Weekend Box Office Report: “Tangled” Will Top “Tarzan”

Mother Gothel

Disney’s Tangled wrapped up its sixth weekend with an FINAL $9.8 million and a grand total of $167.8 million. The film may end up grossing $200 million domestically, if not more. Early next week, it will surpass Tarzan to become the highest-grossing Disney feature in the US since The Lion King. It is a worthwhile accomplishment, however in terms of admissions, the film lags far behind its predecessors:

Tangled: 21,132,075 admissions through January 2, 2011 (approx.)
Tarzan: 33,679,491 admissions (approx.)
The Lion King: 78,598,511 admissions (approx.)

Yogi Bear took in $12.4 million for a three-week total of $65.8 million. The film is no Alvin and the Chipmunks or Stuart Little but it will end up doing performing better than other CG animal pics like Marmaduke, Garfield and Underdog.

DreamWorks’ Megamind added $630,940 boosting its total to $144.2 million. Despite higher 3-D prices, the film lags the US grosses of earlier DreamWorks features like Over the Hedge, Shark Tale, and the Madagascar series. Jeffrey Katzenberg didn’t heed his own advice about 3-D: “If you’re asking people to pay a premium price, you better deliver.”

Sylvain Chomet’s The Illusionist did even better in its second weekend, picking up $46,416 from just three theaters and boosting its total to $123,476. It had the fifth-highest per theater average of any film in release with $15,472. Paul and Sandra Fierlinger’s My Dog Tulip earned $5,340 from 3 theaters. Its total is now $151,258.


  • Clutch

    I kinda think comparing it to Tarzan’s box office take over a decade ago seems like comparing the box office take of Lion King to Snow White. WAY different time periods ie. inflation. I think studios only care about the NOW. Box office braggin’ rights only matter compared to what’s out there right NOW. A 260+mil production cost is a giant hurdle though.

    • amid

      There have been 12 other Disney features since Tarzan which haven’t come anywhere near its gross despite constantly increasing ticket prices. So there is something notable about Disney producing its highest grossing US feature in over a decade even if the admissions are far less.

      But I agree with you that comparing older films to contemporary ones is an inaccurate science. Ten years is pushing the limit for me, and even here, I tried to give some context by figuring out the admissions and not just listing the dollar amount. Things change quickly in Hollywood.

      • Milo Thatch

        I certainly appreciate the posting of “admissions” over dollar amounts. Tangled was beyond amazing to me on just about every level, and what was predictable in terms of story or character was a welcome breath of fresh air after so many years of “irreverent” snarky CG-characters with little true sincerity (thank you, Shrek, for that… ugh..)

        Anyway, any word on how Disney feels about the box office numbers when the production cost is still technically not met domestically? $260 mil is a HUGE cost for any feature.. James Cameron levels of insanity! :)

    • http://rodtejada.wordpress.com/ Rod Tejada

      We were discussing with some fellow animation students about why we liked Tangled better that The Princess and The Frog and other Disney features of the last decade, and at a certain point I think it expresses a lot of everything said here so far:

      Tangled has been one story that, maybe if its not that original, it was told in a very compelling and fun way. In the Princess and the Frog, Dr. Facilier stole the show and nobody cared much about the main characters. It’s not about CGI, handrawn or 3D: is about the story at the end.

      I think that’s why this film has been doing this well, even with the poor advertising campaign from Disney (They convinced me NOT to watch it, my friends convinced me otherwise).

      I hope that this is a new era for Disney. I wouldn’t mind spending money if I get entertained this way!

  • Val

    I can’t believe that Megamind made less than Shark’s Tale. The two are worlds apart.

    • http://www.animationanomaly.com Charles K. (The Animation Anomaly)

      Hmmm, that’s got me thinking.

      I wonder whether such a situation is a sign of the lustre having disappeared from CGI. I mean, is it now considered the norm rather than the ousider?

      A poor film may have been tolerated in 2004 because it used CGI or because it was from someone other than Pixar, but today, with so many other comptitors, e.g. Illusion (Universal), Sony, Aardman, etc. the public may be holding CGI films to an even higher standard than they were at the time. Hence the poorer performance.

      Of course it could always be a worse film, but that is still up for debate ;)

  • Jackson

    The budget numbers are no doubt close to correct, even if the film was worth it in the long run. Between domestic and foreign, Tangled could make it out of the red when video sales are tallied. Still, the Disney lot is working overtime to spin this in the press, if not the bottom line.

  • http://tresswygert.blogspot.com Tres Swygert

    “DreamWorks’ Megamind added $585,000 boosting its total to $144.1 million. Despite higher 3-D prices, the film lags the US grosses of earlier DreamWorks features like Over the Hedge, Shark Tale, and the Madagascar series. Jeffrey Katzenberg didn’t heed his own advice about 3-D: “If you’re asking people to pay a premium price, you better deliver.””

