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Feature Film

Thanksgiving Weekend Box Office Report

Fantastic Mr. Fox

An impressive three animated films reached the top ten at the North American box office last weekend. Robert Zemeckis’s A Christmas Carol held steady in the number five spot with $15.8 million. Its total after four weeks stands at nearly $105M. In its second weekend, Planet 51 dropped to 7th place with $10.2M and a total of $28.5M. The film’s performance hasn’t been as disastrous as Astro Boy and should end its run in the mid-$40M range. Wes Anderson’s adaptation of Roald Dahl’s The Fantastic Mr. Fox went wide and settled for ninth place. It took in $7M and boosted its three-week total to $10M. The film had a better per-theater average than Planet 51 ($3,426 vs. $3,367), but it’s a disappointing performance for what I feel is one of the most charming and unique animated films in recent memory. Placing outside of the top 10, Disney’s The Princess and the Frog raked in $786,000 from just two theaters. Inflated ticket prices at the two theaters account for the large box office take. The film’s real test will be in a couple weeks when it goes wide, though there appears to be little doubt that Princess and the Frog will be a success.

  • To bad about Fantastic Mr. Fox, hope do better on DVD !!!

  • I took my kids to the AMC in Woodland Hills this weekend for Mr Fox. It was a wonderful film and we all enjoyed it but I was surprised to see it was in one of their cracker jack box sized theaters.

    Still a great film, total Wes Anderson, and a real visual treat.

  • Sylvain

    A clever film can only reach the clever part of the public.
    A dumb film can only reach the dumb part of the public.

    I’m not surprised the dumb films make money, that should tell you a lot about my elitist disdain of the human race.

  • I am disappointed that many people are not familiar with the movie and its charm. It really is an amazing movie, and I hope that it does well in the second week coming up.

  • Strawdog

    Is it me or was there almost no promotional work done for FMF outside of the internet. I think I saw maybe 2 30 second ads on tv late at night, before the movie came out.

  • I saw alot of ads for the movie before its limited release, then after that almost nothing. Rotten Tomatoes didn’t even have it up for its wide opening under its “Now Opening.” The theater I went to has 20 screens and it just had 3 time slots and was in 1 theater. It’s a shame I loved the film. And my new favorite word is ‘clustercuss’ too.

  • History repeats itself from last year: Though decreased greatly from the second week, THE TWILIGHT SAGA: NEW MOON once again wipes out the competition, just like the first TWILIGHT did towards BOLT last year.

    Deja vu…

    Either way, I’m not too pleased, either.

  • A Christmas Carol has banked over one hundred million dollars?!


    Zemeckis is never going to stop at this rate…

  • Emily

    I also hold out hope that Fantastic Mr. Fox will do well in DVD sales, and in theaters after the general public absorbs the great reviews and praise the film’s been getting. Not just because it deserves to make money, but because I want to insure that future unique animated films be funded.

  • Sylvain

    John, yes, I agree that Bolt attempted to reach the same part of the public as Twilight.

  • Matt Sullivan


    *sigh* Ah well..i suppose we can all settle for crap. that’s life i suppose. Meh.

  • squirrel

    I live in a major city with major theatres- Mr. Fox did not play in half of the theatres there.

  • I think “The Fantastic Mr Fox” would have done better numbers with different character design. I think a lot of people, like myself, can’t get past the furry convention (they look like people in suits) look of the characters.

  • Casper the friendly executive

    Please go and see Mr Fox even if you hated the awful trailers. It’s a film that really works when you see it and has recieved the best Brew online reviews that I’ve ever seen.

    Honesty, I feel about this film the same way I did about The Iron Giant so give it a go and help the studios see that quirkier, more original films are worth supporting – or our future is going to be all motion capture Disney princesses.

    Also, why this silly tagging of it as a ‘furry’ film? Over on John K’s blog he’s denouncing it as such even though he’s never seen it, or intends to, and now it seems to be catching on with others. The designs of Fox clearly reference the early Europeon stop motion tradition but John doesn’t know about because he can’t see past his own Clampett/Yogi Bear obsessions.

  • Vixie

    To me, Fantastic Mr Fox is the victim of horrible marketing. There have been a few tv commercials, and that’s about it. No toy tie ins, no fast food tie ins, nothing to put the film in the minds of the general public. Say what you will about the marketing tie ins, but it does put the film in the mind of the public. I figured a film full of animal characters would be a no brainer to market, I guess I was wrong there. Add to this a horrible trailer, and you have the recipe for failure.

    I am drawing a parallel here with The Iron Giant, a great film that was poorly marketed. I think Fox will find new life on DVD, as more and more people will be willing to give it a chance, and found out how good a film it actually is.

  • Bob Ford

    Floyd, you raise an interesting point, but here’s a different take: For my wife, the characters look too much like real animals. After watching the commercials, she said they look like “animated stuffed animals”. Uncanny valley.

  • Gobo

    Casper: John K is severely in denial about the whole “furry” thing. This is a guy who admitted that he animated his Yogi short just so he could have Yogi & Ranger Smith wrestling, but every time an animated film with anthropomorphic characters comes out, he decries it for being “furry”. Your loss, John.

    Floyd: the “people in suits” design actually becomes an important element of the movie’s subtext. Wes Anderson’s created a brilliant world with Mr Fox; it’d be a pity for animation lovers to miss it just because of their own odd bias.

    I personally think the movie will have a long second live on video after its inevitable best-animated-feature nom.

  • Dock Miles

    Somebody do an animated version of “No Exit” that amounts to an eternity spent in a small screening room with Wes Anderson and John K. Bad box office, I’m sure. But eternal truth.

  • Gio Renna

    Casper, I have to say I didn’t mind the trailers at all. And even though I’ve yet to go see the movie (but which I’m planning to see soon), the trailers got me hyped to go see it way before all the positive remarks about the feature came sweeping in.

  • jack

    I just want to say I saw Planet 51 and loved it. I absolutly recommed the movie.
    it’s a great story whit charming characters!

  • Ethan

    My god, he never stops, John K is still seeing furries everywhere ! I’m sure there’s help for that condition. Please let’s not talk about Fantastic Fox as if it’s anywhere near the same category as Alvin the Squeaquel.

    (comic strip by Randall Munroe)

  • Lee

    Its a shame about Fantastic Mr. Fox, its true that the marketing wans’t great, but I’m sure I saw a McDonalds Happy Meal toy of one the characters here in England…could be wrong though.

    Hopefully the momentum will pick up and the DVD will be a success

  • I didn’t realize John K thought they looked like furries as well. I guess it’s not just me then. For the record, I don’t much care for Disney’s “Robin Hood” for the same reason. Maybe it’s a fox thing?

  • I’m sorry. I keep reading all this early praise for “Princess and the Frog”, but I have not been impressed AT ALL with anything I’ve seen of it. It looks like a direct-to-DVD piece Disney dug up to try to satisfy us noisy traditional animation fans. I can’t help but think that a lot of the praise stems from the fact that we so achingly WANT it to be good….sort of like the build-up to the fourth Star Wars movie- and we all know how horrendous that was.

  • purin

    Yeah, John K. has some good things to talk about now and then but he’s just so up in his own little box of thinking. That’s why I prefer to read up on Katie Rice

    I have to say this: I’ve always wondered what the heck he meant by “drawing funny,” and I think I’ve only come close to figuring that out by watching Fantastic Mr. Fox: Just by looking at it, even when there wasn’t a gag attached, I felt entertained. When I saw it, people in the theater were laughing just looking at them move and be ridiculous. Of course, there was a lot more to the movie than that, but the look itself made the movie.