CB: The View from Wall Street: Weak “Turbo” Opening Highlights DreamWorks problems

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Old 07 July 2013   #16
I think this film will appeal to younger kids and maybe that's who it's aimed at, but from the advertising, it didn't seem like it. Younger kids don't care so much about the realities of things. They like the bright colors and sounds and silly jokes, and especially the they like the fact that it's entertainment that's aimed toward them. Unfortunately, a movie for little kids probably isn't going to make 200 million.
Your right that it's unfair to compare this with the rat movie. I think I should only do that to illustrate the nature of selling a film these days. Sadly, you can't sell a story unless you can sum it up in a short sentence. "It's about a snake who can't limbo." "It's about a football team that got killed in a bus accident, so the band has to take over for them..."
I understand that helps to sell a story, but it is unfortunate. Some stories just don't fall into that category. If you tried to sell some classic story today like Narnia or something, you might now be able to do it, if it wasn't already established. On the other hand, if you can't tell someone what a story is about, you don't stand a great chance of selling it.
Sadly, if you look on Boxoffice Mojo, Turbo is playing out about the same as Rise of the Guardians did. That was truly unfortunate, because that was a pretty good movie with a fun concept, colorful characters, good pacing, and lots of fun all around. The only thing you can say in a case like that is maybe the timing was bad or the marketing missed the mark.
Somebody said maybe it would be more apealing with a turtle? Maybe so. Turtles at least are cute and who hasn't picked one up from the side of the road and pointed him in the other direction at one point in life or the other. Snails on the other hand... children kill them for fun.
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Old 07 July 2013   #17
Whats wrong with snails? They look funny. They taste good. They are cute. They have a yukky element.

I love snails.

Hail the snail.

As for the film: Too much competition but I feel it would be fun.
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Old 07 July 2013   #18
Originally Posted by Artbot: [puts 'talking about this is going to sound ridiculous' hat on]

A snail is not only unappealing as a character, but to even have a "cartoon" hope of beating a race car would require him to essentially be magical (which I think he actually was in the movie, not sure). So we have a world of real race cars and a world of magical fairy snails. Mmm-k. Truly, the premise is just so dumb and doesn't even begin to follow any kind of internal logic, cartoony or otherwise.


Um-I believe he was sucked through an engine intake and doused with Nitrous Oxide. Wasn't it obvious from the trailers?
 
Old 07 July 2013   #19
Originally Posted by circusboy: Um-I believe he was sucked through an engine intake and doused with Nitrous Oxide. Wasn't it obvious from the trailers?


I wasn't watching that closely. And since when does No2, which is frequently used as an anesthesia, speed things up? Yes, I know it's injected into engines (and gets burned, not merely inhaled), but last I heard, snails don't have internal combustion engines to do that.

Boy, do I feel dumb for participating in this discussion.
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Old 07 July 2013   #20
Bunch of snail haters in this thread.
 
Old 07 July 2013   #21
>snail haters...

Just compared to rodents.
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Old 07 July 2013   #22
Originally Posted by circusboy: Hmm-rats aren't that great. Especially when you see one half the size of a racoon walking down the street! And if you found one in your house-the same -sewer-type- depicted in the film would you really want to cuddle it?!
Pixar did have a good story too-and I agree the Iron Chef could have helped with a trend.

Meanwhile-Turbo is about snails...and cars. Cars may have been the lamest franchise to come out of Pixar for us adult fans-but the resulting toys and spin-off flicks likely generated the most coin for them too. Its tops for kids - especially boys. My son watched many of the Pixar films seemingly hundreds of times-but Cars most of all. Same for nearly every kid his age i ever met.

All that to say Turbo as a concept doesn't seem that lame to me-would turtles be better? But maybe the car trend got saturated by Pixar - who can say?! I'm just saying the recipe for disaster at the box office doesn't seem
so cut and dry to me. Its a bit surprising. It might be a timing issue instead.

BTW my son did see the trailer during MU-I think he'd like to see Turbo...

Wasn't Cars2 the worst Pixar movie in history? I remember reading a report qualifying it that in terms of gross, net, critic score and satellite markets.

Clearly there's got to be something different to the recipe than just cars, and timing must also have something to do with it.

