Sunday, December 14, 2008

Delgo Flops

According to Deadline Hollywood Daily, Delgo, an independent cgi-animated feature, opened in 2160 theatres this weekend and grossed $465,000. That means that, on average, each theatre took in less than $216 from Friday through Sunday. Assuming an average admission of $6, since some attendees were children, approximately 36 people saw the movie in each theatre over a three day period. That's 12 people a day.

15 comments:

Charles K. said...

I always feel sorry when something like that happens. Granted I hardly saw any promotion for the film so I can only assume that was a factor. It's gotta suck if you put in so much work only to see that happen.

Steve Schnier said...

It will probably do some serious business on home video. Parents who might not want to pay for the "theater experience" will buy the DVD.

Also, they probably have presales to cable outlets and terrestrial broadcasters. Depending on the cost of production, they could actually be in good shape.

Remember "The Long Tail" - it will be interesting to tally up the numbers in 5 years time.

Maurice said...

Comment 1) 12 people per theater?

It's mind-boggling to hear certain films are doing this badly? I vaguely remember hearing something on a celebrity-gossip program (a type of program I'm not a big fan of, by the way) about a movie in 2001 (starring Denzel Washington, I think) that took $20 million to make, opened in about 1000 theatres ...

and made $30. My obvious reaction on behalf of that movie's producers: Ouch.

Comment 2) How bad was the cinemagoer turnout for "Pinocchio" in 1940?

Comment 3) When I rented a "Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian" DVD, I saw for the first time the advertising for the Platinum Edition of "Pinocchio".

Never before has a trailer for a DVD captured my surprise and attention so completely. The color-coordination, in particular, in the montage of scenes from the film is almost completely different from the same scenes I saw as as a kid in the 1993 VHS tape. Jiminy Cricket, for example, is now grey instead of bluish-green, and the shot animated by Charles Nichols where Gideon smashes Honest John out of his hat with the mallet is less yellow and more red and blue.

Is this the most attention Disney has ever paid to the restoration of their animation? They must value "Pinocchio" more than life itself, after all these years of its moderate performance in rereleases, VHS and DVD.

Hodges said...

i had not even heard of it, then I looked at the poster and its very obvious why this happened.

The Mauricenator said...

Hodges is right. I just looked up the poster on a Google search. The second I saw the names of Freddie Prinze, Anne Bancroft, Eric Idle and other moderately-known actors injected near the top (not to mention a crappy-looking CGI reptile boy and reptile girl riding a dragon with a head that looks like that weird thing that help up Sauron's eye in Mordor), I figured "Delgo" was doomed to obscurity.

Thorny said...

I guess that means CG animation is dead. ;)

Tim said...

I give the filmmakers an A for effort. Completing a feature film is no small task... especially outside the Hollywood system.

But to spend 10 years on something that is so lackluster has got to hurt. I mean, think of where technology was when they started and where it is now.

Almost the same scenario as Richard Williams' "Thief & the Cobbler".

Fun With Mr. Future said...

"Thorny said...
I guess that means CG animation is dead. ;) "


Yeah, how many CG flops does it take until that lie starts to be trumpeted around town ? Why does CG get the free ride ?

It was a lie about hand-drawn and it would be a lie about CG , too (i.e. that "CG is dead" because of a few b.o. failures ) but some people were sure quick to pile on the "2D is dead" bandwagon . I guess they have more ego invested in proving that CG is the bright 'n shiny toy that will make everything FBC ... Faster Better Cheaper.

Ward Jenkins said...

I dunno. I want to feel bad for the Delgo creators, but honestly, it's kinda hard to drum up any warm fuzzies for a company who didn't really treat their animators very well.

Maurice said...

""Almost the same scenario as 'Thief and the Cobbler'.""

Tim, how could you possibly compare Delgo to Thief & The Cobbler?

Have you heard anything about, let alone seen, the War Machine sequence. The images Richard Williams drove his animation crew to draw COMPLETELY BY HAND for that War Machine sequence looked like they were done CG, and could only be done today in CG.

Richard Williams was an animation pioneer, his innovations being second only to those of Walt Disney and Chuck Jones.

"Thief and the Cobbler" is second on my personal list of the greatest animated features (would be #1 if it ever got finished properly).

#1. Beauty and the Beast (1991), produced by Don Hahn
#2. The Thief and the Cobbler (unfinished), produced by Richard Williams / Imogen Sutton / Gary Kurtz
#3. Pinocchio (1940), produced by Walt Disney
#4. An American Tail (1986), produced by Don Bluth / Gary Goldman / John Pomeroy / Steven Spielberg
#5. Gulliver's Travels (1939), produced by Max Fleischer

Wes Riojas said...

Maurice, where's Bambi? Surely that must be in your top ten.

Maurice said...

Me idea of a top ten is sketchy at best.

Bambi would be #7 or #8, at least behind "Cinderella" (a tour-de-force of story and character development), which would be at #6. For those who notice that "Fantasia" isn't in my top five, I'll say this: despite its artistic magnificance, it's only a package feature, and because it's much harder for anyone to make a really good 90-minute story that has a lasting impact on the viewer, I save the room at the top for the best of the 'true' features and don't include "Fantasia" as one of my top choices.

"Snow White" is at #10. For those who notice that "Snow White" isn't in my top five, I say this: that film was just Walt's test run for the feature format, and before his death in 1966 Walt learned all his mistakes from "Snow White" and made at least three or four animated features that I think are far superior.

J. Spumkin said...

How could you not see this coming?

First off: the fantasy thing needs to die. Not everything people churn out is gonna be the next Lord of the Rings or Star Wars. Damn, even Peter Jackson himself can make another Lord of the Rings worth watching! EE-NUFF fantasy crap.

And secondly: these characters just did not have any appeal. Crappy reptile people? I thought we'd sunk low enough with Roadside Romeo, and that crap was made in India, for chrissakes!

"Comment 3) When I rented a "Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian" DVD, I saw for the first time the advertising for the Platinum Edition of "Pinocchio".

Never before has a trailer for a DVD captured my surprise and attention so completely. The color-coordination, in particular, in the montage of scenes from the film is almost completely different from the same scenes I saw as as a kid in the 1993 VHS tape. Jiminy Cricket, for example, is now grey instead of bluish-green, and the shot animated by Charles Nichols where Gideon smashes Honest John out of his hat with the mallet is less yellow and more red and blue.

Is this the most attention Disney has ever paid to the restoration of their animation? They must value "Pinocchio" more than life itself, after all these years of its moderate performance in re-releases, VHS and DVD."

That's just sad.

J. Spumkin said...

Maurice, would anything by Glen Keane, Disney animator, be somewhere in the top 20 at least (other than Beauty and the Beast)?

Does Tarzan warrant a 36?

Jason Scott said...

Maurice, I did a little checking, and I think you were referring to "Antwone Fisher" (2002), directed and staring Denzel Washington. It opened in 15 theaters and made $210k, then opened to 1000 and made $3mil the next weekend. Ultimately, it made $23mil off a $12mil budget. Not a blockbuster but it obviously made its money back.

Source: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0168786/business and elsewhere.

There have definitely been some releases that have been horrible in terms of cost; often, though, a lot of Hollywood Machine stuff (and by this I mean ANYthing going through our theaters, to be honest) makes money back once it's got the whole theater-DVD thing going. It just takes a long time...