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Film Release Dates

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  • Film Release Dates

    I've been thinking about this one off and on for a while, but this weekend's release of "The Shaggy Dog", right on the heels of "Eight Below", got me wondering: What is Dick Cook and the rest of WDS thinking? It seems like the studio has a knack for strangling its own movies by releasing another movie right on top of that is aiming for the same audience.

    During it's second and third weekends, "Eight Below" dropped a very modest 20% and 36%, respectively, each weekend finishing in the top 3. It's very clearly a sleeper hit, and had the potential to keep going. This weekend, it is projected to drop nearly 50% and finish at #6. Is there any question that "Eight Below" would have performed better if it didn't have to compete against "The Shaggy Dog" this weekend? It seems like Disney shot itself in the foot. They have a movie that is performing well, with great word-of-mouth, and they go and cannibalize its audience instead of giving it a couple of more weeks to breathe.

    They have done this before, particularly with holiday releases. They released "Brother Bear" on November 1, 2003. They had clearly abandoned it at this point. Three weeks later they release "Haunted Mansion", which has a much more muscular marketing campaign. However, BB was exceeding expectations. It was holding up pretty well and got some decent reviews. But them HM comes along and kills it by sucking up the family audience. The irony: at the end of the day BB outgrossed HM -- $85 million vs. $75 million. Would BB have done better had HM not come along? We'll never know. Any thoughts?
    Last edited by Doopey1; 03-12-2006, 04:49 PM.
    "I'm working on changing Hollywood...at the studio that fired me twice."
    --John Lasseter


  • #2
    Re: Film Release Dates

    Originally posted by Doopey1
    I've been thinking about this one off and on for a while, but this weekend's release of "The Shaggy Dog", right on the heels of "Eight Below", got me wondering: What is Dick Cook and the rest of WDS thinking? It seems like the studio has a knack for strangling its own movies by releasing another movie right on top of that is aiming for the same audience.

    During it's second and third weekends, "Eight Below" dropped a very modest 20% and 36%, respectively, each weekend finishing in the top 3. It's very clearly a sleeper hit, and has the This weekend, it is projected to drop nearly 50% and finish at #6. Is there any question that "Eight Below" would have performed better if it didn't have to compete against "The Shaggy Dog" this weekend? It seems like Disney shot itself in the foot. They have a movie that is performing well, with great word-of-mouth, and they go and cannibalize its audience instead of giving it a couple of more weeks to breathe.

    They have done this before, particularly with holiday releases. They released "Brother Bear" on November 1, 2003. They had clearly abandoned it at this point. Three weeks later they release "Haunted Mansion", which has a much more muscular marketing campaign. However, BB was exceeding expectations. It was holding up pretty well and got some decent reviews. But them HM comes along and kills it by sucking up the family audience. The irony: at the end of the day BB outgrossed HM -- $85 million vs. $75 million. Would BB have done better had HM not come along? We'll never know. Any thoughts?
    "Eight Below" and "The Shaggy Dog" are seen and thus promoted as very different films (PG action/adventure vs. family comedy). However both do represent what Disney does best, provide family entertainment. The audiences looking for these type of options will probably see both of these films. Kids and Moms drive these choices usually during first and second weekend.

    Glad you brought up the "Brother Bear" and "Haunted Mansion" comparison. The Eddie Murphy contractually-obligated promotion for the latter film did draw resources away from a good film. Thankfully however not dollars at the box office or video sales. The conventional wisdom is that a big name star will be an automatic draw and sometimes elevate a lesser product, unfortunately it's just not always the case.
    "If you don't know how to draw, you don't belong in this building" - John Lasseter 2006

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    • #3
      Re: Film Release Dates

      They're both rated PG, both feature dogs, and both carry the Disney label. Now I obviously get that one is an adventure and one is a comedy, but i don't think the audience is all that different.
      "I'm working on changing Hollywood...at the studio that fired me twice."
      --John Lasseter

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      • #4
        Re: Film Release Dates

        Originally posted by Doopey1
        They're both rated PG, both feature dogs, and both carry the Disney label. Now I obviously get that one is an adventure and one is a comedy, but i don't think the audience is all that different.
        Right...
        ^ The audiences looking for these type of options will probably see both of these films.

        Similar product. Similar overall audience makeup. Disposable income dollars coming to the same place - Disney.
        "If you don't know how to draw, you don't belong in this building" - John Lasseter 2006

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        • #5
          Re: Film Release Dates

          Originally posted by ALIASd
          Right...
          ^ The audiences looking for these type of options will probably see both of these films.

          Similar product. Similar overall audience makeup. Disposable income dollars coming to the same place - Disney.
          I have two boys, and neither of them look all that good to me. so we'll just wait for the home run instead of wasting money on singles.

          Of course, a shortage of disposable income also plays a major role in the decision.

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