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View Full Version : Variety EDITORIAL: Is the toon biz over-drawn? (The Glut of CG Films)


RobertoOrtiz
08-11-2006, 12:40 PM
Quote:
" 2004, the average box office for an animated pic was $149 million. This year, it's $88 million. But then, there are 50% more toons in release this year than in '04. Three toons have bowed in the past three weeks: Sony's "Monster House," Warner Bros.' "Ant Bully" and Paramount's "Barnyard."



The bullish spirit of several years ago, when all these projects began production, has given way to introspection: How much is too much?

CGI-animated pics once were seen as the safe, flop-proof arm of the biz, but the 2006 box office is upending that optimistic view. Before this year, the only CGI failure ever was last summer's "Valiant," but this year has already seen three: "Doogal," "The Wild" and "The Ant Bully." One or two more are likely before the year is out."

http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117948018?categoryid=13&cs=1&s=h&p=0

-R

PhantomDesign
08-11-2006, 12:42 PM
I think CG films need to reach past the toon genre.

AdamHerbert
08-11-2006, 03:27 PM
The movie biz as a whole is seeing a downward trend so this article is kinda like a "DUH!"

You also have to keep in mind that there are more choices out there so people will pick and choose what they want to see instead of everyone seeing the only cg film out at the time. This article just seems like the writer didn't have anything to write about so he decided to make something out of nothing.

mullet
08-11-2006, 03:51 PM
i think it's just been a particularly poor crop this year. Cars was lame (although technically and visually impressive,) monster house is so visually bland i don't think i'll even bother my eye's with the trouble of sitting through - and so many other films are being troubled by big name hollywood actors taking on main character roles - psssst, hellooo, they're cartoon characters, maybe they should have cartoon voices!..

i really think that hollywood cgi character design could take a page out of the book of the games industry, it's far more creative and exciting... *grr, rant, mumble, moan*

Chris-TC
08-11-2006, 05:16 PM
I think CG films need to reach past the toon genre.

I couldn't agree more. I'm soooooo sick of seeing talking cartoon animals, cartoon cars, cartoon monsters, cartoon superheroes and cartoon toys*

It's time for a different type of CG movie, maybe a horror movie or something.
But as long as cartoon movies keep bringing in the big dollars no studio is going to change anything.

*Edit: I forgot cartoon robots, sorry for that

talos72
08-11-2006, 05:48 PM
Sadly this so called glut was predicted by more than a few in the film/animation industry . Why? Because traditional animation went through this story, and now CG animation is following the same script.

Synopsis:

"Lion King" made boat load of cash for Disney. Disney execs and suits believed they have found their goose laying golden eggs: if "Lion King" could make us so much, then more animated features would make us that much more money. So, you set up few more satellite studios in Orlando and Paris and start cranking out animated features. Of course, other studios can't let Disney have all the pie, so each studio (Warner, Fox, Dreamworks, etc.) pours a lot of money and sets up its own Feature Animation division.

The race is on as to how many studios can crank out more animated features in the hopes of capturing the "Lion King" crown. The result: a glut of half-baked films, assembly line production systems, executive meddling, bad management, bean counting, wasting of money and talent....leading to too many 2D animated feature flops. Anyone remember "The Quest for Chamelot" or "Rock-a-Doodle"?

Finally, the powers that be called 2D officially dead. "Oh, no one cares about 2D anymore...it is so passe. Now we have 3D and CG!!"

And so the cycle started again with CG.....

Apoclypse
08-11-2006, 05:51 PM
Well the thrre films you mentioned wreren't exactly good. Ant Bully was lie an advertisement for the next Ocean's 11 movie and the wild was waht some considered (me too) derivative eventhough it has been said that they had the idea first. My whole thing is why do the same crap someone else did. At least they should have waited a while before releasing it. It was crap anyways. I've never even heard of the last one.

RobertoOrtiz
08-11-2006, 05:54 PM
I think CG films need to reach past the toon genre.

Too bad that the film that the most innovative cg film right now is Monster House...

-R

unchikun
08-12-2006, 05:09 PM
I think CG films need to reach past the toon genre.

I agree. There is so much potential with the CG medium but hollywood banks on the proven childrens cg animated genre.

It's been mentioned before but Final Fantasy The Spirits Within really held back the potential for CG to break the kids mold in the states. Although hard to understand, Final Fantasy Advent Children looks pretty damn awesome and from what I understand it was made with a relatively small team.

Maybe after this glut of cute formula driven kids movies we'll see some more adult themed films with kickass visuals and innovative story telling.

Pentagramma
08-12-2006, 09:40 PM
I think CG films need to reach past the toon genre.

Oh, yeah, totally agreed. Thatīs not a problem of CG films only - I believe itīs a north american way of seeing animation these days (and the trend is followed by almost everybody else).

Thereīs the assumption that animation is kidsī stuff. Nothing wrong on doing animation for children, but it could be so much more.

Letīs hope that somebody appears soon, who takes the next step.

amannin
08-12-2006, 11:17 PM
It's time for a different type of CG movie, maybe a horror movie or something.

