‘Planes: Fire & Rescue’ Opens With $18 Million, But The Real Money Is Elsewhere

Like its predecessor, Planes: Fire & Rescue opened in third place at the U.S. box office. The new film, however, grossed only $18 million, or 19% less than the opening of the first Planes.

When it comes to the Planes series though, box office is an inconsequential metric. The films are designed to be 90-minute toy advertisements, and they succeed brilliantly on those terms. In 2013, Planes was the second-fastest growing toy license, trailing only Despicable Me (according to the market research firm NDP Group), and in the first quarter of 2014, Planes was the third-fastest growing license, behind Despicable Me and Frozen. Not to mention that the first Planes grossed $70 million in DVD/Blu-ray sales in addition to the $220 million it made in global box office gross. Disney’s success with this franchise extends far beyond the box office, and they’ll be making Planes cartoons for some time to come.

For the second weekend in a row, the Andy Serkis-starring, animation-filled Dawn of the Planet of the Apes held the top spot at the U.S. box office with an estimated $36 million. The film has now grossed $139 million in the U.S. and an additional $101.5 million overseas.

How to Train Your Dragon 2 dropped to eighth place with $3.8 million in its 6th frame. The DreamWorks sequel has now grossed $160.7 million in the United States, and $223.9 million internationally. Its current global gross stands at $384.6 million.

  • JO-JO

    we’ll see how trucks movie will do Next time !

    • StarrySpelunker

      I head it was boats, but enough about holes in the water that you stuff money into. Disney, it looks like your ship may sink with the next one.

      I hope Big hero Six turns out well, hopefully it will encourage Disney to aim for a more well-rounded crowd.

      • tt

        BH6 is made by Disney Animation that makes high budget films. Planes is made by DisneyToon that makes films to aid merchandise. they aim at different crowds.

    • OdysseyTag

      ‘Trains’ is scheduled for release in 2016, followed by ‘Boats’ in 2019 and ‘Bicycles’ in 2022.

  • Jay

    I honestly don’t get why everyone is hating on Cars and Planes.
    They are kids’ movies. My young brother and his friends in kindergarden LOVE them!
    They shouldn’t be compared to other Disney movies, since those aim at a totally different age group!

    • Phil

      Totally !… Are you sure ?

    • http://jsroux.tumblr.com/ Jean-Samuel Roux

      A good kids movie is a movie that respects them and even challenges them. Aka not freaking planes.

      • L_Ron_Hoover

        I can’t recall meeting a lot of kids who were seeking challenging material from cartoons…

        “Respect” I can almost argue considering how many children love commercial garbage and most of the nostalgia adults from the 80s still argue that their cheesy, cheaply-made, lazily-written shows are awesome. The reality is that they were 20 minute toy commercials…

        I think pointing fingers at today’s youth and saying “your shows stink” is pretty hypocritical considering most of the shows and movies that are well-loved enough to have reboots are based on embarrassing TV shows from the 80s. Nobody cares about being challenged, take a look at the box office.

        Is it really right to blame anyone? I think it’s something most people are guilty of. A majority of the audience doesn’t care about quality, they want stuff that is easy to digest. More people today would put Bill & Ted’s Adventure above Citizen Kane. That’s who you’re marketing to.

        What reminds you of your childhood is more important to people than moving forward. Nostalgia will kill art because it sucks creativity into a temporal loop. It’s a photocopy machine that infinitely scans the same image until the quality is completely annihilated.

        New concepts freak people out in our modern society, that’s why music and art haven’t had a new movement for over 2 decades!

        You want something original and challenging? Look at Kickstarter and start throwing that movie ticket money at some indie artist’s new ideas. Nothing will change if you continue to put your faith in the power of studio executives and apathetic movie-goers. Support artists.

    • http://www.animatorisland.com/ JK Riki

      There have been plenty of well crafted, well written, well animated kid’s movies throughout the history of film. Planes is not among them. Cars is. Cars was done well. It’s not some peoples’ cup of tea, and that’s fine, but it was a well made film. Planes is like a watered-down knock off of Cars, and we don’t need to see that sort of thing junking up the industry. Why not give kids great movies, like Disney did once upon a time? Bambi, for example, was not made to sell toys.

      • DangerMaus

        EVERY modern North American animated feature is designed to sell toys and or Big Macs and Whoppers, but THIS show gets that held against it. What a farce.

        If you want to watch animated features that aren’t designed to sell toys then you have to watch a Satoshi Kon film and/or a Mamoru Oshii film as examples. The one thing you don’t watch is any animated film that originates in America.

        I’m pretty sure when the “Book of Life” arrives on the scene it will have all the usual licensing tie-ins to push plastic junk and kid’s happy meals. Will everybody be ranting about that show being a toy commercial? Because as soon as any animated feature has licensing attached to it that is all it becomes: a toy and fast food commercial.

        Licensing is the single worst thing to happen to animated films……ever.

        • http://www.animatorisland.com/ JK Riki

          “EVERY modern North American animated feature is designed to sell toys and or Big Macs and Whoppers”


          • Fried

            And despite being a very “artistically heavy” film, I’m still sure they considered the idea of a collect-’em’-all box troll line up. They’ve already got them in 3D, just gotta get the molds.

