MONSTERS vs. ALIENS vs. PENGUINS

Dreamworks had a very good weekend.

A $58 million dollar opening for Monsters Vs. Aliens was the biggest opening weekend gross this year and generating the third highest March gross on record. It also set a record opening for a 3-D film in digital and IMAX screens. Even more impressive was the debut of the new Dreamworks animated series, The Penguins of Madagascar which Nickelodeon is reporting as the most-watched series premiere in the network’s history, drawing 6.1 total million viewers.

I caught the Penguin show last night and, considering it’s aimed at kids, its better than most of the CG series that have come along lately. It doesn’t break any new ground, but it’s very entertaining. Mark McCorkle and Robert Schooley, the executive producers, toiled on many of the better Disney television productions in the past ten years (including those wonderful Genie Great Minds Think For Themselves interstitials). The TV critic at the L.A. Times points out that the show…

“…doesn’t revolve around bratty/neurotic children and their pets. (May I take this moment to remind every parent of a cartoon-watching child that the iconic “Tom and Jerry” and “Roadrunner” were essentially silent — oh time, time, go back in thy flight.)”

Nickelodeon will feature two weeks of Penguins primetime premieres weeknights until April 10, at 8:00 — 8:30 PM (ET/PT). The series will move to its regular timeslot on Saturdays at 10:00—10:30 AM (ET/PT) beginning April 18.

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  • http://elblogderg.blogspot.com Roberto

    The Penguins are by far the best characters in Madagascar so this’d probably be good. I also like their poses in that frame.

  • Mark

    How does the 7,600 screens M vs A opened on factor into the film’s “success”? According to Box Office Mojo, Wall-E opened on 3,992 screens and pulled in $63,087,526 in it’s first week.
    That seems like a better take, no?
    Not that there’s any sort of competition……

  • http://yeldarb86.deviantart.com Mr. Semaj

    My main problem with the Madagascar series is that it is another based from an animated feature, which contradicts the original mission of the Nicktoons program to produce ORIGINAL programming for kids.

    No coincidence that many of today’s new Nicktoons are hardly any good.

  • Calarts grad

    “My main problem with the Madagascar series is that it is another based from an animated feature, which contradicts the original mission of the Nicktoons program to produce ORIGINAL programming for kids. ”

    “ORIGINAL” means not a rerun/previously aired show like old episodes of Ren & Stimpy, Fosters, or Bewitched reruns. Although this series features characters that have appeared in a couple of features these shows are “NEW” to everyone watching and ORIGINATED with Nick ordering episodes. The penguins were just supporting/peripheral characters in the movies so it seems like a neat idea to have them in their own show.

  • Calarts grad

    From the “For What It’s Worth” Department, according to Boxofficemojo.com:

    Last year Wall*E: opened in 3,992 theatres, with a per screen average for the weekend of $15,803.

    Monsters Vs. Aliens opened in 4,104 theaters, per screen average for the weekend was $14, 454.

  • Tom

    I don’t think you can underestimate the power of a cute character, and the Penguins show has a nice little batch of them.

    I like them, but I generally dislike the Madagascar films. I loved the beautiful, geometric Golden Book designs of NYC and the zoo animals, but when they actually left New York the first film took a serious nosedive. The standard DW pop-culture references and the “You Go Girl!” take on the hippo’s personality were also a problem for me. I liked Chris Rock and Sacha Baron Cohen’s work a lot too.

    The penguin scenes lift out of that movie like slices of pumpkin pie. This is the best part of a hit franchise, effectively killing the Madagascar sequels, so that’s a good thing, isn’t it?

  • Andrew

    I’ll check the show out, if only for an episode or two.

    DreamWorks appears to be releasing their animated films around the same time as a related short or smaller project or DVD release, which is a good promotional trick. The most interesting thing I find about this Penguins cartoon is that it ISN’T produced by DreamWorks, like Father of the Pride was! If it was, the furry character may not have looked as…… wooden. I sure it isn’t because they want to save money- they sure aren’t showing signs of it!

  • Jam

    The two episodes of penguins shown last night are available for viewing on the Nick website:
    http://www.nick.com/shows/penguins-of-madagascar/videos.jhtml

    First two videos on the left.
    There’s a chance (or bad luck) that if you’re outside the US, you can’t view them. In the past, they’d block foreign IPs.

  • http://www.bishopanimation.com Floyd Bishop

    It looks much better than that “Father of the Pride” show from NBC a few years back.

  • Keith Paynter

    “Pen-goo-wins is practically chickens.”

    No Nick up here in Canada. Maybe Teletoon will consider it…

  • Mike Caracappa

    You know, Monsters vs Aliens is the perfect ironic statement about the animation industry. The bad guy looks like Jeffrey Katzenberg and he’s making clones of himself.

  • http://www.enigmation.de slowtiger

    Raah, can’t watch penguins here!
    OK. I have to wait for an official release then. Hopefully they will again be dubbed by famous German Hip Hop quartet “Die Fantastischen 4″ who did a very good job in the films so far. Since the penguins were the best parts of the movies, I’ll be definitely interested in the series.

  • http://daryl-rhystaylor.blogspot.com Daryl T

    T haven’t seen the show yet and I am not to found of Madagascar, but I trust Mark McCorkle and Robert Schooley. They did create Kim Possible.

  • Gobo

    Slowtiger: they were dubbed by Die Fantastischen Vier?! Now I have to find the German version. That’s brilliant.

  • http://rufftoon.livejournal.com/ JMatte

    Keith Paynter: Is it Teletoon or YTV that picks up most of the Nick shows? Maybe it’s split between the two.