CGIFeature Film

People Saw “Escape From Planet Earth” After All

The Weinstein Company’s Escape from Planet Earth surprised many people by earning a robust $21.1 million over the four-day President’s Day holiday weekend. Its success was all the more surprising because the B-list kiddie pleaser didn’t have a huge marketing presence, wasn’t made by a name-brand studio, and didn’t seem to have wide appeal beyond its target demographic. But it benefited from a quiet period for family films, while managing to surpass the debuts of other CG space pics like the $12.3M opening of Planet 51 (2009) and the $6.9M opening of Mars Needs Moms (2011).

The Moviefone website has an in-depth piece discussing the film’s strong opening. In there, Stephen Bruno, the Weinstein Co.’s marketing president, explained how he approached the advertising for Escape from Planet Earth:

“[It] was focused on first presenting our core audience with a longer form look at the full story via in-theater trailers, advertisements, and long-lead digital placement. The television campaign was bifurcated to raise awareness and interest with parents and kids, through a six week flight that first aimed [to] re-introduce the concept, then highlight the comedy, and of course close with the exceptional voice cast.”

Bruno makes it sound easy, but the real proof will be if he can repeat this success with the next three Weinstein animated films planned for release this year.

  • Satorical

    A competent marketer? ::head explodes::

  • I saw it with the family because my twin 5 year olds really wanted to go. We really only went because of the glut that has been in theaters the past few months, and my boys missed going to the movies. If it came out later in the year, or had ANY competition, I doubt it would have done so well.

    • Joseph_Hudak

      Winner by default then? I’d have to agree.

    • Murf

      “my twin 5 year olds really wanted to go.” Nuff said.

  • jonhanson

    “B-list kiddie pleaser”

    But how do you really feel about this movie Amid?

  • Three more this year! You can’t say they don’t have confidence in the medium. DIsney doesn’t have that much confidence in the medium.

    • Mark Williams

      Three more being PRODUCED by TWC’s new Kaleidoscope division. I’m sure the companies doing the actual animation work are all separate. Though still, more jobs. Bravo to the Weinsteins for helping flourish the opportunities for animation!

  • shadypotential

    wow. 3 more films? at least animators are working

    • Mark Williams


    • True that


  • Well, even though the movie looks bad (writing-wise), I’m glad Mainfra…I mean Rainmaker got a “hit” in its theatrical debut, and look forward to hearing about their future endeavors.
    I didn’t know Weinstein was releasing three more animated films this year. I think that’s more than all the other studios have planned.

    • jmahon

      Maybe they’ll finally please all their fans, and make a proper Reboot mov- ahahaha, oh man, who am I kidding.

    • Mark Williams

      I really want to know how a movie looks bad, writing-wise. What does that mean? Did the trailers not do it justice? It seemed to work enough to get people into the theaters. And the writing wasn’t bad at all!

      And the look was even BETTER, to boot! Alex, go out and see the film already! Help with this weekend’s box office!

      • Joel

        Out of curiosity, are you associated with/employed by the studio that made the film or its distributors?

        • Mark Williams

          Sadly, no, but I do work in the industry. I got involved with the two conversations on Escape due to Cartoon Brew’s less than admirable headline that could have been read to help sail this film into disaster territory. I’m mostly a fan of the under-dog film and a champion of rallying the support of ALL animated films.

          This year marks my first involvement on Cartoon Brew and I plan to chime in more often. As this is the FIRST animated film of the year, I’m surely going to help raise efforts to support it’s success!

          • Joel

            That sounds really cool! Your enthusiasm for the film has me curious to see it now! I look forward also to reading your comments in the future!

  • “Escape From Planet Earth” didn’t really have much competition, from kid’s movies OR adult movies, so while I didn’t expect it to place while I didn’t expect it to totally crash either. If there was another, higher profile kid’s movie in theaters, EFPE almost certainly would’ve bombed.

    • Mark Williams

      I don’t think it would have BOMBED, but it may certainly not have done as well as it did. Then again, you can say that about ANY movie, can’t you?

  • www

    “B-list kiddie pleaser” is not derogatory at all. That’s the audience. That’s where the money is made. Jaded, negative reviewers don’t pay the bills.

    • jonhanson

      “Children’s movie” or “Family Movie” convey the same information with regards to target audience without commenting on quality.

  • Yeah, it had nothing up against it. Nothing. I was going to take the kid to a movie and this was the only option. We went out to eat instead. Had a very nice time.

    • Mark Williams

      Haters will hate, I suppose. Though i don’t know why an animation fan wouldn’t go out to support and animated film. I guarantee you kid will enjoy it!

    • Murf

      Yes, if it comes to a choice of eating or seeing a movie, eating is probably the best choice. Good luck!

  • Ty

    I was surprised when i found out that Weinstein was behind this. I could see them being behind an animated movie like, Mary & Max, but not something like this.

    • jonhanson

      They Also released Hoodwinked and Dougal, the Weinstein’s are about money like pretty much any Hollywood distributors.

      • Ty

        I didn’t know that.

  • Clamato

    All space films are not the same ;)

  • mattharvey

    Amid, you should do more research about the ad’s and marketing, it was plastered all over tv, aired during some shows my wife watches and was posted to xbox dashboard for a while. Also they shot out a lot of behind the scenes interviews and released footage along the way. How about a little support and a little less passive aggressiveness…we don’t come to your site for hard hitting journalism and your quirky comments..we come for the animation content..jus sayin..

    • I know that Amid’s style of reporting can sometimes be a little cynical but I really can’t see what is passive aggressive in this particular post. Just out of interest.

  • Steve

    Because it’s actually a solid sweet movie. The message of brotherly love and conflict is universal. The animation is strong and entertaining. Good job Escape from Planet Earth.

  • MaskedManAICN

    Well concept wise I think “Escape from Planet Earth” is far more interesting than “Planet 51” and “Mars Needs Moms”. I remember when they announced it way back when- thought it was a good idea. The trailer is more ‘kiddie film’ than I’d prefer, so I’ll probably just catch in on TV sometime.

  • ConcernedMom

    Shame on this company. If you make for kids why was there a very inappropriate picture in the background in one of the scenes in this movie?