      • Meredith

        I agree, Cars was well made. Planes had potential, as a pilot it is sad to me that they didn’t reach it. The filmmakers don’t seem to understand aviation culture at all (not that they were trying to). For example, cropdusting is one of those jobs that takes fighter-pilot like nerves and is not for the faint of heart…the characterization that it is a boring job for farmboys is way off the mark. Just watch any cropduster video on YouTube and you’ll see what I’m talking about! Ditto for aerial firefighting- it’s hardly a place where washed-up pilots go! The first film didn’t have any heart or soul. A cheap copy of Cars.

        • Fried

          Flying in general takes nerves of steel, but they couldn’t exactly have a society based around flying full of brave warriors.

  • Mister Twister

    Still waiting for Lamps and Cupboards. I hear those are popular with the female audiences.

  • Doconnor

    The local theater, the Humber Cinema, only has four screens, but they are still showing How to Train your Dragon 2, but they dropped Transformers after one week.

  • DangerMaus

    So “Planes” was third behind “Despicable Me” and “Frozen”. How come no concrete statement that the first two are nothing but 90 minute toy commercials, since their licensing revenue is outstripping “Planes”? Your special hatred for “Planes” just makes your editorializing about it seem gormless.

  • KW

    At this point stop making the movies and just sell the toys.

  • http://www.animatorisland.com/ JK Riki

    “A good kids movie is a movie that entertains kids.”

    So as long as something for kids is entertaining to children it’s considered good now? Doesn’t matter how well it’s written, or the content, or any message it has inside it, or if it’s animated well or terribly?

    I don’t think I can agree with your assessment. An ENTERTAINING kids movie is a movie that entertains kids, perhaps. But that in no way makes it good or not.

  • http://jsroux.tumblr.com/ Jean-Samuel Roux

    Where did I mentioned a kid movie needs to be entertaining for adults? A movie can be bad but entertaining. Rating a movie is not entirely up to personal opinions, theres a craft to it that you can analyse to have a better idea of its quality.

    Planes is a money grab that has the main ambition of making kids harass their parents to buy them the toys. They announced a trilogy even before caring if the franchise would be successful because they know its a good investment, and thats all they cared about, not the kids.

    Telling me that I’m expecting too much by demanding respect and challenges of an audience is ridiculous. These 2 things dont form a cookie cutter they form the basic dough you make the cookies with.

    As for movie success. Financial and artistic success are 2 very different things that have absolutely nothing in common, sadly so.

    • L_Ron_Hoover

      I think the point being made is that you are too hard on Planes when in reality it’s not that bad. The designs, animation, and world are all made very well. As an adult, Planes doesn’t interest me at all but I’m not the intended demographic.

      There’s Disney princesses for young girls and now they have Cars and Planes for young boys. They filled in a marketing gap and hit a massive success with it. Studios make these decisions once in a while to bring in more money and grow as a business. You can’t get mad about it, that’s just how things work.

      I don’t care if it’s a toy seller because there are thousands of other things being made right now that I can enjoy and new ideas I can support. Planes shouldn’t really be a bother to you. But then again, you’re an internet commenter and it’s your job to get annoyed.

      • http://jsroux.tumblr.com/ Jean-Samuel Roux

        You know what Ron, I would agree with you. Studios need to make concessions in order to make profits to keep their companies from going under and to grow.

        Only probleme here is that we are talking about Disney. The biggest, richest and most famous entertainment company in the world. The company does not take any financial risks when making a feature film. No excuse.

  • megadrivesonic

    This doesn’t make sense to how is it that a very good kids film like How to train your dragon 2 is doing horribly right now but a pandering film that was meant to be direct to video like planes is making 3 times as much?

    • tt

      marketing. Fox doesn’t know how to market animated films, while Disney is experienced at it.

      • megadrivesonic

        Wait a minute, Fox was in charge of marketing the film and not Dreamworks, this explains allot.

        • starss

          The animation studio has no control over marketing. That’s their distributor’s job. Considering how Dreamworks is now on its third distributor, you can kind of theorize why Dreamworks isn’t doing so hot…

  • Tammie

    Pokemon, cheesy? never!!

  • DangerMaus

    That’s your opinion. Your opinion isn’t evidence. I saw the first film and at no time did I ever get the feeling that the makers of the film were trying to sell toys or toy sets unlike, say, Hasbro, who ensures that at least the premiere episode and the finale of their shows does introduce new merchandise that they are bringing to market.

    With “PLANES”, they were telling a story first, just like any other animated film that I have seen. The story may have been derivative of the first CARS in that it involved a race. So what? It’s not like Hollywood is brimming over with originality, considering the umpteenth film involving Apes taking over Earth or going back to the Godzilla well for another pull.

    At least, these films have stories which is more than I can say for the usual “Transformers” shit that everyone bitches about, then troops out to see, ensuring that we will be assaulted by a fifth mindless entry to the pantheon.

  • BlueBoomPony

    Not my thing, but I always felt Pixar was after a steady revenue stream with the Cars universe outside big features. More power to them, I say. Jobs and more jobs, baby.

    • tt

      this isn’t Pixar.

  • Douglas

    Well, my kids enjoyed and so did mom and myself. What’s not to like?

  • Fried

    I had no idea Citizen Kane was a nostalgic film… Unless you’re 70.

    It’s more like the usual answer to give when talking about a quality film, like Lawrence of Arabia. You are less likely to hear someone criticizing those films than you are Alien, Die Hard, or The Dark Knight, despite all of those also being good.

    More modern dramas like Gran Torino aren’t exactly universal among filmmakers so it doesn’t strike as much of an image as Citizen Kane does.