Will RISE OF THE GUARDIANS spell trouble for Dreamworks Animation?

3 min read

It’s the end of they year, and Christmas flicks are landing hard and fast. And with good reason as well! This time of year is normally a license to print cash, and with a plethora of animated films at the cinema, a great way to dump the kids for two hours while parents get some rest.

Except not all animated films are faring well this year, something that the latest Dreamworks Animation picture, Rise of the Guardians, can attest to. 

Right now, Rise of the Guardians looks like a big loss for the animation house, as analysts predict that it could put the studio $50 million in the red according to the Wrap.

Which is a shame, because by all accounts, the film is actually pretty decent, especially since Guillermo Del Toro was heavily involved with it. What’s more, this lack of profit could also make things difficult for the future of that studio, and their upcoming releases The Croods, Turbo and Mr. Peabody & Sherman.

According to Stifel Nicolaus analyst Ben Mogil, releasing an animated flick during the festive season, may no longer be a guarantee to make some quick cash any more:

What we take from this ‘Guardians’ experience is that where once there was an implied domestic box-office floor on a movie from the company, particularly in the 3D era, of $150 million, that is no longer the case.

Also clearly no longer the case is the mantra that the lack of competing animated titles will automatically grant a movie clear box office sailing.

Rise of the guardians still has a chance to recoup some of it’s losses, as December is emptier of new family films than usual, and was perhaps released too early, losing out on the chance to take advantage of their Saint Nick starring film.

“I can’t see anything they can do to try to really tweak the performance of the film, but I also think it would be a little premature of them to announce a write-off,” Marla Backer, an analyst with Research Associates, said.
“Let’s see how it plays over the holidays.”
Rise of the Guardians cost Dreamworks over $145 million to create, and as of right now, it’s sitting on a worldwide total of $106 million. Looks like it may need to pull out a Christmas Miracle or two in order to make some form of headway this holiday season.

Last Updated: December 5, 2012

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Darryn Bonthuys

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  • DieJason

    Blu-ray / DVD sales next year will also help

    • Yes – it’s strange how these analysis always forget that. Also, if one movie can sink your long-running and successful studio, you should fire your accountant.

  • I can’t see how this won’t make the extra $50 million through Christmas, my family is waiting until the holidays to go see this and we can’t be alone with that thought

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