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Box Office Report

‘Ferdinand’ Stumbles At Box Office

Ferdinand, the 12th offering from Fox and Blue Sky Studios, launched second place in the United States with an estimated $13.3 million.

Ferdinand’s unimpressive debut couldn’t have come at a worse time for Blue Sky, whose future will hang in the balance when the Disney-Fox deal is finalized. It is, in fact, the weakest opening ever for Blue Sky, the Greenwich, Connecticut studio which released its first film, Ice Age, in 2002. Its prior weakest-debut had been Ice Age: Collision Course, the fifth film in its most successful franchise, which opened with $21.4 million last year.

Ferdinand’s weak performance could partly be attributed to launching against the latest Star Wars film, which grossed an estimated $220 million, however, that doesn’t fully account for the slow box office. Disney-Pixar’s Coco, by comparison, didn’t suffer at all from Star Wars, and grossed nearly as much as Ferdinand this weekend (around $10 million) despite being in its fourth frame.

In the U.S., Coco reached the $150 million milestone this weekend. With $297.4m from the international box office – including a significant $156m from China – the film’s global box office stands at $448.2m.

GKIDS also launched Birdboy: The Forgotten Children in four U.S. theaters this weekend, picking up $5,684. We will publish an interview shortly with Pedro Rivero and Alberto Vázquez, the directors of the Goya-winning Spanish animated feature currently in contention for an Academy Award nomination.

  • Marc Hendry

    What a shame, it doesn’t LOOK like a bad film or anything.
    It’s been out here in Ireland since the 9th, but you’d never know. I haven’t seen ANY ads for it

    • Bon

      Not bad just kinda sickly sweet and boring… kids want to see Star Wars or avengers more than something like Ferdinand…

    • Dylancaufield1

      Its on the same level of The Star and Boss Baby. To be honest I would had preferred to go see Coco a second time.

  • Blond

    Ok, seriously who had the bright idea to release this during the showing of a Star Wars movie..?
    Really, kids, family and friends are going to see some light saber and star ship action..I don’t even remember seeing any sort of consistent advertisement for Ferdinand…

  • Inkan1969

    This is too bad. I thought that “Ferdinand” was better than most of this year’s wide releases. While it had too many comic relief characters to pad out the movie, it still had a premise with a dark edge, with references to the slaughterhouse and how the bullfights are rigged against the bulls. I hope it has some staying power to wait off the Star Wars glut.

    For people interested in “Birdboy”, GKids now has a website with a theater schedule


    It’s a really tiny schedule, though.

  • Roca

    Any reviews from anyone who’s seen it? At first glance it just looks meh. I would have liked to seen an animation style more in tune with the original storybook, which is a masterpiece of pen-and-ink.

    • Ryan Cullen

      I thought it was a sweet movie that dragged during the mid-section, because the writers clearly had a hard time stretching this out to feature length, so they throw in a lot of comic relief characters and bizarre scenes, like when the bulls have a dance off with some snooty German horses. But, there is a lot of charm to the movie. I loved the voice acting, the characters are cute, and it’s really a big hearted film overall. Not anything great, but in what has been a disappointing year for mainstream animation (in my opinion), I found enough to like to recommend it to family audiences on my movie review blog.

      • RampantLeaf

        I agree about it being a disappointing year for mainstream animated movies. 2015/2016 spoiled us too much.

  • Andres Molina

    Jesus. This does not look good for Blue Sky. It probably would of made double on opening weekend if it didn’t compete with Star Wars.

  • Andres Molina

    What’s scary now is how its poor performance all but foreshadows a better chance of Disney either retooling the entire company completely or even hinting their eventual shutting down or downsizing. If that ends up being the case, Spies in Disguise & Nimona may very well be future Pixar/WDAS projects after all, if not get canned. And let’s not forget all the employees that might be out of a job. What a scary time for Blue Sky.

  • James Wiseman

    Here’s the weekend box office report: http://www.boxofficemojo.com/weekend/chart/?yr=2017&wknd=50&p=.htm

    Ferdinand was the 2nd most popular film this weekend, but it still only made about $13 million dollars. My view: Star Wars took most of the audience. A few folks wanted to see an animated film instead, and their views were split between Coco and Ferdinand.

