've been around games since they were kids. Ralph is basically the blustery oaf that Shrek is, without the green skin, or to keep it in-house, Sully from Monsters, Inc. without the green fur.


Matthew Huntley: In my opinion, this was an easy sell and I'm not surprised the movie did so well over the weekend, including for all the reasons Edwin mentioned. At its core, Wreck-It-Ralph is a formula Disney animated movie and what I would label as "standard good" - it's bright, cheerful, funny at times, and packed head to toe with charm and all the usual characters and conflicts. It also has a Toy Story-esque quality by showing us a world where seemingly inanimate objects are actually alive and inhabit a world all their own. In other words, there's nothing terribly new or innovative about this movie, but it's more than reliable to become a moneymaker because it's familiar and feel-goody. Plus, it has the Disney brand name, which the studio has proven time and again (Tangled, Chicken Little) is all it needs to sell tickets. Another circumstance is that it's the beginning of the holiday movie-going season and that families have only had Hotel Transylvania for the past month. Wreck-It-Ralph offered them a new choice and I expect it will stick around for at least a couple months to become another $180 million (or more) hit.

Tim Briody: Max pretty much nailed it. Wreck-It Ralph cashes in on the 30-somethings that grew up on games from the ‘80s and ‘90s that now have kids. The kids wanted to see it because it's shiny and animated. The adults wanted to see it because they got all the video games references peppered into the movie. It's the best of both worlds and paid huge dividends.

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