Tuesday, December 2, 2008

What Happened with Bolt?

So with the results now in and predictions pretty much made on what Bolts going to bring in I'm wondering............What went wrong? I have my own theories but I'd like to hear what you all have to say. Was it advertising?...Timing?.....Just looked boring? How does the (by far) highest rated movie in the theaters over the Thanksgiving weekend do so poorly? In the end Bolt will make a decent amount of money but certainly not what the studio was hoping for. Which brings the next question; If Disney can make more money from a movie like "Beverly Hills Chihuahua", why dump so much money into an animation studio like us? Bolt had some problems but it was a great movie. "Chihuahua" was the worst piece of trash ever conceived (no offense). Will a studio continue making great movies that don't make a lot of money? I'm not trying to sound negative, I'm just trying to look at the situation. I don't think Disney Animation is doomed and I know Rapunzel will be great but I would be lying if I said I wasn't worried about what the Higher ups at Disney are thinking right now.


Kathyb1960 said...

Hyrum, I did my best to spread the word about Bolt! I won't get to see it b/c I just don't have the money to go to a movie. Maybe when it comes out on DVD? I think maybe it was just a matter of bad timing. I bet your next one does great b/c it's a story people have heard of!

Good luck!

Kathy in West Texas

Johnsons said...

Ya know Higs, I think it is a matter of timing. First, Competing with the Twilignt movie which has already been mentioned. Secondly, I think the economy is a big part of it. With getting a babysitter for our baby, the price of the movie, and the ridiculously priced snacks, we spent almost $100. We won't be doing another family movie for quite awhile. (Repunzel?)
It is too bad though, because the movie is awesome. We all loved it. Those who don't see it are missing out.
I could be way off, but that would be my guess.

S.T. Lewis said...

I feel like Disney spent the last ten years setting up Bolt's box office failure. We're currently in the first year or two of the rebound phase that will hopefully make people trust "Disney" as a brand name again. Between Atlantis, Treasure Planet, Dinosaur, Home on the Range, Valiant, and about a billion direct-to-video sequels that were all at least as crappy as their titles, the general public spent the last little while learning to accept that Disney didn't know what they were doing. Most people don't even realize that Mulan and Cinderella 14 weren't made at the same studio, so when they saw one movie that claimed to be "Disney" that they didn't like, they grouped everything else together with it. Either you explain to everyone on the planet that The Wild and Tarzan 2 weren't made by Disney Animation, or you make five solid animated films in a row to win the public back.

I think the box office numbers will progressively improve over the next few releases as people start to trust Disney again, and if I'm wrong, I suggest adding lots of belching and pop-culture references to future films... and maybe a really annoying zebra... or 80 of them.

This is just one theory. Another possibly option is that people only like real dogs that talk or that there are a lot more vampires in this country than I had estimated.

BrandonBeckstead said...

I think timing had a lot to do with it. It was up against some hyped movies. Now this is just my opinion but...John Travolta?!!!! Kids can't relate to him at all....but Jack Black...kids can relate to him and they love him. It has to be kids that drive the sales in this market I think. I'm sure Miley Cyrus helped but overall I think the best characters were Rhino and Mittens and that isn't good because they are not the main characters. If Rhino wasn't in this movie, it would have been a real dud for me. But he was one of my favorite characters of all time!!! Too bad it wasn't about him. Overall I really enjoyed the film but I can also see why there wasn't as much mass appeal.

Katy Hargrove said...

I'm with Johnsons on this.

None of the movies currently released did "very well" over the last couple of weeks. Even Twilight which people are hyped about didn’t do a crazy amount better than Bolt. I think more people are saving, staying home, or are just too broke to see movies right now. It’s a xmas recession!

Check out the box office numbers. Anyway, to validate animation again, WallE made $63,087,526 opening weekend. Take that live action dogs!

Also, I liked Beverly Hills Chihuahua. It's cute and well executed, shallow and fluffy. Keep in mind you have to compare movies like that to what else its out there in that genre. Air Bud stinks, but they keep making sequels.

Bolt is being compared to other 3D movies. Because it isn't live action people treat it differently. Audiences are fairly trained by film culture.

Bobby Pontillas said...

Interesting what Brandon brings up.

I feel like traditionally, in animated films anyway, characters like Po (from Panda) and Wall-E would be cast as "sidekick" characters. This year especially, features seemed to put those characters front & center and have the film revolve around them. Which I think more audiences (especially young) respond to nowadays. That kind of anti-hero, anti-cool character. Its the reason the Superman movie doesnt do as well as the Spiderman movies.

The Bolt character, in a marketing aspect anyway, may have come across as "too-cool-for-school" for some kids, and smoove talkin John Travolta might've helped with that. Most kids I know are awkward and quirky in the best way.