    While it is good that Ferdinand beat Coco, I’m not sure how this opening will effect overall Ferdinand’s box office performance. Usually it’s hard for a film to recover from a poor opening weekend.

    The Christmas market’s really crowded. While I don’t see any family-oriented films coming out next weekend, Star Wars has nearly universal appeal, and it’s sure to stay at the top for a while. I’m not sure when they should’ve released Ferdinand.

    • Inkan1969

      I have to admit that I normally don’t go to movies on their opening weekend. The main reason I did go to see “Ferdinand” was that it opened in this theater.


      It’s a traditional theater in a small town that I like to support with my money. Further, they have space behind the seats for dining tables, so I could eat my lunch while watching the movie.

    • Brad

      How does opening as the second most popular film that week translate into failure? Does this mean every film has to be a blockbuster?

      • James Wiseman

        “How does opening as the second most popular film that week translate into failure?”
        Usually it doesn’t. In this case however, I’m afraid the box office returns are too small for the film to be considered a success even in 2nd place.

        I meant to point out that Ferdinand was popular in relation to most other films, but Star Wars is a juggernaut which took most of this weekend’s money, and may very well take most of the box office receipts for a few weeks.

        “Does this mean every film has to be a blockbuster?”
        Depends on the film’s budget.

        Merry Christmas! Happy New Year! Happy Hanukkah! Seasons Greetings! And all the Holiday cheer to you and your kin!

  • Capital_7

    I don’t understand. It had the star power of famous comedic actor John Cena!

    • Thalesourus

      … and a remake of a beloved Disney classic that nobody asked to be remade.

      • ランダム アニメーター

        It’s not a remake of Disney’s ‘Ferdinand the Bull’. Rather, it’s based on the same children’s book ‘The Story of Ferdinand’ by American author Munro Leaf the Disney short was based on.

    • Ryan Cullen

      Hey, I thought John Cena did a fantastic voice acting job. Yeah, he’s not the conventional choice for a lead in an animated film, but he really was charming here.

      • Capital_7

        If you liked him in this role, imagine how you would have liked to hear an actual actor in the role.

      • Keen

        Really, non-voice actors are a depressingly conventional choice for animated movies.

    • TheBostonian1991

      Well, he did do a good job, but… he cannot save a movie all by himself.

  • Jonathon Asuna Leafa Richards

    if you open at the same time as Star Wars regardless of who’s starring in your film you are going to lose

  • concerned fan

    for years, blue sky’s had some of the best artists working under the most vanilla leadership. just read the interview with Carlos on CB the other day. He’s a nice guy, but did he say anything creatively interesting?

    at this point a leadership shakeup is necessary for their survival. a shakeup that blue sky/fox wouldn’t have the guts to fully implement if left to its own devices.

    So many artists got their start at blue sky and nobody wants to see it go under. but something needs to change.

  • My name is Rio

    This is nothing but a clear pattern: Movies with farm animals don’t perform that well. Pont in case: Home of the Range, The Star, Ferdinand, Barnyard even Animal Farm despite of the powerful message (profitable is not the same as performance, jic).

    Dear producers of the world: Keep the farm animals at the petting zoo as no one wants to see their dinner act or being silly.

    • GW

      What about Babe and Charlotte’s Web? You’ll have to make an exception for films with pigs as main characters in order to save your argument.

      The reason I had no interest in this film((before the news of 20th Century Fox being bought by Disney) is that it felt like another Rio like rumpus that is an unwelcome mixture of stupid gag lines and boring action.

      • TheBostonian1991

        The latter two were live action/CGI movies. And Babe had the great advantage of having George Miller as its brain.

        • GW

          Actually, I was referring to the older animated version of Charlotte’s Web. It was a modest success but enough to disprove that audiences don’t entirely despise farm animal movies, that is if the main character is a pig. Babe is live action/CG though, you’re right.

          • John Mackerel

            it’s a book that kids in some cases had part of their public education so I believe there was already some familiarity.

            Perhaps they should get the license to do Peppa Pig movie which given it’s popularity would sell no matter how terrible the story…

          • GW

            The public education point is a good one. I hadn’t considered it because I hadn’t read Charlotte’s Web for school and I didn’t know that Babe was based on a book or simply didn’t remember. I really hadn’t thought about it but if I did, the chapters should have been a dead giveaway. But I’d seen a couple films that aren’t based on books that do that. I looked up EB White and found that he’d written for the New Yorker. That probably gave him a lot of publicity for his children’s books that he might not otherwise have gotten.

