Tag Archives: Universal

Lorax has it all over John Carter at box office

Dr. Seuss' The Lorax

Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax

Uni­ver­sal Pic­tures’ “Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax” did much bet­ter at the North Amer­i­can box office in its sec­ond week­end than did Disney’s John Carter in its first.

Accord­ing to stu­dio esti­mates Sun­day, the ani­mated Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax — based on the good doctor’s 1971 children’s book — was No. 1 for the week­end in a row, col­lect­ing $39.1 mil­lion. The film’s 10-day domes­tic total is now $122 mil­lion, mak­ing it the top-grossing movie released so far in 2012.

Domes­tic rev­enues dropped 44% from a week ear­lier, but another $1.4 mil­lion was raised inter­na­tion­ally by The Lorax over the week­end, bring­ing total cumu­lated world­wide sales to $123.7 million.

On the other hand, John Carter, com­bin­ing CGI ani­ma­tion with live action, opened in sec­ond place domes­ti­cally with $30.6 mil­lion. Report­edly, Dis­ney spent a humon­gous $250 mil­lion to make the science-fiction film, based on a novel by Edgar Rice Bur­roughs (Tarzan).

How­ever, the movie opened abroad in 55 coun­tries with $70.6 mil­lion for a world­wide total of $101.2 mil­lion this weekend.

Wall Street ana­lysts pre­dicted that Dis­ney would end up los­ing tens of mil­lions of dol­lars. On Fri­day, Ever­core Part­ners ana­lyst Alan Gould esti­mated a $165 mil­lion loss.

If you just take the domes­tic num­ber, it’s not a very pretty pic­ture,” said Paul Der­garabe­dian, ana­lyst for box-office tracker Hollywood.com. “But if you look at the world­wide open­ing week­end of a hun­dred mil­lion dol­lars, that’s pretty solid.”

We would have hoped for more, con­sid­er­ing the larger eco­nom­ics of the film, but are still encour­aged with how it’s been received by audi­ences that have seen it and hope to see that gen­er­ate pos­i­tive word of mouth for the bal­ance of the run,” said Dave Hol­lis, Disney’s head of distribution.

Dis­ney exec­u­tives also pointed out that domes­tic rev­enues for John Carter jumped 25% from open­ing day Fri­day until Sat­ur­day. This was an indi­ca­tion, they sayd, that movie­go­ers are rec­om­mend­ing the film to friends.

John Carter received 49% favor­able notices of the 170 reviews gath­ered on the Rottentomatoes.com film critic site. Audi­ences gave the movie a “B+” in polling by sur­vey firm CinemaScore.

In gen­eral, domes­tic busi­ness at the movies increased again over the same period last year. Total North Amer­i­can rev­enues reached $140.5 mil­lion, up 8.7% from the same week­end in 2011, Hollywood.com said. Domes­tic rev­enues have just exceeded $2 bil­lion so far this year, which is 18% more than the same period a year ago.

Ticket sales for Fri­day through Sun­day at United States and Cana­dian the­aters were released by Hollywood.com. Final domes­tic fig­ures are sched­uled for release Monday.

Despicable Me 2 Trailer

Despicable Me 2

Despi­ca­ble Me 2

The sequel to Illuminations/Universal’s 201 hit Despi­ca­ble Me, so imag­i­na­tively titled Despi­ca­ble Me 2, has it’s first trailer out. The trailer gives noth­ing of the plot away, but if you love the lit­tle yel­low Min­ions, you will love the new trailer. Or if you love the Beach Boys, you will love it.

Despi­ca­ble Me 2 is expected to be released in July 2013. Not a whole lot on what the new plot will be, and the trailer is not much help in that regard. Surely Gru will be back, but that is about all we know at this point.

Green opening for “The Lorax” with $70.7 million

Dr. Seuss' The Lorax

Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax

Uni­ver­sal Pic­tures’ “Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax” cleaned up at the North Amer­i­can box office over the week­end, mak­ing $70.7 mil­lion for the biggest open­ing of any movie so far this year.