Anyway, I really enjoyed the film, and felt like the marketing campaign didnt reflect the movie I saw. The film had heart that I feel didnt quite come across in the trailers, though I cant quite put my finger on it. I *can* say that even the very first Wall-E teaser had that goosebumps feeling. Where you had this run down, pibsqueaky underdog character, and you automatically feel for him.

Scott said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Hyrum Virl Osmond said...

Hey Scott,
Next time you'd like to post on my blog please leave out the swear word. This is a family friendly blog. You're welcome to re-post your comment without the offensive language. I will say that your view of the quality and end result of Bolt very much differs from what most people and most critics actually thought of the film. Rotten Tomatoes gave it an 84 percent. Regardless of how you or all of the other "Chris Sanders followers" feel. Bolt actually is considered by most to be a really good film. I will agree with you , however, that people probably just weren't interested in seeing another dog show. Also, Since I work at Disney, I actually know a lot about what Sander's version of the movie was.......and it was a mess. Concept art was cool, story was a mess. Ask anyone who actually knows whats going on over here.

Scott said...

Totally agree. Sorry I used the Lord's name in vain (although I don't consider it a swear word, I definitely shouldn't have used it in a pejorative sense). Anyway, sorry about that.

Also, I was aware of what a mess the Sanders version was. I have friends at Disney as well. I was following the progress. All I am saying is the end result of untangling and re-imagininng Sander's mess was a mediocre and unoriginal story idea that rehashed cliched plot lines leading to predicability. I also think the story arc was kind of depressing...hero finds out he isn't a hero and can't even save the one he loves on his own.

And, in conjunction with all this, it had an untimely release, in terms of the most amazing election ever, unprecedented economic meltdown, and national attention to prop8...too much going on for it to be much noticed.

As for Rotten Tomatoes and everyone else...of course there are going to be different opinions. I haven't heard anyone else agreeing with me but one other person. Oh well, I'll survive.

Hyrum Virl Osmond said...

Thanks Scott, You do make some great points. I do think Disney Studios is making some great progress and hopefully we'll have better success in the future.

Matthew said...

Higgy -

Here is my 12 cents:

What went wrong (in order):

1 - Miley Cyrus. She may be loved by little girls aged 3 to 12, but little girls aged 3 to 12 probably were not too interested in seeing a cartoon about a dog. It seemed to be more directed towards boys than girls. And Miley Cyrus bugs...

2 - John Travolta. No explanation needed.

3 - Hollywood has been saturating the market with computer animated movies lately. I miss hand drawn animation and cannot wait for the Frog Princess.

4 - Madagascar II, Twilight, and High School Musical 3 were all playing the same time Bolt was playing. This seems like a movie that more people will discover on DVD and Blu-Ray. Trust me, there will be a Bolt 2.

5 - DreamWorks Animation. They are ruining computer animated films by churning out crap. When Pixar was the only company making these movies, they were an event with each release. Now computer animated movies are a dime a dozen...

6 - Not enough Liza Minelli.


Fiona (Phebes) said...

Timing.... I just believe it is timing..

For me, I love looking at the short clips ad would love to have seen the full version.

Miley Cirus??

and I believe and This too will pass.

xx Keep smiling that smile


Christy and Adam said...

Hey Hyrum, did you see that Bolt was the number 2 money maker for the week? I believe it made 26.5 mil. It beat out Twilight...

Fiona (Phebes) said...

YAY!!!!!!! see twilight schmilight!

ME & MY GIRLZ said...

Times are rough, and the price to see a movie, well it is so expensive, a lot of families can not afford to go see them anymore, and wait for them to hit the dollar theatres, or buy them or rent them on dvd from redbox or something for a buck.
My girls like the movie. I personally thought it was well done. The little girl that was with us, she was almost three. She is cute. Emotionally, you all had her. When Bolt walked away crying after he saw his "person" playing with the fake Bolt, she said Mommy - oh he is crying because he doesn't have anyone to love him. I tell ya, it was so cute.
They played this movie in the largest theatre in the building, HUGE stadium seating. Opening night, and there was only about 10 families total. It was sad, but needless to say, I waited just to see your name in the credits.
I am still proud of you, and don't be so hard on yourself.

Lauri's Photography said...

I haven't seen Bolt yet- but I blame it on my one year old.

We're waiting for the DVD.

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david said...

I am a bit puzzled because Bolt did 112 million dollars at the box office and that is extremely good. And, I recall reading, the majority of box office was in the three dimension showings. Not enough theaters are equipped to show in 3-D yet. Also, January broke all records in history of Hollywood boxoffice because of the recession. Typically, people go to the movies to get a couple of hours of escape from reality in bad times. In the 30s, theaters were filled to capacity for all films, including the Cagney crime films, etc. And $8 bucks for a good flick is really cheap when we think of how we throw away that much on some fast food crap.