Last weekend, a major American film studio released a 2d animated feature into 3,000+ theaters for the first time since 2009. Warner Bros.’ Teen Titans Go! To the Movies, directed by Peter Rida Michail and Aaron Horvath, debuted in the no. 5 spot with $10.5 million.
The film opened below projections, which had mostly been in the mid-teens, but it’s not a complete letdown either. That’s because the film only cost around $10 million to produce – compare that with the $60-150 million cost of most cg animated features. For example, Sherlock Gnomes, opened earlier this year with almost the exact same amount – $10.6 million – but that film had a reported budget of $59 million, around 6x higher than Teen Titan Go!’s budget.
With such a low budget, TTG will make back its production costs and then some when it goes to home video. It also fulfills its role as a promotional vehicle for the tv series and the licensing and merchandising programs surrounding the franchise. In short, it’ll end up doing just fine, though it’s not the kind of breakout hit that’ll get other U.S. studios excited about producing more 2d animation projects.