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(Onion AV Club)   Disney's biggest animated box office bombs. Yes, even the biggest name in entertainment has produced some duds   (avclub.com) divider line
    More: Fail, Film, animated film, Animation, box office, coming weeks, generally positive reviews, Theatre, Strange World  
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3411 clicks; posted to Entertainment » on 04 Dec 2022 at 6:05 AM (9 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



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2022-12-04 2:02:18 AM  
It's a damn shame that The Sword in the Stone and The Black Cauldron were not more popular.

/Remember having the Black Cauldron computer game for our Tandy 1000 when I was a kid.
//Good times.
 
2022-12-04 3:40:10 AM  
Funny definition of "bombs" by movie-making standards, quite a few of these delivered a profit to the studio and even those that didn't did okay at the box office even if the studio didn't recoup.
 
2022-12-04 5:03:56 AM  
That's a trolltastic list.
 
2022-12-04 5:13:45 AM  
The Black Cauldron had no idea what it wanted to be. Too scary for little kids. Too corny for bigger kids.
 
2022-12-04 5:29:26 AM  

Mr. Coffee Nerves: The Black Cauldron had no idea what it wanted to be. Too scary for little kids. Too corny for bigger kids.


IIRC, I didn't watch it until I was in college, and I definitely enjoyed it.

Of course, that was likely due to my fondness for the PC game I mentioned earlier.
 
2022-12-04 6:50:51 AM  
Pinocchio was unfinished due to budget problems, and remains so to this day. I was an adult re-watching it with my own child before I noticed this.
 
2022-12-04 6:52:14 AM  

Aussie_As: Funny definition of "bombs" by movie-making standards, quite a few of these delivered a profit to the studio and even those that didn't did okay at the box office even if the studio didn't recoup.


And many of them went on to do great business in re-release, on TV, and eventually in home distribution on tape, disc, and now streaming. I guess technically some of them are bombs but few of them are "duds".
 
2022-12-04 7:29:44 AM  

Aussie_As: Funny definition of "bombs" by movie-making standards, quite a few of these delivered a profit to the studio and even those that didn't did okay at the box office even if the studio didn't recoup.


A movie has to make about 150% to 200% of its budget, depending on how much they spend on marketing and what deal they made with the theaters to break even.
 
2022-12-04 7:43:48 AM  
Mars Needs Moms

Budget    $150 million
Box office    $39.2 million
 
2022-12-04 7:51:29 AM  
Original Tron is all I need.
 
2022-12-04 7:54:03 AM  
Bleeding edge movies sometimes take a while to catch on.
 
2022-12-04 7:58:42 AM  

Mugato: Aussie_As: Funny definition of "bombs" by movie-making standards, quite a few of these delivered a profit to the studio and even those that didn't did okay at the box office even if the studio didn't recoup.

A movie has to make about 150% to 200% of its budget, depending on how much they spend on marketing and what deal they made with the theaters to break even.


This is mostly true in the modern era and certainly true of big-budget movies. Back in the day marketing for a mid-budget movie might have comprised a trailer shown during the Coming Attractions, a lobby poster, and some stories planted in the press.
 
2022-12-04 8:13:13 AM  
Nearly every movie on that list made a shiat load of money on theatrical rereleases and later home video.
 
2022-12-04 8:15:44 AM  

HugeMistake: Mugato: Aussie_As: Funny definition of "bombs" by movie-making standards, quite a few of these delivered a profit to the studio and even those that didn't did okay at the box office even if the studio didn't recoup.

A movie has to make about 150% to 200% of its budget, depending on how much they spend on marketing and what deal they made with the theaters to break even.

This is mostly true in the modern era and certainly true of big-budget movies. Back in the day marketing for a mid-budget movie might have comprised a trailer shown during the Coming Attractions, a lobby poster, and some stories planted in the press.


And TV spots and radio commercials.  I don't think it was all that different aside from the internet for most of these.

Hollywood accounting is a mess anyway.
 
2022-12-04 8:36:08 AM  
Or that panda one they dumped all their production losses on.
 
2022-12-04 8:52:02 AM  

edmo: That's a trolltastic list.