Technically, Monster House was a kids scary movie, filled with adult humor --> sort of a step towards horror, well, as much as any scary kid movie could be i suppose.

I imagine that most adult CG films will be coming solely from other countries, namely Japan (which puts out some of my favorites) for a while to come. Hopefuly the trend will change sooner than later.

richcz3
08-12-2006, 11:52 PM
Is the toon biz over-drawn? - A Glut of CG Films?

Simply put - The medium has matured and the novelty has worn off.
All that means is that the costs have decreased, putting the tools in the hands of less able studios and talent. CG for the sake of CG is wowing less audiences. Time to revisit solid story telling.

ReneAlex
08-13-2006, 12:18 AM
Time to revisit solid story telling.

Wise words, all this CGI box office flops happens because: the scripts where weak (at best).

The main reason IMHO is that the studios are selling products... err, I mean ...pictures, not making movies anymore... no matter how beautiful the hair looks and how amazing the simulations behave... the main reason people goes to the movies; the story and great storytelling.

I really don't think that the cause of all this is because the amount of movies... if this year the titles where been: the incredibles, sherk, spirited away, akira, toy story, and other FIVE animated movies, this point were completely irrelevant.

jeremybirn
08-13-2006, 12:40 AM
I'd rather be here, where we are now with a lot of animation, than where we were in 1994, when there was only 1 animated feature in wide release across the US, all year, and that was normal.

If the only downside of having lots of animation is that there are some hits and some flops, I'll take that! Nobody complains when there are several different romantic comedies or live-action action films released in a season. If CG films have become a regular part of what gets released in theaters, that's great.

I just hope this big market with lots of animation manages to produce a few unique, interesting films.

-jeremy

amos_chid
08-13-2006, 01:48 AM
I, for one, quite happy with lots of animation, and the toon genre is totally fine with me.... my 3 yrs old daughter collect all DVD and watching non stop in a loop (from Toy Story -> Incredible,Ice Age, etc..., back to Toy Story again, she must have watched those like 100 times already)

too bad i can't take her to watch Monster House, i don't want her to have nightmare :scream:
maybe when she's older enough

RobertoOrtiz
08-13-2006, 02:42 AM
The problem for Monste House us that the marketting campaing is completly wrong for it.


The core audience for that film is 9 to 15 and it definetly not for kiddies. Hell i would call the movie a Stephen King primer.


-R

Digit
08-13-2006, 07:23 AM
... all this CGI box office flops happens because: the scripts where weak (at best).

...the main reason people goes to the movies; the story and great storytelling.

I agree with this in theory... but in reality the box office is always full of garbage, mostly live action. The film going public spends a fortune on mediocre films.

I think the problem with animation right now is too much of the same thing. Too many animated movies that not only look the same but also feel the same, you know? The tone of the humour always feels ripped off.

The comments about reaching past the toon genre are probably right but then Pixar still manage to keep pulling it off.

P_T
08-13-2006, 08:46 AM
The comments about reaching past the toon genre are probably right but then Pixar still manage to keep pulling it off.
Well that's the thing about reaching a certain level of popularity, you don't even have to make anymore truly excellent product. As long as you keep the quality good enough and not screw up big time, you just can't go wrong. They call it Brand Trust and Loyalty.

There're different genres/visual styles like that Rockfish short, Code Hunters, Renaissance, etc. just waiting to be tapped. All they need is one big success and others will jump in the bandwagon.

mech7
08-13-2006, 09:34 AM
it's hollywood.. they playing safe things that work and then do them over and over again till we puke furry little critters with happy endings. Though because it costs such much money to produce i can understand them choosing the safe path :)

ParamountCell
08-13-2006, 10:57 AM
Im hoping we see allot more CG movies like this (http://www.apple.com/trailers/miramax/renaissance/hd/) in the next few years. I think we need a bit more of a balance.

ChrisMann
08-13-2006, 07:32 PM
Im hoping we see allot more CG movies like this (http://www.apple.com/trailers/miramax/renaissance/hd/) in the next few years. I think we need a bit more of a balance.

No need to hope.:D It's inevitable, in a GOOD way.

Chris-TC
08-14-2006, 11:57 AM
Nobody complains when there are several different romantic comedies or live-action action films released in a season.

That is true. But a lot of people would complain if the only live-action genre was comedy, or action. Talk about diversity.

unchikun
08-14-2006, 12:37 PM
Came across this related article:

Computer-animated films have not only generated big numbers at the box office but also tend to have higher margins than other genres because the cost of talent is much lower. The computer technology has spread to animators around the world.

The problem, say analysts and executives, is the limited number of viable opening weekends for such films when their school-age audience is on holiday.

“Invariably, the rash of CGI-animated films is going to dampen the appetite for the films,” Jessica Reif Cohen, analyst at Merrill Lynch, concluded in a recent report.

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/e3a60fe8-28aa-11db-a2c1-0000779e2340.html


When analysts talk, studios listen....

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