Sunday, March 11, 2012

Making Traditional Affordable

The Secret World of Arrietty - Budget: $23 million. Gross: $143,925,084

I don't understand why major animation studios don't make cheaper traditionally animated films. I was thinking about the worldwide gross of Arrietty and how, paired with a $23 million budget, its $143 million gross is a huge success for Studio Ghibli. Traditional animation can be done cheaper and faster (but not necessarily worse!) with today's technology than ever before.
I don't see any reason not to put out animated films in the $20-30 million range. If it makes up its budget, then that's ok. But if it's a runaway success and brings in big money on a small investment then great! If it bombs but is still critically acclaimed, there may be some reward later on during award season.
I don't understand the mindset that all the chips have to be bet on a $200 million CG extravaganza every year.

Puss In Boots Budget: $130 million plus a crap ton of marketing
I'm not making the case that traditional animation should be revived from a rosy, nostalgic point of view, but strictly as a business decision that makes sense.
Give artists the opportunity to make films that don't have to appeal to the widest demographic; to make films that aren't huge spectacles and are instead more subtle and thematic. Sure, still have your major releases, but also have one or two of these smaller films released throughout the year. Why not?

Ponyo Budget: $34 million. Gross: $202,614,288

The Illusionist Budget: $17 million. It bombed but was critically acclaimed.

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