'Shrek' Opens Big

Discussion in 'Disney Rumors and News' started by Another Voice, May 19, 2001.

  1. Another Voice

    Another Voice Charter Member of The Element

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    Early indications are that ‘Shrek’ is doing very, very well at the box office this weekend. It will probably bring in more than twice as much as the second place film, ‘The Mummy Returns’. The early, early projections have the film pegged at about $30+ million for the three-day weekend.

    For people who think that I never have anything nice to say, please go see this film. The animation is very well done, the story works as both a parody of classic fairy tales and in its own right, and Mike Meyers’ voice work is the best I’ve ever seen, er, heard in an animated film with the possible exception of Robin Williams (gee, even Eddie Murphy gets some laughs).

    If anyone is concerned, the jabs at Disney are not mean-spirited and are very funny for anyone who’s ever been forced to walk through an empty switch-back queue before. Besides, you have to love any movie that makes a joke about in-ride photos.
     
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  3. hedgehogcs

    hedgehogcs Always listening to Jiminy Cricket...

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    I read in an article somewhere (can't remember the source now...so forgive me if it was posted here and I'm just repeating somebody else's info...) that some top Disney executives were invited to an early screening of Shrek and to give their opinion about the Disney jabs...and they were reported to have found them very funny. I think that's cool.

    It's going to be a good year for animation fans!
     
  4. HBK

    HBK Mouseketeer

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    I love your posts Voice....don't let anyone here break your spirit.
     
  5. JustBob

    JustBob Mouseketeer

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    I know this is going to be unpopular, but I just saw it, and thought it leaned too heavily on fart jokes and other bodily functions to have any real lasting impact on the summer. The animation was outstanding, though, and Eddie Murphy did a nice job basically reprising Mushu. Mike Myer's work was so understated as to be almost bland. Cameron Diaz' animation was right on the mark.
    Sorry if this is more debate than rumor, Mr. Moderator!
    My 2 cents is, I can't wait for Atlantis, JP 3 and Evolution.

    :D
     
  6. Pixieduster

    Pixieduster Mouseketeer

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    JustBob,

    I just posted on the community board pretty much the same thing. We just saw it this afternoon and felt that Disney has absolutely nothing to worry about. I thought the story line was weak, and although there were about 3 scenes that really had me laughing, overall it was a lot of toilet humor. We thought the movie overall was okay. I presonally thought Emprorer's New Groove was much more funny. Although that movie didn't go over to well at all. I appreciate that Disney hasn't felt that they need to get a laugh by adding alot of belching and things of that nature. You see that everywhere today and I just don't get it. My husband and I said on the way home from the movie today "Dreamworks has gas, Disney has class"
     
  7. JustBob

    JustBob Mouseketeer

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    I love it!!! Dreamworks has gas, Disney has class!!! Somebody call Disney marketing!!:p
     
  8. hedgehogcs

    hedgehogcs Always listening to Jiminy Cricket...

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    Just Bob & Pixie Duster echoed my family's sentiments exactly after seeing it this afternoon. I guess we just expected it to be really, really funny in a clever way and not just the "oops - look, we're about to rhyme a dirty word...hey we didn't!", bathroom humor way.

    It was okay, but we were expecting more. I felt like the reaction of the others in the theater were pretty much the same. I think it will open well, but I would look for it to fall off fairly quickly.
     
  9. Another Voice

    Another Voice Charter Member of The Element

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    The final results for this weekend’s ‘Shrek’ are actually going to be better than first thought – between $41 and $43 million. The real test will come next week; most movies tend to fall off between 30% and 50% per week. With the three-day holiday weekend and no competition for the family movie market, there’s a chance that ‘Shrek’ may increase its box office.

    I think that people going to ‘Shrek’ expecting an animated fairy tale will be disappointed. The humor is both more adult and more childish than recent Disney fare, but that’s the movie they were trying to make. There was a deliberate creative decision early on to put the “gross-out” humor in the film as a way of defining the main character – he is a monster after all. Part of the Disney formula is to have the “hero who changes from bad to nice” never really do anything bad in the first place. The Beast from ‘Beauty and the Beast’ really didn’t do anything beastly except look like a buffalo. Since the goal of ‘Shrek’ was to break out of the Disney formula, what better way than to have an ogre actually act like an ogre? Disney is also trying to break out of the formula with ‘Atlantis’, but it has chosen to do it with violence. There are a lot of deaths in this film and it will be interesting to see how that goes over with the public.

