The Good Dinosaur
|Budget: $200 million (estimated)||Financed by: Disney|
|Domestic Gross: $123,087,120||Domestic Distributor: Disney|
|Overseas Gross: $209,120,551||
Directed by: Peter Sohn
Produced by: Denise Ream
The Good Dinosaur marks Pixar’s sixteenth film and their first flop. Pixar is no stranger to replacing directors and expensive retooling while in production, but The Good Dinosaur‘s prolonged six year fight to the big screen cost at least $200 million and had a worldwide P&A spend of about $150 million. In September 2013, Disney delayed the planned May 30, 2014 release until November 25, 2015 to rework the story, replace director Bob Peterson and recast most of the actors providing voice work. The replacement of Peterson with Peter Sohn, was the fourth time Pixar fired a director mid-way through production. Ratatouille, Cars 2 and Brave all had their original directors canned.
Disney positioned the animated pic as a Thanksgiving opener and had trouble drumming up the same type of hype as most of Pixar’s output, even after sneak peaks of the movie at Disney World, Disney Land and on their cruise lines — as well as a television marketing blitz across the many stations owned by ABC. There were cross promotional tie-ins with Subway, Barnes & Noble, SunMaid and dozens more, college campus tours with Pixar artists and tons of effort and money spent and high audience awareness of The Good Dinosaur. It opened against Creed and another delayed holiday turkey Victor Frankenstein. The film came in slightly below expectations over the five day holiday frame with $55,455,687 ($39,155,217 for the weekend), placing #2 behind The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2. Disney had high hopes that it would play well throughout the upcoming christmas/new year frames, but it tumbled a steep 60.9% to $15,323,958 over the following weekend. The film’s estimated domestic final cume lowered to $140 million after the second frame drop, but even that was too optimistic and it closed with $123,087,120.
Overseas, The Good Dinosaur performed far below Pixar’s recent releases and pulled in $208.6 million. Reports indicated that Disney was trying to position a China release before the US opening to beat the blackout period, but that never materialized and it never landed a China release. With its $332.2 million worldwide gross, Disney would see back about $182.7 million, covering their massive P&A spend, but little of the budget. Even as a huge write down for the mouse house, The Good Dinosaur‘s loss was never reported in their quarter earnings, which the film division saw mountains of cash from some movie called Star Wars: The Force Awakens.