Pro­duced by Illu­mi­na­tion Enter­tain­ment, Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax fea­tures the voices of Danny DeVito, Zac Efron and Tay­lor Swift. The 3-D ani­mated fam­ily film from Uni­ver­sal Pic­tures, is based on Seuss’ semi-serious tale of the need for envi­ron­men­tal preservation.

Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax had the biggest open­ing for a Dr. Seuss adap­ta­tion. In 2000, the live-action How the Grinch Stole Christ­mas, star­ring Jim Car­rey, debuted at $55.1 million.

The pre­vi­ous best debut of 2012 was The Vow with $41.2 million.

Illu­mi­na­tion Enter­tain­ment pre­vi­ously made Despi­ca­ble Me. The studio’s lat­est movie had a big­ger open­ing than that film, which debuted with $56.4 mil­lion in July 2010.

Some $5.4 mil­lion, or 8%, of the open­ing gross for Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax came from IMAX screens. That’s more than usual for a fam­ily film.

The R-rated Warner Bros. com­edy Project X reached a strong sec­ond place with about $20.8 mil­lion, accord­ing to Sun­day stu­dio estimates.

I was stunned from Fri­day,” when The Lorax brought in made $17.4 mil­lion, said Nikki Rocco, Universal’s pres­i­dent of domes­tic dis­tri­b­u­tion. On Sat­ur­day, the film col­lected another $31.3 million.

Who would have expected a result like this?”

She cred­ited the suc­cess of The Lorax to “a com­bi­na­tion of a) a great film, b) an incred­i­ble mar­ket­ing cam­paign and b-plus) the need for another fam­ily film in the mar­ket­place. I think that has a lot to do with it.…

Peo­ple love Dr. Seuss, and audi­ences now know about Illu­mi­na­tion and Chris Meledan­dri, what he delivers.”

Hollywood.com box-office ana­lyst Paul Der­garabe­dian had antic­i­pated a $45 mil­lion to $50 mil­lion open­ing for The Lorax, and thought that Project X would start in the high teens. “Warner Bros. per­fectly put their R-rated, raunchy com­edy right there in the same week­end as The Lorax, and both films did very well,” he said.

Der­garabe­dian observed that The Lorax’s major box-office suc­cess con­tin­ues a string of strong results for movies over­per­form­ing so far this year. Rev­enues are up 19 per­cent from this point in 2011.

It’s so dif­fer­ent from what we were see­ing last year and espe­cially the end of last year. Now it’s like a box-office bonanza,” he said. “What a great turn­around from where we were last year with the down-trending week after week and the low­est atten­dance in 15 years. If we keep up this pace, we’re going to be look­ing at a mas­sive summer.”

Action pic­ture Act of Valor, which was No. 1 last week, fell to third place.

Esti­mated ticket sales for Fri­day through Sun­day at United States and Cana­dian the­aters were released by Hollywood.com. Final domes­tic fig­ures are due Monday.

Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax (2012) — Illumination Entertainment Theatrical Feature

Dr. Seuss' The Lorax

Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax

CotD: Today is the release day for “Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax” remake of a forty year old car­toon spe­cial from DePatie-Freleng Enterprises.

Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax (2012) — Illu­mi­na­tion Enter­tain­ment The­atri­cal Feature

The ani­mated adven­ture fol­lows the jour­ney of a boy as he searches for the one thing that will enable him to win the affec­tion of the girl of his dreams. To find it, he must dis­cover the story of the Lorax, the grumpy yet charm­ing crea­ture who fights to pro­tect his world.

Come see the trailer for “Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax” on video at Big Car­toon DataBase

The Bongo Punch (1957) — Pepito Chickeeto Theatrical Cartoon

The Bongo Punch (1979) - Pepito Chickeeto

The Bongo Punch (1957) — Pepito Chickeeto

CotD: “The Bongo Punch” fea­tur­ing Pepito Chic­k­eeto in this musi­cal story from old Mex­ico ani­mated by Wal­ter Lantz.

The Bongo Punch (1957) — Pepito Chic­k­eeto The­atri­cal Car­toon Series

In a musi­cal story from old Mex­ico, we learn how Pepito Chic­k­eeto made his father happy becom­ing box­ing cham­pion, but also sat­is­fied his own wish to play the bongo drums.