    On the other box office game, rumor has it that Eisner has upped the ante on the opening weekend for ‘Pearl Harbor’. He wants between $110 and $120 million; he’d be really happy for it to be $135 million so he could claim that the movie made back its production cost the first weekend (movie finances don’t work that way but he thinks it will make great PR for the Wall Street types that know any better). The Hollywood buzz is that ‘Pearl’ will open huge because of the all the marketing, but fade very quickly at the box office due to its limited “repeat viewing appeal” and expected lukewarm word of mouth. Early reviews should be out in the middle of the week. And because I know better, I’m not going to say a thing…
     
  10. All Aboard

    All Aboard Por favor mantengan se alejado de las puertas

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    Shrek seems to have used Dinosaur's success formula from last year. Open the weekend before Memorial Day, get good word of mouth and repeat the performance on the holiday weekend. Dinosaur did $38m opening and followed with a $42m weekend over the holiday. I suspect that Shrek, too, beats its opening numbers.

    We saw Shrek Friday night and absolutely loved it. I thought my wife my be turned off by the "potty" humor, but to my surprise she saw through it to the incredibly witty and irreverant humor. The performances were great. (Sounds odd for an animated, but they really seemed like performances.) Murphy one-upped his Mushu work with this one.

    I was nearly on the floor during the Robin Hood scene, as well as the closing "I'm a Believer" number. Terribly funny stuff.
     
  11. degenerationxwwfwdw1

    degenerationxwwfwdw1 DIS Veteran

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    Talking about comparing Dinosaur to Shrek in box office revenue is kinda wierd. When Dinosaur came out it was seen as sort of a dissapointment but Shrek (only a slightly bigger opening) seems to be a huge money maker. I personally think that Disney's last two big animated films (Dinosaur and Emperor's New Groove) have been extremely under rated. And from the looks of things Shrek will get Dreamworks the coveted #2 Animated Studio In The World Award:D .
     
  12. JustBob

    JustBob Mouseketeer

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    I really think the fact that I didn't really care for Shrek is as much style as anything. I have noticed with the Dreamworks computer stuff (antz and Shrek) that the lighting is more muted, the subject matter is a bit darker (or perhaps not as "sunny"?) and the scripts seem to pander a bit more to the moment. Lots of topical references that might cause a film to become dated quickly (like the end of "Sword in the Stone").
    I'm sure there are plenty of holes in my argument, but I'm just going with my gut feeling.

    It is rather interesting that Dinosaur was perceived as a disappointment and Shrek so far is wildly successful.

    Also, I wonder if Shrek plays better in LA with its more cynical tone?


    "DreamWorks has gas, Disney has class" ;)
     
  13. Another Voice

    Another Voice Charter Member of The Element

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    To understand the difference between ‘Shrek’ and ‘Dinosaur’, you need to look at more than just the opening weekend’s box office. First, the reviews for ‘Shrek’ have been very good to excellent; the reviews for ‘Dinosaur’ were tepid to very poor. Generally, a well reviewed film with a strong opening will continue to do well. A strong movie that is poorly reviewed, like’ The Mummy Returns’, will tend to sink rapidly at the theaters, like – well - ‘The Mummy Returns’. Second, and more important, the mix between families and adults for ‘Shrek’ was about even – the sign of strong film that hit its intended audience. The ratio for ‘Dinosaur’ was much more heavily weighted towards kids meaning that adults weren’t anxious to see the film. For a ‘family film’ to do very well at the box office, it needs to pull in the adult and date-night crowds. That’s why the Disney films from ‘The Little Mermaid’ through ‘The Lion King’ were such big hits – more adults went to see them than kids. I’m not saying it’s a science, but you can usually get a very accurate forecast on a film’s total box office by late Saturday on it’s opening weekend. The next big test for ‘Shrek’ will be it’s fall-off next weekend. If its box office is around the $30 million mark, the film will labeled a big hit. If I remember right, the box office for ‘Dinosaur’ sank more than 50% after its first weekend (adjusted for the three day holiday).

    As for Dreamworks #2 award, the buzz in Hollywood is that they’ve already overtaken Disney. Not only is ‘Shrek’ set to be a top hit of the summer, Disney’s ‘Atlantis’ is expected to sink faster than its namesake. The buzz is already building for Dreamworks’ traditionally animated feature for next year – done by many of the people who worked on ‘Lion King’ and ‘Hunchback’. Another computer-animated film (about elephants) is already in production. Disney, meanwhile, has already announced that it’s cutting Feature Animation staff by 30% in the next two months and that all animators will take pay cuts of up to 50%. You can see the line of cars driving down Riverside Drive from Disney’s Animation Building to the Dreamworks Animation campus in Glendale. Several high level ‘defections’ are anticipated. Eisner’s also abandoned the one-feature-a-year rule as a cost savings measure and nothing’s been announced beyond ‘Treasure Planet’ (which is rumored to be in trouble). In the next year, Disney will spend more on made-for-video sequels and feature-length version of animated TV shows than it will on its traditional animated features.

