Monday Morning Quarterback Part II

By BOP Staff

June 5, 2013

Couldn't happen to a nicer bunch of... oh, wait.

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Kim Hollis: Fox's Epic, the only family film in the marketplace at the moment, fell 50% to $16.6 million and has earned $65.4 million after 10 days. What are your thoughts on the performance of this title?

Jay Barney: This is about in line with my expectations, if a little on the low side. I thought the Memorial Day frame would actually be a little larger for Epic, as the Croods had been the only kids flick out there for nearly two months. Epic won't have that sort of shelf life, though, as there are a few big films directed at children just around the corner. It is doing just fine. Fox made it for $100 million and while it will have trouble cracking that mark domestically, the foreign numbers are well ahead of those from within the U.S. Its total gross is already $150 million.

It is a decent film. I took my son and nephew to the drive in to see it, and they both enjoyed it. It won't stay around long, but I am glad there was a children's choice around the Memorial Day weekend time period.

Kim Hollis: It's an okay performance. Kind of blah, really. Considering that there really haven't been a ton of family options since March when we had The Croods, I would have believed that the audience for this project would have been bigger and more enthusiastic. I mean, it was a beautiful-looking film, and the other CGI animated project it most forcibly reminds me of is Rio (gorgeous but ultimately empty).


I'm not sure what the studio could have done to draw a bigger audience, though. It skews young, and the commercials really seem to emphasize that fact. A lot of animated films can have cross-demographic appeal, but I fear that Epic is not such a movie. Overall, it's going to do fine when domestic/overseas revenues are tallied, but it's a pretty unspectacular, non-memorable performance overall.

David Mumpower: Epic was an attempt for Blue Sky Studios to branch out beyond the Ice Age franchise. BOP has documented the otherworldly international box office for the Series That Scrat Built. In a perfect world, Blue Sky Studios would build a library of titles that allow for an annual production schedule similar to Pixar.

Epic is actually an adaptation of a William Joyce story, which is noteworthy because the author has ties to Blue Sky Studios and Disney. His previous tale, A Day with Wilbur Robinson, was adapted into a wonderful, upbeat movie called Meet the Robinsons. It is in many ways a love letter to the work of Disney Imagineers over the past 80 years. He also came up with the premise for DreamWorks Animation's Rise of the Guardians as well as Blue Sky Studios' Robots. In other words, he has been responsible for one great film, one forgettable film and one disastrous film. Robots and Rise of the Guardians are interchangeable in determining which one is disastrous since the former film was so terrible that they formally apologized for it while the latter film is Exhibit A in the 2012 Box Office Disasters trial.

Epic will avoid the fate of those titles since it is good enough to recommend and its box office appears to be tolerable at the very least. What Blue Sky Studios has managed quite well thus far is financial stability with their movie budgets. At $93 million, I consider Epic a relative production bargain, all things considered. With that sort of frugal budget outlay, a performance in the $100 million range domestically combined with another $250 million overseas should secure its profitability. We are not talking about an Ice Age sized hit by any stretch, but it's a good enough result as well as a worthy addition into the family film library. Given that there have been a scarcity of quality family films in 2013, I consider Epic a nice appetizer for the upcoming release of Monsters University.

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