Right. All of the old 40's and 50's films have been rereleased a dozen times which has both made a ton of essentially free money for Disney and cemented their reputations as "classics".
 
2022-12-04 8:53:51 AM  
It wasn't the list, but I though Brother Bear was a huge flop...which I loved.
Told a better bear transformation story than Brave.
 
2022-12-04 8:55:29 AM  
Meanwhile the list of live action flops would probably be way more expensive sequels and badly thought out concepts from the 70s-90s.
 
2022-12-04 8:58:23 AM  

Mr. Coffee Nerves: The Black Cauldron had no idea what it wanted to be. Too scary for little kids. Too corny for bigger kids.


I read the books as a kid.  Can't remember a damn thing about them now, while I remember at least a rough outline of almost every other book I've read.  I have to assume the story was lacking something before it was adapted to screen and animated.
 
2022-12-04 9:03:57 AM  

Unsung_Hero: Mr. Coffee Nerves: The Black Cauldron had no idea what it wanted to be. Too scary for little kids. Too corny for bigger kids.

I read the books as a kid.  Can't remember a damn thing about them now, while I remember at least a rough outline of almost every other book I've read.  I have to assume the story was lacking something before it was adapted to screen and animated.


...if you are relying on your admittedly faulty memory, the. how do you know there weren't other books you have totally forgotten?
 
2022-12-04 9:11:36 AM  
Treasure Planet, what can I say. There's nothing particularly "wrong" with it, per-se. I think it just doesn't get past bland. All the heavy lifting is done by Brian Murray's voice work as Long John Silver. Everyone other voice work just fades into noise. Another problem was how the Jim Hawkins character was written like such a tool
 
2022-12-04 9:13:28 AM  

docmattic: Unsung_Hero: Mr. Coffee Nerves: The Black Cauldron had no idea what it wanted to be. Too scary for little kids. Too corny for bigger kids.

I read the books as a kid.  Can't remember a damn thing about them now, while I remember at least a rough outline of almost every other book I've read.  I have to assume the story was lacking something before it was adapted to screen and animated.

...if you are relying on your admittedly faulty memory, the. how do you know there weren't other books you have totally forgotten?


I still have them and see the spines once in a while.  I've kept every book I ever had that's targeted at an audience at or above age 10.  Black Cauldron's at the bottom of that range, but it's there.
 
2022-12-04 9:15:38 AM  
I didn't run the slideshow, but of the five on the first page, I've never heard of any of them. I must admit, I don't bother with movies much.
 
2022-12-04 9:19:20 AM  

natazha: I didn't run the slideshow, but of the five on the first page, I've never heard of any of them. I must admit, I don't bother with movies much.


That isn't bait.
 
amb
2022-12-04 9:28:56 AM  
Maybe I missed it, but I am surprised that a bunch of nutjobs isn't protesting "Strange World". We saw it on Black Friday. It has a lot of themes that usually trigger some groups to protest a film.
 
2022-12-04 9:29:09 AM  

Mugato: HugeMistake: Mugato: Aussie_As: Funny definition of "bombs" by movie-making standards, quite a few of these delivered a profit to the studio and even those that didn't did okay at the box office even if the studio didn't recoup.

A movie has to make about 150% to 200% of its budget, depending on how much they spend on marketing and what deal they made with the theaters to break even.

This is mostly true in the modern era and certainly true of big-budget movies. Back in the day marketing for a mid-budget movie might have comprised a trailer shown during the Coming Attractions, a lobby poster, and some stories planted in the press.

And TV spots and radio commercials.  I don't think it was all that different aside from the internet for most of these.

Hollywood accounting is a mess anyway.


ITYWF that TV spots were only for high end movies way back in the day.

But yes, Hollywood accounting is designed to ensure that there is no "net" profit, and you can hide a lot of sins under "marketing".

Q: What does an executive producer do?
A: He gets points on the gross.
 
2022-12-04 9:39:03 AM  

HugeMistake: Mugato: Aussie_As: Funny definition of "bombs" by movie-making standards, quite a few of these delivered a profit to the studio and even those that didn't did okay at the box office even if the studio didn't recoup.