Turbo, IMO, was just too devoid of identity at a promotional level.
Not that I watch movies or not based on hype and trailers alone, but at least ONE minor tug at the hem has got to come from somewhere for me to bother when we're talking 130-200M dollar movies.
Seeing a high budget summer release with half arsed everything around it spells "stillborn" even to the clueless (clueless within the domain of the studio system and film industry).
Regardless of how good the movie actually is it implies high chances it won't be, and at 100$ a pop for a family viewing people are likely to bet the cash somewhere else.
Again, I haven't seen it, might be amazing, it's only the marketing/promo I'm having a go at.

I mean, at what F'in point "SLO NO MO" got confirmed as great poster material?! In what messed up meeting did they EVER think 90% of the people would even get it, let alone find it funny?
I'm by most standards a petrol-head who owned and tweaked more super charged and V6 engines than I should have had, and even I had to think about it
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Old 07 July 2013   #23
Cartoon Brew posted an article on Ward Kimball's rant against snails from 1977:

http://www.cartoonbrew.com/ideas-co...idea-86300.html
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Old 07 July 2013   #24
I bet that Spongebob episode where Spongebob forces his snail Gary to race is better than this entire movie.
 
Old 07 July 2013   #25
The reason I compared Turbo to Ratatouille is because, when boiled down, the stories are similar.

Rat loves to cook, unforeseen event happens because of his actions, outcome puts him in a position where he can cook in Paris, tries to overcome the many bumps on the way to accomplishing his dream.

Snail loves racing, unforeseen event happens because of his actions, outcome sends him down a path that gives him speed, tries to overcome the many bumps on the way to accomplishing his dream.

Having seen both films, it is easy to say that Ratatouille does a better job with the story and how events play out. One knows his stuff right from the start while the other is just a fan that has an over active imagination. One revolves around the main character's dream and the pitfalls while the other spends most of the time trying to achieve the dream.

A change that I think should have been made to Turbo is to include additional racing. He pretty much goes from slow to fast and showing off that speed to racing in the Indy 500. I would have had them do a couple other races first to prove that he can do it.
 
Old 07 July 2013   #26
The reviews are really not that bad. It's got 64% on the tomatometer. My favorite films range from upper 70s to 12%, so not sure what that means.

I've considered seeing the film a couple of times, but couldnt' quite bring myself to do it. Wish the marketing had made it more appealing.

They did a good enough job of telling what it's about. No complaints there. I really don't have a problem with the concept, though it makes me roll my eyes a bit. It looks good enough. I don't find the characters appealing. I could actually say that about Renny as well. But there was something inside of me that really, really wanted to see a kitchen swarming with rodents by the end of ratatouille. I wish there was something to latch onto like that in turbo. The only thing I can think of is... he wants to race. Everyone tells him he cant. He does, and it looks like he's going to fail by the end of the second act, and finally probably somehow wins anyway.

When the Smurfs came out, I kept working up my courage to go see it, then I'd see the add again, and it would turn me off again. Still haven't seen it yet, even though I like the laughing cat and Hank Ezeria as Gargamel. The adds were too crude for me.

Turbo on the other hand... I don't now the first thing about racing. It doesn't have any appeal for me, so you have to sell me on it a little. Put me in the middle of it.
Tell me a little about snails? Do they have girlfriends? Give me something to go on.
If your going to race a snail against cars, I'm really hoping there's a clever set of events that lead to that being able to happen. I'm not sure I buy into pumping him with N02 is quite enough.
If it's a kids movie, then ok, I don't mind going with my hypothetical kids to see it. But you just can't make your 130 million back on a movie that's just for kids. Stick it in the 30-to-70 million range and see what you can do with it. My 2 cents.
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Old 07 July 2013   #27
Originally Posted by Artbot: I don't think the comparison to Ratatoullie is fair. If you can get past the 'rat is intelligent enough to cook' issue, there's nothing about the physical nature of what he did that was too outrageous. He ran and jumped and used his little hands and such, but he never made any "magical" moves that took him away from essentially being a rat.


Not sure I agree. While I absolutely love Ratatouille--considering how often I play it in the background while working, I've probably seen it more times than any other movie--my one critique is that the "rat controls human like puppet by pulling hair" concept comes out of nowhere, and does so well into the film.