Pepe Chic­k­eeto, the world’s cham­pion cock­fighter, is knocked out in the box­ing cham­pi­onship, los­ing the match and the title. Dis­graced and dis­cour­aged, he returns home and tells his hen. She breaks the news that she’s expect­ing a lit­tle chick. Pepe is thrilled, anx­iously antic­i­pat­ing the arrival of the “new champ.” The baby is named Pepito Chic­k­eeto, and father brings him up with but one thought in mind: to have his son become the world’s cham­pion cockfighter.

A rigid train­ing sched­ule is laid out for Pepito, but his heart is not in fight­ing; he loves bongo music, and he’s only happy when he can beat the drums. Pepito pounds on drums, or any­thing resem­bling them, at every oppor­tu­nity until he almost dri­ves his father crazy. Pepito’s mother would like to have him pur­sue a musi­cal career, but she’s afraid to cross her hus­band, so poor Pepito must train and fight from early dawn till late at night. Finally comes the day when Pepito’s ready, and a match is arranged with the world’s champion.

A huge crowd assem­bles, and Pepe prays that the cham­pi­onship which he lost will be regained by Pepito. But– alas– Pepito lacks his father’s fight­ing instincts, and Pepito’s knocked from the ring by a solid blow from the champion.

Pepito’s ready to quit, but Papa kicks Pepito back into the ring. Pepito lands with his foot caught in a pail. He kicks it loose, and it flies into the air and lands, bot­tom side up, on the champion’s head. In his dazed con­di­tion, Pepito mis­takes the pail for a drum. He jumps wildly on the cham­pion and starts beat­ing out a dance rou­tine on the pail. As the rhyth­mic pat­tern increases in inten­sity, Pepito beats harder and harder on the head of his antag­o­nist and finally knocks him out. Pepito wins a fight– and the title– with his “Bongo Punch.”

Watch “The Bongo Punch” on video at Big Car­toon DataBase

The Adventures of Tintin” wins Satellite Award

The Adventures of Tintin

The Adven­tures of Tintin

The Adven­tures of Tin Tin: The Secret of the Uni­corn” won for Motion Pic­ture, Ani­mated or Mixed Media at the 16th Satel­lite Awards, held Sun­day night at the Bev­erly Hills Hotel.

It defeated fel­low nom­i­nees Kung Fu Panda 2, The Mup­pets, Puss in Boots, Rango and Rio in the category.

The win­ner for Youth Release was The Lion King: Two-Disc Dia­mond Edi­tion, from Walt Dis­ney Pictures.

The Satel­lites are pre­sented by the Inter­na­tional Press Acad­emy, a global media asso­ci­a­tion of domes­tic and for­eign enter­tain­ment jour­nal­ists in print, TV, radio, broad­cast and online out­lets, includ­ing crit­ics, inter­view­ers, review­ers, blog­gers and photographers.

In the Adapted Screen­play cat­e­gory, The Adven­tures of Tin Tin lost to the live-action The Descendants.

And though “Hello Hello” (Gnomeo & Juliet), “Life Is A Happy Song” and “Man Or Mup­pet” (The Mup­pets), and “Bridge Of Light” (Happy Feet 2) were among the nom­i­nees for Orig­i­nal Song, they lost to “Lay Your Head Down,” from the live-action film Albert Nobbs.

A Wish For Wings That Work (1991) — Animated TV Special

A Wish For Wings That Work (1991) - Animated TV Special

A Wish For Wings That Work (1991) — Ani­mated TV Special

CotD: One of the best of a new breed of Christ­mas spe­cials, “A Wish For Wings That Work” was based on char­ac­ters cre­ated by Berke­ley Breathed.

A Wish For Wings That Work (1991) — Ani­mated TV Special

Opus the Pen­guin, among his other prob­lems, always feels inad­e­quate by his being “aero­dy­nam­i­cally impaired.” Together with his brain-fried cohort Bill the Cat, he tries doggedly to over­come that weak­ness, all with­out success.

Wrestling with an unful­filled wish to soar through the air like any other self-respecting bird, Opus turns for sym­pa­thy to his scroungy pals and his ani­mal “sup­port group”- a lovelorn kiwi, a fashion-minded cock­roach, and a cranky piglet who thinks that he’s a rhino.