A movie has to make about 150% to 200% of its budget, depending on how much they spend on marketing and what deal they made with the theaters to break even.

This is mostly true in the modern era and certainly true of big-budget movies. Back in the day marketing for a mid-budget movie might have comprised a trailer shown during the Coming Attractions, a lobby poster, and some stories planted in the press.


Also pre-1948 movie studios could own their own theatres. So back then more of the profit eventually made its way back to the studio.
 
2022-12-04 9:40:44 AM  

amb: Maybe I missed it, but I am surprised that a bunch of nutjobs isn't protesting "Strange World". We saw it on Black Friday. It has a lot of themes that usually trigger some groups to protest a film.


It seems that people may be "protesting" it by simply not going to see it.
 
2022-12-04 9:49:00 AM  

amb: Maybe I missed it, but I am surprised that a bunch of nutjobs isn't protesting "Strange World". We saw it on Black Friday. It has a lot of themes that usually trigger some groups to protest a film.


Never heard of it. Lots of gay sex?
 
2022-12-04 10:15:58 AM  
It'll be sad when Disney fails

/oh wait
 
2022-12-04 10:16:23 AM  
The Sword in the Stone is the first movie I ever saw in a theater. I was a little kid. I don't remember any particulars about the movie, but I do remember that I loved it.
 
2022-12-04 10:19:18 AM  

HugeMistake: Mugato: HugeMistake: Mugato: Aussie_As: Funny definition of "bombs" by movie-making standards, quite a few of these delivered a profit to the studio and even those that didn't did okay at the box office even if the studio didn't recoup.

A movie has to make about 150% to 200% of its budget, depending on how much they spend on marketing and what deal they made with the theaters to break even.

This is mostly true in the modern era and certainly true of big-budget movies. Back in the day marketing for a mid-budget movie might have comprised a trailer shown during the Coming Attractions, a lobby poster, and some stories planted in the press.

And TV spots and radio commercials.  I don't think it was all that different aside from the internet for most of these.

Hollywood accounting is a mess anyway.

ITYWF that TV spots were only for high end movies way back in the day.

But yes, Hollywood accounting is designed to ensure that there is no "net" profit, and you can hide a lot of sins under "marketing".

Q: What does an executive producer do?
A: He gets points on the gross.


and catering, lighting, makeup, costumes, etc etc etc.

It's almost like Hollyweird is mobbed up.

No movie in history has ever netted a profit.
 
2022-12-04 10:27:09 AM  

HugeMistake: But yes, Hollywood accounting is designed to ensure that there is no "net" profit,


The really big movie stars....Tom Cruise, Jennifer Lawrence, Frank Stallone, have wised up and get a portion of the gross, not the net.
 
2022-12-04 10:30:21 AM  
Walt had the right idea: Release the animated movies every 7 years therefore guaranteeing there would be a new generation of kids to see them. As a teen I worked at a local theater (the Victoria) and every Xmas Day they would run a Disney animation. The parents would get a break from hyperactive kids and we would have about 1,000 of them at the show.
 
2022-12-04 10:33:44 AM  

Lee451: Walt had the right idea: Release the animated movies every 7 years therefore guaranteeing there would be a new generation of kids to see them. As a teen I worked at a local theater (the Victoria) and every Xmas Day they would run a Disney animation. The parents would get a break from hyperactive kids and we would have about 1,000 of them at the show.


That's how it used to be everywhere. I grew up in the 70s and 80s and saw every single Disney film in the theater (including Song of the South around 1980). I was pretty little when I saw Black Cauldron (and also The Black Hole). Kids need some mildly traumatic experiences when growing up.
 
2022-12-04 10:36:57 AM  
Saved you a click.
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2022-12-04 10:37:38 AM  
John Carter is missing from this list.

Budget: $306.6 million
Box office: $284.1 million
 
2022-12-04 10:43:35 AM  

Mugato: amb: Maybe I missed it, but I am surprised that a bunch of nutjobs isn't protesting "Strange World". We saw it on Black Friday. It has a lot of themes that usually trigger some groups to protest a film.

Never heard of it. Lots of gay sex?


No. Gay teenage main character has gay boyfriend.
 