    Boy, I really hope ‘Dumbo 2’ is a really great film…

    P.S. You’re right about ‘Shrek’ dating very quickly. The ‘Matrix’ sequence is already passé.
     
  14. DisneyFanGuy

    DisneyFanGuy Disney Nut

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    Dumbo 2, Bambi Goes to College, The Return of Snow White, Alladin 4: Jafar's Ghost........

    Who has class?

    I fully understand cost cutting measures, however, the strategies that rebuilt Disney are slowly falling by the wayside.

    Oh well.
     
  15. JustBob

    JustBob Mouseketeer

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    Thanks for the intelligent discussion - I can't disagree with well stated arguments, but even so, the movie was not my cup of tea.

    "Dreamworks has gas, Disney has class.":D
     
  16. tiggerstheman1

    tiggerstheman1 Earning My Ears

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    I've been searching for the reason behind my feeling that Disney is making a mistake here, or at least rushing to judgement. Your statement made it all clear.

    The problem is that Disney management has forgotten what got them where they are, or at least it seems. When they were down it was because management felt that protecting the Disney name was so important that they didn't try and add value to it. Rather, they sat on their hands and thought the world would come and throw money at their feet. Eisner/Wells came in and started making use of the assets - and adding value to them. The company flourished.

    Now, sans Wells, the management team seems to be suffering from "bunker mentality". They are not agressively looking 15-20 years ahead and building value that will last. They seem to be building value for the next year/quarter.

    I hope Pearl Harbor is a smash and is THE movie to see this summer. Disney's never been a studio about making blockbuster-budget pictures, but they've also passed on many blockbuster-revenue pictures in the process.

    Disney used to take risks. Now they seem so risk-averse that they are running into the obstacle they wish to avoid. Looking at that which you wish to avoid is the surest way of running into it. Disney management needs to stop spending so much time/money/effort trying to avoid every pitfall and return to the mentality of creating greatness.

    I know this is somewhat of a stream of conciousness, but, what the hey, it's the Internet!
     
  17. tiggerstheman1

    tiggerstheman1 Earning My Ears

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    I've been searching for the reason behind my feeling that Disney is making a mistake here, or at least rushing to judgement. Your statement made it all clear.

    The problem is that Disney management has forgotten what got them where they are, or at least it seems. When they were down it was because management felt that protecting the Disney name was so important that they didn't try and add value to it. Rather, they sat on their hands and thought the world would come and throw money at their feet. Eisner/Wells came in and started making use of the assets - and adding value to them. The company flourished.

    Now, sans Wells, the management team seems to be suffering from "bunker mentality". They are not agressively looking 15-20 years ahead and building value that will last. They seem to be building value for the next year/quarter.

    I hope Pearl Harbor is a smash and is THE movie to see this summer. Disney's never been a studio about making blockbuster-budget pictures, but they've also passed on many blockbuster-revenue pictures in the process.

    Disney used to take risks. Now they seem so risk-averse that they are running into the obstacle they wish to avoid. Looking at that which you wish to avoid is the surest way of running into it. Disney management needs to stop spending so much time/money/effort trying to avoid every pitfall and return to the mentality of creating greatness.

    I know this is somewhat of a stream of conciousness, but, what the hey, it's the Internet!
     
  18. ScroogesNephew

    ScroogesNephew "Even in THIS world, it is the stupidist children

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    It is rumored that passing gas is ALWAYS funny, whether on screen or for real. I guess you'd have to check with ANY kid (no matter what age) to verify that. Let's hear it for beans. BRRRAAAAAPPPPP . . .
     
  19. Spaceman Spiff

    Spaceman Spiff one by one, cleaning the universal boards of riff-

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  20. kellymonaghan

    kellymonaghan <a href="http://www.wdwinfo.com/dis-sponsor/index.

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    As the great H.L. Mencken said: "No one ever went broke underestimating the taste of the American public."
     
  21. Another Voice

    Another Voice Charter Member of The Element

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    By the way, if anyone is interested in a vastly better way of "updating" fairy tales, find a copy of Steven Sondheim's 'Into The Woods'. A filmed version of the stage play is available for both VHS and DVD.

    It interweaves Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood and many other fairy tales. It is a very intellgient and adult show - adult not because of sex or violence, but in tone and storyline. The first half is played for laughs, the second half becomes serious and very moving. The last time you hear the words "Once upon a time" will change how you listen to that phrase for the rest of your life.

    Disney and Henson had optioned this play to turn it into a movie. It fell victim to the troubles between the two companies after the passing of Jim Henson. If either Disney or Dreamworks want to do a serious "updating" of the fairy tale tradition that does not depend on either fart jokes or Top 40 soundtracks - this is the story they should follow.
     

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