Friday, September 18, 2009
"9" = not a bad little money maker
"9" had its brief stand as the only animated feature in theaters last week. This week Sony's Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs lands at your local cine-plex. "9" opened on an odd day (a Wednesday), but take away the few extra days and it's first weekend did a tidy little $10mil. So the film will probably yield in the $35-40mil range domestically, probably another $30-40 over seas. Add in home video and such and I think the producers have a nice little return on investment brewing. It's not an empire making block buster like Shrek or Ice Age, but it'll be a decent little money maker. Which is not a bad thing. "9" is not your typical animated film. Whether you like the film or not (and it has had some mixed reviews) the fact that it hasn't been an absolute bomb like Delgo or Battle for Terra is a good thing. Like those other films, "9" veers from some pretty well established patterns for success in animated fare. This will hopefully embolden other producers to be willing to green light projects that stretch the boundaries of the animated feature film market. The world will always make room for the big boys' stuff (well, until they don't), but I think as time goes by the broad viability of the feature marketplace will rest more and more with the second and third tier offerings.