2022-12-04 10:46:28 AM  

dbeshear: John Carter is missing from this list.

Budget: $306.6 million
Box office: $284.1 million


That's a serious omission. The animation was so good I swore I was watching a live-action movie.
 
2022-12-04 10:56:09 AM  
Sleeping Beauty is my fave because it has a dragon, I love dragons! Was sad when they killed it.

Bambi was def the film WW2 audiences needed, it was perfect for Japan when it was finally released there, and was a huge FU to Hitler because Bambi was written by a Jewish author and all copies were burned in Nazi controlled nations.

Sometimes, you do need to see the historical context to appreciate the films
 
2022-12-04 11:01:16 AM  

HugeMistake: Pinocchio was unfinished due to budget problems, and remains so to this day. I was an adult re-watching it with my own child before I noticed this.


explain
 
2022-12-04 11:03:20 AM  

Mugato: HugeMistake: But yes, Hollywood accounting is designed to ensure that there is no "net" profit,

The really big movie stars....Tom Cruise, Jennifer Lawrence, Frank Stallone, have wised up and get a portion of the gross, not the net.


i.imgur.comView Full Size
 
2022-12-04 11:04:16 AM  
Archimedes from Sword In The Stone was an OG Farker. Smart but grumpy with the correct amount of misanthropy.
 
2022-12-04 11:11:44 AM  

EnderWiggnz: No movie in history has ever netted a profit.


James Cameron once said that Titanic made so much money even Hollywood accountants couldn't figure out a way to keep it in the red. And was after they charged the production for the entire cost of building a Mexican studio.
 
2022-12-04 11:21:21 AM  

moothemagiccow: HugeMistake: Pinocchio was unfinished due to budget problems, and remains so to this day. I was an adult re-watching it with my own child before I noticed this.

explain


Geppetto couldn't afford a lathe.  So, he could never could make the rod that would actually make Pinocchio a real boy.
 
2022-12-04 11:22:24 AM  
Thanks to the Digital Millenium Copyright Act, written by Disney executives, everything Disney created in the last century has made a ton of money and will continue doing so.  Did they have a few bombs on the way?  Sure, but prior to 2010 or so they sold lots of those bad movies and shows by DVD and their television/streaming networks so those are also continuing to generate revenue.
Then you have the theme parks which are also very profitable and contribute to the consumerism based cult that is Disney.
Small movie makers who lose a lot of money at the box office are doomed though as they don't have the additional distribution and profit sharing between the fully integrated corporate business units like Disney.
I think it's actually hard for Disney to actually lose money on their investments long term.
 
2022-12-04 11:22:47 AM  

OhioUGrad: It'll be sad when Disney fails

/oh wait


Less than a week back on the job, somebody asked Iger if he was going to sell the whole company to Apple.
 
2022-12-04 11:23:17 AM  

Gooch: Mugato: amb: Maybe I missed it, but I am surprised that a bunch of nutjobs isn't protesting "Strange World". We saw it on Black Friday. It has a lot of themes that usually trigger some groups to protest a film.

Never heard of it. Lots of gay sex?

No. Gay teenage main character has gay boyfriend.


Figured. DeSantis will have something new to scream about. When he's done beating off to the film.
 
2022-12-04 11:28:07 AM  
...Fantasia 2000 is a joy, every bit as much as the first one.  The Rhapsody in Blue and The Carnival of the Animals are two of the best animation bits that Disney ever did.
 
2022-12-04 11:44:46 AM  
My favorite partially-animated lost Disney film that's not on the list is Professor McGinty and the Haunted Clock (1983), a weird little story about a madcap professor who is trying to get to the bottom of the murder of a clown in the town of Chesterfieldshire, England. Some of the ideals they expressed in the film were badly outdated, even in 1983, and so Disney made the movie disappear into the Disney Vault, never to return. I saw it in a local drive-in theater in 1983. They say a VHS copy exists, which is presumably where these stills came from, but I've never found it. Either way, if you like Disney movies with an extra helping of sexism, murder, and gallows humor aimed at the adults in the audience, you should check it out if you ever luck upon a copy of it in some dark resale shop.

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