HOLLYWOOD, Oct. 2 — Mike Hernandez has had it with the new offerings of animated movies.
Other than “Cars,” the summer hit from Pixar Animation Studios, he would rather watch the re-released animated classic “The Little Mermaid” with his 4-year-old daughter, Alicea.
“They had a good message,” Mr. Hernandez said of “Cars” and “The Little Mermaid” after attending a recent matinee of “The Little Mermaid” at the El Capitan movie theater here. Of other, newer films, he said, “I don’t pay too much attention.”
With more than a dozen computer-animated movies being readied for release by next summer, Hollywood is facing viewer fatigue worthy of Sleeping Beauty. Analysts and industry executives have long warned of a coming glut of computer-animated movies. That time has come.
Now, with so many movies for audiences to choose from, some are failing to meet expectations or are flopping outright.
This summer’s “The Wild,” from the Walt Disney Company, proved anything but for moviegoers, bringing in only $37 million at the domestic box office. The bigger disappointment was “The Ant Bully,” produced by the actor Tom Hanks and distributed by Warner Brothers Entertainment. That movie’s powerful ant wizard could muster only enough magic to garner $27 million.
By contrast, the debut of “Open Season,” the tale of a defiant grizzly bear and feisty mule deer who battle hunters, brought in $23 million over the weekend for Sony Pictures Entertainment</SPAN>, putting it in first place. But only the coming weeks will tell whether it will be widely embraced by moviegoers.
Over the last five years, almost every major film studio has sought to make or acquire the type of movies pioneered by Pixar, which was recently acquired by Disney. At the same time, independently financed animators have ratcheted up production.
But while animation continues to be popular with families, audiences complain it is suffering from too much sameness, with movie plots and characters looking increasingly alike.