Monday Morning Quarterback Part I
By BOP Staff
November 11, 2014
Kim Hollis: Disney's Big Hero 6 debuted with $56.2 million this weekend. What do you think of the result for this animated film?
Jason Barney: This is a very solid opening for a kids' film that has virtually no built-in presence. It will have no direct competition for a couple of weeks until Penguins of Madagascar shows up in theaters, and who knows how much the Thanksgiving break will bring. I know it is early and Rotten Tomatoes ratings can fluctuate a bit, but Big Hero 6 stands a chance of being a bit of an event film all on its own. Word-of-mouth is going to be awesome, as the RT rating is creating quite the buzz at 89% fresh. A product like this creates mystery, which will add to the buzz.
Disney appears to have become the “go to” studio for kid’s entertainment during the holidays, as the last couple of years they seem to get their end-of-year animated line-up spot on. Other studios can’t claim the success Mouse House has as the weather gets colder. In 2012 it was Wreck-It Ralph. Paramount did okay with Rise of the Guardians, but Disney’s product was just better. Last year it was Frozen. The only other kids competition that I can recall was Free Birds from Relativity and that didn’t go too well. On the flip side, Frozen became a smash hit. I think you have to go all the way back to 2011 to when Disney didn’t have an animated entry in the fall/winter slate and even then the Muppets was a quiet success. Even 2010’s Tangled took in almost $600 million worldwide. Anyway, you get the point. Disney does okay during the holiday season.
Finally, this continues to be evidence that Disney’s purchase of Marvel maybe a watershed moment for the studio and perhaps the movie industry. The success of the early superhero movies is well documented. Guardians of the Galaxy is still the story of the year. Now, Disney has turned Big Hero 6 into a money maker. They are turning the comic book printed page into a money printing machine.
Matthew Huntley: I definitely agree with Jason's statement that a movie like Big Hero 6 creates mystery, because until this past week, I barely knew it even existed (don't ask me where I've been, because I'm not too sure), and now that it's opened with such high numbers and strong buzz, it's got me more than curious. So using myself as an example, and the fact that I now want to see just to feel like I'm in the know, I think this will be another leggy run for a Disney animated film and will no doubt cover its $165 million budget, though it may be a while before it's completely in the black.
Despite my wanting to see it, though, I don't think the non-Pixar animation wing of Disney makes the best films. I know I'm in the minority on this, but I didn't think Frozen was all that great, and in fact, I found it rather obnoxious, so I hope that if Big Hero 6 does make a similar fortune, it will be justified by its story and not simply because it's most high-profile family picture in the marketplace.