I'm fine with suspension of disbelief, but I think it works better when surreal elements are established early on. For me it'd be a non-issue if, the first time we met Linguini, we saw him scratch his hair and it made his leg shake or something. As it was, it struck me like this:

  • Introducing rat culture from the start: "This is the world in which the story takes place."
  • Introducing hair-control after we already know the characters: "It's magic, just go with it."
Again though, I still love the film.


As for Turbo, I haven't looked into it enough to know how it handles its "magic"--honestly the concept and character don't interest me. It's not because he's a snail, but because I don't find his dream of racing very relatable.
 
Old 07 July 2013   #28
Originally Posted by ThE_JacO: Wasn't Cars2 the worst Pixar movie in history? I remember reading a report qualifying it that in terms of gross, net, critic score and satellite markets.

Clearly there's got to be something different to the recipe than just cars, and timing must also have something to do with it.

Turbo, IMO, was just too devoid of identity at a promotional level.
Not that I watch movies or not based on hype and trailers alone, but at least ONE minor tug at the hem has got to come from somewhere for me to bother when we're talking 130-200M dollar movies.
Seeing a high budget summer release with half arsed everything around it spells "stillborn" even to the clueless (clueless within the domain of the studio system and film industry).
Regardless of how good the movie actually is it implies high chances it won't be, and at 100$ a pop for a family viewing people are likely to bet the cash somewhere else.
Again, I haven't seen it, might be amazing, it's only the marketing/promo I'm having a go at.

I mean, at what F'in point "SLO NO MO" got confirmed as great poster material?! In what messed up meeting did they EVER think 90% of the people would even get it, let alone find it funny?
I'm by most standards a petrol-head who owned and tweaked more super charged and V6 engines than I should have had, and even I had to think about it

I guess they were trying to add to the 'street cred'
-because the film has such voice talent as...Snoop-Dog (among others)!
And a lot of the story takes place in what appears to be the
South LA area.

Hmm Cars 2? 6th best Pixar film-but one of the most expensive to make too.I don't think I ever heard it called a disaster. But yes I think the 'car appeal factor' has been dying off. Only hard core fans of the subject are still into it.
Hence my son choosing Turbo over Despicable Me 2 this week-end.
I think he liked it fine-but yes in the end if you are not into snails or cars
I could see why you'd want to skip it.
DM2 is out there and reviewing well. In the theater I went to they were making a hoopla about Smurfs 2 opening too.

I think for Turbo to have done well it would have needed to be the only horse in the race...

I also believe the films have to appeal to the folks taking the kids to films
too. Unless your kid is getting way too much screen time-the parents can kinda dictate which film prospect to 'audition' to a child. If the parent can't get their head into 'snails' it maybe 'no sale' even if the child might want it (if they ever knew it existed).
I am avoiding the Smurfs films myself. Wish me luck.
 
Old 07 July 2013   #29
There was an LA Times article which estimated that the Cars franchise has generated more than 10 billion (with a B) in merchandize sales. It did not matter what the production costs were for Cars 2. That 10 billion raked in more money for Pixar and Disney than the *combined box office sales for all Pixar movies*. That is partially the reason why Rise of The Guardians was such a turkey for Dreamworks. It had zero merchandizing tie-ins on top of weak ticket sales.
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Old 08 August 2013   #30
I finally saw this film and I liked it. I lost interest a few times in the first half, but by the end, I was rooting for the little snail guy.
I think all of us here on CGtalk are rooting for Dreamworks. The real question was how to make this marketable. I don't think we can put the full blame on the marketing team. They did a good job of telling what the film is about. In this industry, you get pretty fairly mauled if you don't do that. They could have risen to the occasion and given us more, but they probably have bigger films to market, and don't want to put everything they have into a film that's just pretty good. Some of that does have to come from the film-makers as well.
The film is good, but it is lacking some in marketability. Without some extra pizazz these days, we may have to accept that it's not going to be a 200 million + grosser, and spend a little less on it. Not that they can't make it, just do it for a little less and accept the way the market is. If then, they go on and make a killing on it somehow, then it's a gain. Anyway, more power to them for getting their movie made.
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