Teacher's Pet

Budget: $10 million Financed by: Disney
Domestic Gross: $6,491,969 Domestic Distributor: Disney
Overseas Gross: $0
Directed by: Timothy Björklund
Nathan Lane
Produced by: Stephen Swofford

teacher's pet box officeDisney financed this big screen spinoff of their television program of the same name for a modest $10 million and Disney was phasing out traditional animation as Teacher’s Pet was in production.  The mouse house laid off 50 animators in Orlando in 2003, shuttered its Paris animation studio and closed its animation house in Tokyo, laying off more than 100 people.  In addition to the layoffs, Disney had been cutting animators’ salaries by as much as 50%.  A few days before Teacher’s Pet was released Disney closed down the Florida animation branch and scrapped their in-progress feature A Few Good Ghosts.  After being shuffled around the release calendar, Teacher’s Pet opened on January 16 with positive reviews but was dead on arrival with $2,461,252 in 2,027 theaters.  It placed #13 for the weekend led by Along Came Polly and the dud Torque also bowed.  After posting one of the worst wide release numbers on record, Teacher’s Pet declined 42% the following weekend to $1,427,679 and its theater count dropped to 640 going into its third weekend and it declined 73% to $386,110.  Teacher’s Pet left theaters with only $6,491,969 leaving Disney with about $3.5 million after theaters take their percentage of the gross, which would not put a dent in their modest P&A costs.  Disney released the film straight to video or television overseas.  In April, Disney released their expensive hand drawn flop Home On The Range and traditional animation took a hiatus at Disney until 2009’s The Princess and the Frog.