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2011: A Year in Review

Written by SkulShurtugalTCG :


This past year has been one of the largest in animation history, wielding a total of 14 films commercially released in English-speaking countries. Of these, 9 were sequels, continuations, re-releases, or otherwise Smurfy. Three were traditionally-animated, two were entirely motion-capture, and four ended up in the Top 10 Grossing Films of the year.


Let's take a look at the films released this past year, in release order. Beginning with Gnomeo and Juliet, which was released in America on February 11. It opened at the #3 spot its opening weekend, grossing $25,356,909. It ended its run with a domestic gross of $99,967,670, and a worldwide gross of $193,967,670. 56% of critics gave the film a positive review.

Up next is Rango, which saw a March 4 release. It opened at number 1 on its opening weekend, raking in $38,079,323. Its final domestic gross was $123,257,581, and a final worldwide gross of $245,155,348. 88% of critics gave the film a positive review.

Mars Needs Moms was released on March 11 to less-than-expected results. The film cost over $150 million to make, but on its opening weekend, it grossed only $6,914,488. (It was #5.) By the end of its meager run, it ended up with a meager $21,392,758 domestically, $38,992,758 worldwide. Only 37% of critics gave the film a positive review.

The next film to be released was Rio, one of the best films of the year. (We even have our own Source for the film.) The film opened at #1 the weekend of April 15, grossing $39,225,962. It held the spot for a few weeks, before ending its run with a not-too-shabby gross of $143,619,809 domestically, $484,635,760 worldwide. (It's currently the 10th highest-grossing film of 2011.) 71% of critics gave the film a positive review.

And...back to the low side of the spectrum: Hoodwinked Too: Hood Vs. Evil opened on April 29 with only $4,108,630 its opening weekend. By the end of its run, it earned only $10,143,779 domestically and $16,960,968 worldwide. 11% of critics gave the film a positive review.

Then comes Kung Fu Panda 2, which opened on May 26. In its opening weekend, it raked in $47,656,302 at the #2 spot. After all was said and done, it ended up with $165,249,063 domestically, $665,692,281 worldwide. It is currently the fourth highest-grossing film of 2011, and the highest-grossing animated film of the year. 81% of critics gave the film a positive review.

Cars 2 opened on June 24 at the #1 spot. Its opening weekend saw it gross $66,135,507. It ultimately earned $191,452,396 domestically and $551,852,396 worldwide. It is currently the 9th highest-grossing film of the year. However, only 38% of critics gave the film a positive review.

Winnie the Pooh was released on July 15. During its opening weekend, it was at #6 with $7,857,076 in box office sales. It underperformed, with a final domestic gross of $26,692,846 and a worldwide gross of $33,152,846. However, 91% of critics gave the film a positive review.

And then, there's The Smurfs. This film is consituted as animated simply because the main characters are animated--similar to Alvin and the Chipmunks. The film opened on July 29, and at the #2 spot at the box office, it raised $35,611,637 its opening weekend. Its final gross was $142,614,158 domestically and $562,547,576 worldwide, currently the 8th highest-grossing film of 2011. Only 23% of critics gave the film a positive review.

There were no August releases, so let's skip forward to The Lion King's 3D re-release. This film opened at the #1 spot of the box office the weekend of September 16, which it held the next weekend as well. It earned $30,151,614 the first weekend, with a final strong take-in of $94,222,022 domestically. (No worldwide gross available.) This makes The Lion King the 14th highest-grossing film of all time, the 2nd highest-grossing animated film behind Toy Story 3. The numbers? $422,763,798 domestically, $945,663,798 worldwide. (89% of critics since the film's original 1994 release have given it a positive review.)

Next up is Puss in Boots, the prequel/spin-off to the "Shrek" series. The film, released on October 28, was #1 at the box office for two weeks, grossing $34,077,439 in its opening weekend. The final numbers from here on aren't available, as the films are still in theaters, but as of today, the film has grossed $143,935,000 domestically and $366,935,000 worldwide. 82% of critics gave the film a positive review.