    I remember from Waking Sleeping Beauty of Katzenberg priding on Beauty of the Beast for great story and unforgettable characters. He also mentioned that no matter how great 3D is, it doesn’t help the movie if the story is not strong. I’m wondering why his company is slacking in that department.

  • http://www.bigfootvsnerds.com Shawn

    I think it is all boiling down to movie prices. Why in the world are prices going up?

    If you raise prices, even for inflation, beyond what people can pay you will get less and less people going to the movies.

    We already see that happening, less people going to movies. I think the attendance records would be better if the prices were more reasonable. More chances people would take and more impulse visits to the the movies.

    The movie industry is in a bubble that will soon burst.
    Yeah Avatar made 1 Billion at the Box Office but what happens when a movie starts to cost 1 billion in 10 years and 1 Billion is the best you can make at the box office?

    • amid

      Shawn, This will be a post for a later time, but you’re absolutely on the mark about the movie industry operating in a bubble. I’ve written before about how movies are no longer affordable as a regular form of entertainment for the masses. While 3-D prices have artificially inflated grosses, the ugly truth is that less people attended movies in 2010 than any year since 1996!

      • Jabberwocky

        They really aren’t. I stopped buying snacks/drinks at the theater years ago, but at nearly $10 a ticket it’s still hard for me to find money to spend on movies. I took long advantage of Kerasotes Theater’s $5 club, but now that Kerasotes has been bought out and even AMC seems to have changed the policy they first implemented, I just can’t spare the money unless the movie looks REALLY good. For $8/month I can stream Netflix and get plenty of movies… why spend that much just on the one ticket? ):

    • Milo Thatch

      Don’t forget that most movie goers are very aware that nearly all films will be on DVD within 3-4 months of their theatrical release. Why pay over $10 for a single viewing when you can wait just a couple of months and own the movie for $20?

      It feels like just a few weeks ago I asked my friends who wanted to go see The Town in theaters.. today I held a copy of the DVD in my hands. Still haven’t see it, but the point remains the same! :)

    • http://rodtejada.wordpress.com/ Rod Tejada

      My home country is Guatemala, in Central America.

      The Movie theaters have developed a strategy that fits right on that idea: The average ticket price is $5. Wednesdays you have half price ticketing ($2.50) and they also have VIP rooms, with waiters and elegant leather seats, somewhere around $10. There’s something for every pocket, at the end of the day.

      Even if you consider that we earn quite a lot less in amount of dollars than the canadian or US household, people still go A LOT to the movies. It’s not super cheap for us, but affordable.

      And you don’t feel like you were robbed if the movie is really bad at the end because of that same reason.

  • Justin

    Well, first of all, I saw Tangled for the second time this weekend. If you watch it more than once, you will remember most of the songs a little better. Animation wise, it is great, but I’ll bet it wasn’t easy. The designs of the characters have to stay the same and in great detail (for example, the freckles on Rapunzels face have to show on her close ups but small enough to not be seen on other angles). I could never keep track of how many of these should be here or this on that. You get the picture.
    Let me say it here since Yogi Bear was brought up that I’m glad it did reasonably good money wise. Yes, I thought it was a good movie, but the original Hanna-Barbera cartoons are the best or even Hey There it’s Yogi Bear. It didn’t harm the characters and format like how for example: Underdog did, and if I had to chose between Underdog and Yogi Bear, the latter would have been chosen. However, if I had to choose between Yogi and Tangled, I would choose Tangled in a heart beat. I hope I don’t get trashed for my opinion, but I’m sticking to it.

  • Ethan

    So a film with a budget of 130 millions making 144 millions domestic… is supposed to be a failure.
    While film that had a budget of 260 millions and is making 168 millions domestic… should be considered a success.

    I’m not good with numbers, I’m sure someone working in the accounting department of either studio can explain that one to me. I’m serious, I don’t get it.

    • jip

      In the end, for a movie like this, it doesn’t matter THAT much how much it makes domestically.
      Not only will Disney be able to sell a film like this for decades to come on home video. It’s also one big commercial for billions worth of merchandise, themepark attendance, videogames etc.
      Usually commercials don’t make any money by themselves. This is win win win!

  • Brad Constantine

    Our whole family loved Tangled!! We would love to see it again on the big screen, but seriously can’t afford to…It will be cheaper to wait for the home release now. I wonder how many other families are in the same boat. For me to take my family of four to see the 3d films runs us $65.00 just to get in the door…and for that kind of money…yeah,I’m keeping the glasses I paid for…hehe.

    • Justin

      I cannot tell you how many 3D glasses we have, and what’s worse is that they won’t let you bring your glasses; you have to pay for brand new ones. If you want to see Tangled in theatres again, just go to the 2D show. You will save a lot of money. I still recommend the home release though.

  • Doug

    Chomet’s “Illusionist” news is exciting to me. Will this film get a wide release or just an artfilm release timed for Oscar elegibility?

    My daughter really wants to see Tangled and all this positive news will make the ticket prices easier to swallow. Its hard for a family of five to take a chance on a movie anymore. Sickening trends.