A string of CGI box office duds has proven that the magic of technology will not make lame stories and sloppy storytelling any more palatable Variety reveals:
In 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.
The news is not entirely glum: Animation box office is on track to beat the $1.2 billion record set in 2004.