The Ongoing High Wire Act

The Ongoing High Wire Act: From TheWrap:

“Rise of the Guardians” is projected to lose $50 million for DreamWorks Animation, an executive with knowledge of the movie’s projections told TheWrap.

The company’s stock hit a 52-week low on Monday, but closed Tuesday up slightly at $16.52.

A spokeswoman for DreamWorks Animation declined to comment on the projected loss for “Rise of the Guardians.” …

“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,” he wrote. “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.” …

Here’s the deal: There is never a “floor” for a movie, animated CG feature or otherwise. If people want to see it, they will. If not, not.

There may be some sort of built-in audience for a sequel, since that has tended to be the historical norm. But if a given motion picture fails to deliver what ticket buyers seek, the ticket buyers stay away.

It’s that simple.

Rise of the Guardians has much to recommend it, but holiday-themed pictures can often be dicey propositions. As it was wth Chris Meledandri’s Hop, so might it be with Guardians. (As one artist said to me last week: I think maybe films about Santa have worn out their welcome.”)

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