LOL, the headline made me laugh.
But this argument isn't a huge laughing matter as it was rather thought provoking. Worldwide, the last two Pixar films were very successful and won major awards. But why worry?
I guess business is business.
I went to imdb.com to take a look at their records (i know there are other ones that may be more accurate but this is just an example).
WORLDWIDE top 100
13. Shrek 2 (2004) $880million - DREAMWORKS
15. Finding Nemo (2003) $856mil - PIXAR
21. Shrek the Third (2007) $791mil - DREAMWORKS
35. Kung Fu Panda (2008) $633mil - DREAMWORKS
36. The Incredibles (2004) $624mil - PIXAR
37. Ice Age: The Meltdown (2006) $623mil - BLUE SKY
39. Ratatouille (2007) - $614mil - PIXAR
43. Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa (2008) - $594mil - DREAMWORKS
57. WALL-E (2008) $532mil - PIXAR
58. Monsters, Inc. (2001) $528mil - PIXAR
66. Toy Story 2 (1999) $485mil - PIXAR
77. Shrek (2001) $455mil - DREAMWORKS
78. Cars (2006) $454mil - PIXAR
Doesn't seem all that bad right? Well... take a closer look at the dollars earned combined:
DREAMWORKS TOTAL: $3,353,000,000 (5 movies = $670million each)
Pixar Total: $4,093,000,000 (7 movies = $584million each)
Dreamworks seems to be making more per film. Now let's take a look at the USA only:
4. Shrek 2 $460mil - dreamworks
15. finding nemo $339mil - pixar
19. Shrek the Third $320mil - dreamworks
38. Shrek $267mil - dreamworks
40. the incredibles $261mil pixar
44. Monsters Inc $255mil - pixar
49. Toy Story 2 $245mil - pixar
50. Cars $244mil - pixar
65. Wall-E $223mil - pixar
75. Kung Fu Panda $215mil - dreamworks
82. Ratatouille $206mil - pixar
92. Happy Feet - WB
94. Ice Age: The Meltdown - blue sky
95. Madagascar $193mil - dreamworks
96. Toy Story $191mil - pixar
Again, it looks like Pixar dominates the board overall. But look at the top 3 Dreamworks movies. Finding Nemo is the only one fighting them off.
Total dreamworks: $1,455,000,000 (5 movies = $291mil each)
Total Pixar: $1,964,000,000 (8 movies = $245mil each)
So breaking it down that way, I suppose I can see why the money-grubbing morons are worried. But I personally think that if a toy store doesn't want your merchandise, you're not making the right toys. Being a toy collector, I know what people really want. Disney toys in the USA miss the mark 75% of the time.
I think Pixar is very commercial, personally. When I see a good movie, I WANT to own something from it. But usually there is nothing WORTH getting! Incredibles was awesome.... but all I got was a tin sign. The toys were horrible.
on a tangent, something interesting to note: Close Encounters of the Third kind. 5 notes by John Williams. This was something Pixar wanted in Toy Story 2 but it was too expensive. Dreamworks apparently had what it takes to put it in Monsters Vs Aliens though.
Is Dreamworks really that much more commercial? Do they really sell that many more merchandise?
As the article says the next two Pixar films will be merchandising bonanzas with Toy Story 3 and Cars 2.
But in any case, if Disney makes crappy toys, as usual, then they're not going to get bought. Didn't someone at Disney say that quality is a good business strategy? ;) That doesn't seem have to trickled down to the toy division.
True, but in the case of Toy Story and Cars specifically, those have been the two films that never had a problem selling toys. In fact, Mattel is relaunching a line based on the original Toy Story film this year (makes sense since the original will be released in 3D this fall).
But I think the investors were more worried about not having enough *new* franchises. They just see the $ result and Pixar films cost more to make and earn less than Dreamworks.
What the article doesn't go into is just how much longevity Pixar films have compared to Dreamworks. I'd be curious to see an article about how much each studio has made in DVD sales and merchandise.
(although that didn't stop me from buying Both versions of King and the only Auto toy in existance)
Who cares if Up isn't that commercial? I remember that Disney marketed the hell out of Chicken Little and it only did ho hum at the theaters....
UP's lack of marketability was one of the concerns I had when I first saw the characters. Dug and Kevin are the only characters that have "plushability", and the two leads don't really strike up any interest with me at all. Knowing Pixar, they'll probably knock it out of the park no matter what.
