Friday, April 13, 2007


First, the story:

Cartoon Network tries the big screen again

Will ‘Aqua Teen’ sink or swim in theaters?

Consider whether you’d make the following bet — that an animated, talking meatball can be a movie star.

Atlanta’s Cartoon Network is taking just that gamble with a film based on “Aqua Teen Hunger Force,” an odd but successful cable TV show.

Network execs think their weird little movie will make money, in part because DVDs of previous “Aqua Teen” TV seasons have a good track record. The movie also cost so little to make — about $1 million — that it should be easy to recoup costs.

Mike Lazzo, who runs Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim operation, said “you’d have to be a moron” not to turn a profit. Then he added, “I may regret saying that.”

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So. Thoughts on the movie that cost a million dollars, has 500, 000 fans and is opening in 800 theaters?

- - - - UPDATE! - - -

So, the movie took in 3 mil for the first weekend.
Three million equals cost of movie PLUS cost of kissing Boston's ass (1 mil plus 2 mil).

I wonder... will this end up being a good decision?


Anonymous said...

Actually, this is the animated version of a Roger Corman film. It should make it's money back in domestic alone and then a little extra in foreign sales, cable, etc. and then gravy in the DVD arena. It should make more than most arthouse films that have a smaller niche audience and have a smaller theater run. From a business point of view it makes sense.

Alex said...

I wonder about the movie. It does have a pretty big fanbase for a cult show, but it's hard to ignore the reviews which have called it "excruciating to sit through." I don't think that will stop the fans, it certainly won't stop me, but I can't see many of the mainstream audience going to see it.

Still, the $1 Million is pretty astounding (though given it's all After Effects animation, I'm surprised it's even that much). It's going to make a profit, so good for them, I suppose.

Matt Wayne said...

Bet they can't do it twice. Theatrical distribution isn't how Roger Corman makes money anymore.

Even if it's a profitable bomb it'll sell worse on DVD than a direct-to-video would have, because the fans will have been burned already and the casual viewers will have heard bad things.

Boy, I seem to be posting a lot! Can you tell I have a deadline?

Anonymous said...

Nope they can't do it twice Matt - they don't need to. But if it is a bomb it won't hurt the DVD sales since it will be scooped up by the folks who already buy the DVD seasons anyway. If it is a success maybe they grow their audience a bit. Semmes a decent risk for the potential returns. Hardly anyone makes profit of domestic box office anymore, but a domestic release helps sell other things as well.

It provides a business model for indies who could do a lot better job with a million dollar production budget. The attitude in Hollywood is that you need to spend 70 million plus to make a hit animated film make you 200 million plus. But many of the same players don't mind investing a few million for a 20 million take, for a live action piece if it has a niche audience or criticaql appeal. Who knows one of those indies could be a big hit. Hoodwinked proved that it can work in animtion.

Steve said...

So far:


Well, 300,000 more than the budget.

Add a 2m fine on top of whatever the marketing budget was.

Thoughts part II?

s.r. hulett said...

With any luck, CN picks up some nice coin.

Steve said...

What would make ME happy is if it did well in Boston, where they freaked for no good reason.