And now November, which saw the release of Happy Feet Two. The film opened on November 18 at the #2 spot, with a weekend gross of $21,237,068, and to date the film has grossed $60,112,000 domestically and $121,612,000 worldwide. 44% of critics have given the film a positive review.

Arthur Christmas was released on November 23, in time for Thanksgiving and opposite The Muppets. It opened at the #4 position, grossing $12,068,931 that weekend. Its current gross is $44,068,000 domestically, $134,068,000 worldwide. 92% of critics gave the film a positive review.

One limited-engagement animated film was released this year. (The Lion King in 3D was supposed to be, but was extended due to demand.) Pokémon the Movie White: Victini and Zekrom opened in theaters only for the days of December 3 and 4. Despite only being in theaters for two days, the film grossed a total of $100,787,570, which is a record for a limited-engagement animated film. No critical reviews were collected, but 73% of people who attended gave it a good review.

And last but not least, The Adventures of Tintin, which was released the most recently of the films: December 21. The film opened at the #5 spot, grossing $9,705,000. However, it is slowly making its way toward a higher gross, and just over a week later it has earned $27,682,000 domestically, $266,782,000 worldwide. 75% of critics gave the film a positive review.

What do the numbers at up to say? Worldwide, this is the best year commercially for animation: 2011 animated films add up to $3,876,764,195. ($3.88 billion) That's quite something, considering 2010's animated films ended up with less than $2.9 billion.

But now, just so that this article doesn't completely show off a bunch of numbers most of you probably don't even care about anyway, here's a list of films coming in 2012 that are animated. Are there any that you are looking forward to? Let us know in the comments!

COMING IN 2012: Brave, Frankenweenie, Hotel Transylvania, Ice Age: Continental Drift, Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted, The Pirates: Band of Misfits, Rise of the Guardians, The Secret World of Arrietty, and Wreck-it Ralph.

All critic information taken from All box office data current as of December 27, 2011, and provided courtesy of Pokémon movie information taken from Poké

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Last comments

January 13, 2012
Usa Male Is not currently on the site
Talent Over Image
2011 was one of the best years for animations in a long time! Best I've seen, that's for sure. If I had to pick my favorite, I'd have to say both Rio and Tin Tin. Both fit my personallity the best, and I still haven't seen all the ones I wanted to see.

December 31, 2011
Usa Male Is not currently on the site
The year in review! Wow! 2012 is shaping up to be great i think!

December 30, 2011
Uk Is not currently on the site
@Sweet Fur Wolf, I think you mean The Secret Life of Arrietty, it's a spin off from the book "The Borrowers", it has nothing to do with wolves lol

December 29, 2011
Uk Female Is not currently on the site
I'm super excited for Brave and Ice Age 4 8D Both trailers (especially Brave's) have got me all hyped for the movies and 2012. I just hope they're as good as they seem to look c;

December 29, 2011
Ireland Male Is not currently on the site
yay frankenweenie another film from the great tim burton

December 29, 2011
Usa Male Is not currently on the site
Awaiting TS Modship
Yes,I want to see Alpha and Omega 2 also,but LionsGate,probably will release it in 2013.

December 29, 2011
Male Is not currently on the site
Next films I gotta see:
Alpha and Omega 2 (which has been promised by Lions Gate, see Wikipedia)
The Adventures of Tintin; Red Rakums Tresure (after reading the books and seeing the cartoons, I'd love to see the next promised sequel!)
Madagascar 3
Pirates (looks good, right? :3)
A Monster in Paris (French version looked ever so slightly better buuuuut)

And I'm definitly not surprised that Mars Needs Moms only made that much- even the trailer had no potential, it was doomed from the start, poor thing :(

December 29, 2011
Usa Female Is not currently on the site
I cannot wait to see The Secret Wolf of Arrietty and Brave. 2011 has also marked the year where i've gone to the movie theatres most lol . So, 2012 looks promising and i cannot wait to hit the Monaco, nice article Skul and thanks for the info on these awesome movies.

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