PENNIES FROM KEVIN - Another Nail?
The developing Pixar/DreamWorks rivalry heated up this weekend with the release of Shark Tale. How much pressure is now on Disney?
Written by Kevin Baxter
SHARK TALE - THE MOVIETweet
Shark Tale opened this weekend with an amazing take of almost $48 million. Sure, it wasn't Shrek 2 money, but no one expected that. What was amazing was how it became the biggest October opener ever with reviews that were mediocre, at best. While the quality of DreamWorks soon-to-be stand-alone animation division has been spotty, the studio's ability to deliver at the box office has certainly been proven.
And that really puts the heat on Disney when they release Pixar's The Incredibles next month. If Disney can't deliver better numbers than that, the company has no hope whatsoever of ever reteaming with the animation giant.
Early guesstimates have The Incredibles doing better than that, but that isn't the only obstacle the film will have to hurdle if Disney truly wants to keep in business with Pixar. This will have to beat Monsters, Inc's $62.5M opening weekend and its $255.8M domestic take to not seem like a disappointment. (Finding Nemo's numbers won't come into play since that was a summer release. But The Incredibles is being released in the same month Monsters was, making comparisons much easier.)
Disney is almost in a no-win position with The Incredibles. If the film does well, Pixar will get all the credit for creating yet another "home run." If it performs poorly, it will be Disney's fault for not selling it properly. After all, this is the studio that's biggest hit this year was the quick-to-die The Village. The actual quality of The Incredibles won't have anything to do with how the numbers are perceived, unless the film gets atrocious reviews, which isn't likely.
So Disney will get no love even if this thing turns into a major blockbuster. So there must be a lot of temptation for Disney to allow The Incredibles to tank, right? There were a lot of rumors swirling that Eisner tried this tack with Nemo to force Pixar back to the bargaining table, but that doesn't make a lot of sense. "Oh, look! We couldn't sell your fish flick, so you better sign up with us for all your future films!" If Eisner did, in fact, try to undersell Nemo it was out of spite. He allegedly wanted to teach Pixar a lesson. Quite a lesson, huh?
Not that I would put something like that past Eisner, but the man NEEDS major box office right now, so I don't expect any shenanigans from him. Pixar could still blame him if The Incredibles underperforms, and many might buy it, but I think Eisner and company will play this one aboveboard.
We'll cover this more after the Pixar film hits theaters in early November.
Having avoided the movie - which I will probably do until it hits DVD - I can only go by what little I have seen in its 8 million ads. Water is an obvious need, and Universal Studios Florida has long wanted a flume ride in the plot between Back to the Future and Men in Black. Water themes aren't easy to come by, so this is perfect. A water coaster would be even more perfect. Just so long as they don't use that blasphemous Car Wash remake! UGH!
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