            I’ve looked up animal novels and it seems that pigs and horses are the most popular farm animals. In animation, Chicken Run was successful so that shows that other animals can appeal to people if given the right movie. I didn’t like it but many people did. I wonder how much of a fictional work based on animals is popularity of the animals, how much is the power of the story, and how much is the advertising or just plain timing.

  • JamScoBal

    It never had a chance. Being released the same time as Star Wars and another animated Spanish related film being out at the same time. This release should have been delayed for a couple of months. It is a real shame that the studio executives had no faith in this film or else it would have been given a better release date. It’s not a bad film either because besides a long dance scene in the middle it really worked for me.

  • Resigned

    Firstly, a movie doesn’t have to be good to win big at the BO, nor a turkey to bomb. From Titanic to Twister to Transformers it’s always about market awareness and utilizing the right release window to exploit it. When Peter Jackson turned Christmas into a mini summer a couple of decades ago, execs discovered that the holidays were a great time to release an animated movie. Ferdinand seems more likely a victim of Fox’s arrogant denial or worse, failure to realize that December is now owned by Star Wars. Still, given what fox “achieved” when they were distributing for DreamWorks, one can never discount simple incompetence.

    Sadly, Ferdinand is actually quite good, so I’m left to imagine how well it might have done in late January, when there’s little to no good content to compete with, and when the descent screens aren’t all being hogged by the big D. I saw Ferdinand on screen 4- on opening weekend. You could fit max 70 people in there. That’s bound to hurt your potential returns.

  • Rob

    Blue Sky reminds me of Dreamworks where they employ some of the most talented artists in the industry, but as a storytelling studio, they essentially have nothing to say. The work is consistently bland and “safe,” if not straight up predictable.

    Endless Ice Age sequels that feel like wallpaper upon announcement.

    Rio was a cute surprise.

    Peanuts was a faithful cover song by the studio, but how much credit can they take when they basically followed the steps Charles Schulz laid for them?

    Epic was just a disaster (I walked out of the theater by the time Steven Tyler started singing)

    As an animator working in the feature film industry myself, it’s really frustrating to see such a creative void in our industry. These “films by committee” are so plastic and hollow, and the audience knows it even if they don’t articulate it.

    Imagine if Blue Sky or Dreamworks had a director who spearheaded the direction of the company the way Miyazaki does with Ghibli? I don’t want Ghibli clones in American CGI necessarily, but just a singular point of vision and passion – a perspective on the world that they break down and explore with their stories. I don’t believe for a second anyone at Blue Sky was like, “You know what story that I just NEED to tell? Ferdinand the bull!”

    • koalay

      Ice Age 1-3 were great. 4 was a disaster. 5 should not have been made. 6? Please don’t let them release a sixth! Although the same could be said about Star Wars and the prequels…

  • Natalia Neuwirth

    My 6 year old loved it and I think it was a really cute movie. John Cena did a pretty decent job, in my opinion.

  • MissSea

    We saw this two days ago. It was … well, adoraBULL. Seriously, I’m surprised it’s not doing better. But, sadly, there’s a lot of moronic parents taking their little ones to a movie (Star Wars) that will really go over most of their heads.

  • TheBostonian1991

    Being released the same week as Star Wars may have been a disastrously insane move, but I think that the closeness of its release with that of Coco might have done it in. Coco has been a critical darling (like the vast majority of Pixar films), and “maybe” Ferdinand’s budget was slightly off the rails (a $110 Million animated movie to face Star Wars? It would need a critical boost). I am hearing some encouraging news from foreign performances, especially France, but bear in mind that the beak-even point is at $222 Million minimum.

  • J

    I heard this movie was fine. The subject matter just didn’t interest me and it wasn’t lowest common denominator enough (despite the trailers) to attract the Boss Baby crowd.

  • koalay

    I saw Ferdinand with my family on its early opening. We were literally the only ones there; it was like having a private screening. Meanwhile, the theater was packed with all manner of stormtroopers and lightsaber-wielding sith and jedi all there for the early opening of Star Wars. The movie was decent (with some exceptions–like yet another chase scene featuring animals driving cars). However, Fox’s choice of release date totally killed Ferdinand’s chances from the start.