When that doesn’t help, the plucky pen­guin decides that there’s only one per­son who can make his aero­nau­tic dream come true: Father Christmas.

But when Ol’ St. Nick finds him­self in hot water on Decem­ber 24, the fate of Christ­mas itself sud­denly depends on the kind of hero­ism that only comes in a penguin-sized package!Only on Christ­mas Eve does Opus learn what worth his nat­ural abil­i­ties are.

Watch “A Wish For Wings That Work” on video at Big Car­toon DataBase

Knock Knock (1940) –Andy Panda Theatrical Cartoon Series

Knock Knock (1940) -Andy Panda Theatrical Cartoon

Knock Knock (1940) –Andy Panda The­atri­cal Cartoon

CotD: Woody Wood­pecker first appeared on this date in 1940 in “Knock Knock”, a car­toon in the Any Panda series.

Knock Knock (1940) –Andy Panda The­atri­cal Car­toon Series

Andy Panda and his dad are busy in the study read­ing their respec­tive favorite mag­a­zines. They hear a knock-knock, and father opens the door. Nobody’s there.

After this is repeated a num­ber of times, the door is taken off its hinges and set on the floor. The knocks are repeated again and again, and, see­ing saw­dust on the floor, Andy and his dad real­ize that the knocks come from the roof.

Father climbs to the roof and sees Woody Wood­pecker peck­ing holes in the roof. Then begins a series of episodes in which Andy Panda and his father try to get rid of Woody (includ­ing try­ing to put salt on his tail). They have no success.

Finally, two keep­ers from an asy­lum (also wood­peck­ers) arrive. Then the keep­ers them­selves begin act­ing like mani­acs as the pic­ture ends.

Watch “Knock Knock” on video at Big Car­toon DataBase

Woody Woodpecker movie knocks at Universal’s door

Illumination Entertainment

Illu­mi­na­tion Entertainment

Universal-based ani­ma­tion stu­dio Illu­mi­na­tion Enter­tain­ment is work­ing on a fea­ture film star­ring Woody Wood­pecker.

John Altschuler and Dave Krin­sky, co-writers of the Will Fer­rell com­edy Blades of Glory, are in talks to develop a story about the mis­chie­vous bird, who first appeared in the 1940 Andy Panda short Knock Knock.

Illu­mi­na­tion and the writ­ers will try mak­ing a story that mod­ern­izes Woody in the hopes of start­ing a franchise.

Co-created by car­toon­ist Wal­ter Lantz, Woody was first voiced by Mel Blanc. Later, Lantz’s wife, Grace Stafford, became the voice of the bird.

Woody Wood­pecker car­toons first had a theme song in 1947. “The Woody Wood­pecker Song” was heard in the fol­low­ing year’s Wet Blan­ket Pol­icy. It was nom­i­nated for an Oscar for best song, becom­ing the only song from a short film ever nom­i­nated in the category.

In 1985, Uni­ver­sal bought the library of shorts and the rights to the Woody char­ac­ter from Lantz.

Altschuler and Krin­sky were exec­u­tive pro­duc­ers and writ­ers on Fox’s King of the Hill. They also worked on the fea­ture film incar­na­tion of The Jetsons.

Illu­mi­na­tion Enter­tain­ment made Despi­ca­ble Me and next year’s Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax.

An American Tail (1986) — Amblin Entertainment, Universal Pictures

An American Tail (1943) - Amblin Entertainment

An Amer­i­can Tail (1943) — Amblin Entertainment

CotD: Amblin Enter­tain­ment released their first fea­ture ani­mated film “An Amer­i­can Tail” on this date in 1986.

An Amer­i­can Tail (1986) — Amblin Enter­tain­ment, Uni­ver­sal Pictures

Fievel is a young Russ­ian mouse sep­a­rated from his par­ents on the way to Amer­ica, a land they think is with­out cats. When he arrives alone in the New World, he keeps up hope, search­ing for his fam­ily, mak­ing new friends, and run­ning and dodg­ing the cats he thought he’d be rid off.

Watch “An Amer­i­can Tail” on video at Big Car­toon DataBase