However, I sure hope box office projections are actually at a realistic level this time around. Face it, I doubt Pixar will ever make another Nemo-sized hit, and if they do, I bet it'll be either Toy Story 3 or Cars 2.
However, also IMO, all of Pixar's films will be timeless. Some (Nemo) more than others (Cars), but I have no doubt in my mind that in 20 years, Pixar's films will all be regarded as classics.
However denying the possibility Pixar can't create something even bigger than 'Nemo' down the road based on their track record seems like a supremely foolish statement. If there was the belief in Emeryville that they'd hit the wall you'd have to believe that they'd be renting U-Hauls & packing up instead of adding a new wing to their facilities for the future.
Is it wrong to produce an animated movie just because you like the story? Does it have to just be for kids and for putting out merchandise? What about the adults? We go to movies too and last time I checked, it was the adults who kept going back to Nemo.
Absolutely not wrong to produce an animated movie because it's a great story. The argument in the article was that UP while creatively dazzling, was too much like Miyazaki's work.
WOW, IS THAT A BAD THING?
Holy cow. Does that guy know how much business Miyazaki movies make in Japan? Overshadows everything there. Pixar IS the event movie going experience for me. So why don't they make as much as Dreamworks?
I dunno... are kids dumber these days? Maybe, but I don't think that's it. Pixar movies plays much better for the older crowd because they're incredible films. That's something that might get lost to the youth.
I was a four year old when I watched E.T. for the first time. Hated it. It just didn't appeal to me. But now as an adult, it's amazing. Same with Pinocchio when I first watched it as a kid, I had no idea how GOOD it really was until years later when I could sit through the whole thing.
But Pinocchio and E.T. are now movies that have lived with me my entire life. That's quality. How many kids out there are going to go back to Shark Tale or Bee Movie?
Quality is the best business model - that's no lie. Pixar movies will still be making money long into the future.
(evidence: i bought my first buzz lightyear 12" action figure this year, 14 years after the movie was released.... and will buy the exclusive 4" Buzz Lightyear figure at this summer's comic-con because his packaging is a replica of the movie packaging. took 14 years for someone to finally do that.)
They released virtually no Herbie stuff for Herbie Fully Loaded. Not even a McDonalds Happy Meal! They went with Shark Boy and Lava Girl toys instead. Come on even if Herbie hadn't pulled in $70mil. A toy car in a Happy Meal is always found gold!Quote:
Disney toys in the USA miss the mark 75% of the time.
It's a shame that Disneyland doesn't even sell some of the stuff that gets made:
Yeesh, people. A toy company is a serious major business like all other companies out there. They have a right to be concerned about the marketability of a film and whether or not it's gonna appeal to their major consumers (the kids).
What do you expect? A toy company is not gonna embrace a film for being artsy or good. They're basing their business on whether or not good toys can be made from the film's characters because what sells is what's keeping the toy companies alive. The film will still be successful anyway because it's got PIXAR slapped on its name. That will be enough to get people to buy tickets.
If anything is likely to fail...it will probably be poor advertising. So far we've only had a few in theater trailers for Up and the release date is coming up pretty close. If Disney Marketing wants any chance at suceeding with this one (or say at least they tried) they better up their A-game for this one or it will be Ratatouille all over again.
The Johnny Lightning Herbies came out about 3 years before Herbie Fully Loaded, and oddly though they don't sell them at Disneyland, they were for sale at the studio store in Burbank (which isn't open to the public)
Advertising is going full force in Los Angeles and Orange County. I see billboards and bus shelters everywhere.
And when it comes to toys, it's no guarantee, even with a movie like Toy Story. Retailers said no on that movie too! And look what happened. So it works both ways. Retailers make a decision based on what they think the movie would sell, but it also helps if Disney ensures the toys made are worth buying.
Bug's Life, Monsters Inc, Finding Nemo, Incredibles, Ratatouille. Those are all great pixar movies with horrible toys. Retailers supported them too, but people saw them as crap and passed.
In the case of Toy Story, it was worth buying and people jumped on too late. I haven't seen UP so i really can't tell you what toys could come of it but merchandise and collectibles generally do well if the movie is great and the products are authentic and good.
Dreamworks caters to the teens, who go to movies all the time. They get their money back quick. Disney/Pixar are going after the younger kids AND their parents, which are not a fleeting demographic that only see movies that their teenage friends have all seen or want to see.