Document details

Get Animated!
Funny Money (Animated Blockbusters .., and what they mean)
John Cawley

Disney's release of THE LITTLE MERMAID in the Fall of 1989 grossed over $83 million at the box office.

It became the highest grossing animated feature on first release in motion picture history. What does that mean?

Oddly, up until the Seventies, it didn't mean much. Though Hollywood was always cost conscious, box office figures were generally in-house matters. For some reason they suddenly became public meters and lighthouses. Films that made a lot of money fast must be good, so more people went to see them. . , and the films made even more money. If a film didn't do "as well as expected," look out!

Such logic is how you end up with such film facts as Disney's new DICK TRACY "flopped" because it only did around $31 million its first weekend. Another one was the report that Steven Spielberg"s THE GOONIES was a financial disaster, only grossing around $70 million! (At the time, no Spielberg film since JAWS had grossed under $100 million.) Sadly, as blockbuster grosses from E.T, and BATMAN get more publicized the public seems shocked at films that merely make money.

But back to animation, THE LITTLE MERMAID, and what grosses mean to animation. Of course the most obvious connection is that films that make money tend to begat similar films. Imitation is more than a sincere form of flattery in Hollywood, it's business as usual. When animation makes big money, everyone is interested in making animation.




Source type Magazine
Volume 87
Language en
Document type Feature
Media type text
Page count 4
Pages pp. 64-67


Id 5794
Availability Lendable
Inserted 2021-02-02