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Winnie the Pooh - Flop or Success?

Written by steet :


WinnieAside from a big-budget movie making big bucks this week end (aka the last part of Harry Potter, taking in the best grossing weekend ever for a film), there was a small and simple movie which doesn't play in the same league : Winnie The Pooh.

This charming film is an attempt from Disney to revitalize this franchise (after the failed attempts at making CGI Winnie, Disney didn't want to lose one of the best selling franchise when it comes to merchandise), and the image of the company at the same time, by making it a 2D movie just like the original film. It was made by high quality artists working at Disney Feature Animation (unlike the previous "cheapquels"), but with a very low budget in mind (~30 M$).

The film has received very positive critics, and even though I'm not particularly fond of the RottenTomatoes scores, it currently has 91% and is actually considered the best animated feature to come out this year!
So it's a critical success...but unfortunately not a commercial success.

While "totally rotten" Cars 2 made a 66M$ debut in the USA, Winnie only made 8M$.

Conclusion? This is the last nail in the coffin of western 2D animation. Maybe Disney didn't expect better, hoping for higher sales on the DVD and a merchandise boost. But still, low box offices is something that companies keep in memory, no matter how small the budget is. Don't expect any other 2D animated feature from Disney anytime soon...

Here's my opinion : While I *really* appreciate the latest efforts from Disney Feature Animation to restore their lost quality image (with Bolt, Princess & The Frog and Tangled being critical successes as well), they're doing it the wrong way.

To me, to "save" 2D animation, they should have made movies that weren't meant for a restricted audience. Princess & The Frog already had a very big problem with that (because of the "princess" focus, which lead most people to believe only little girls would be interested - something that was heavily corrected on the marketing for Tangled, including the title change, which I still believe helped to make it a big success) Yes, I did not go out to see Winnie the Pooh, because to be honest, it is and has always been Disney's kiddiest franchise. Sure, it's something "family" can enjoy, but not something I'm particularly attracted to. Does Disney even think of people who love traditional animation but don't have children? By doing Winnie, they cut out this very large portion of the population instantly.

If I was the one deciding the next projects at Disney, I would have made a film focusing on classics characters instead : Mickey, Donald, Scrooge. (why have they never tried a theatrical feature film for Mickey is beyond me! especially considering they've got the perfect material with the Epic Mickey video game - which WAS a commercial success!)

Or, I would have brought back one of their most successful properties ever from the 90's, be it Ducktales, Darkwing Duck or TaleSpin. All these SCREAM for a revival in 2D animation, and a movie would be perfect considering they had serious AND comical storylines, amazing art and interesting characters for everyone (and I really mean EVERYONE). And unlike the DTV "cheapquels", they were series, so they were meant for having sequels.

But hey, what do I know!

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January 06, 2015
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a movie has to double its budget to break even as the theater takes aprox. 45% of the ticket sales

August 11, 2011
Usa Is not currently on the site
Winnie the Pooh is a success because it just past its budget, it is now $31,165,000, plus it got positive reviews from people who grew up and love Winnie the Pooh and its other movies.

August 06, 2011
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Winnie the Pooh fully made back its budget before disappearing from theaters, so this movie is definitely not a flop, but it certainly isn't a huge success. Based off of that, and John Lassater's love for hand drawn animation, this likely isn't the end of hand drawn animation. The best case scenario is that the Disney company will learn from this film and fire Rich Ross (the current marketing advisor who used to run the Disney Channel and ended Vault Disney, thus leaving the channel to its boring state today, Anne Sweeney is to blame too) for not giving their hand drawn movies the proper release and advertising. It's a big smack in the face to John Lassater and his crew that are making these movies only to find out that nobody knows of their work. Winnie the Pooh got lucky for not being a box office bomb this time, but hopefully Rich Ross will get his head out of his butt (or better yet kicked out) for the next hand drawn film to make sure it gets the same treatment as all their other films would, then the movie would be a bigger success. Considering the advertising Winnie the Pooh has gotten, this movie has done pretty well on its own.

July 26, 2011
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As many other posters have said before me, the timing was terrible. This is the sort of movie that would have done well during the holiday season, when people are looking for more innocuous fare. I could have seen this easily recouping its budget in the US alone if it were released on, say, Thanksgiving weekend. Plus, the marketing tie-ins with Christmas (stuffed animals, playsets, etc.) could have combined for a nice payday.

On another note, I'm not sure how the 90s characters would fare today since Disney does not air reruns of cartoons like DuckTales, TaleSpin, Darkwing Duck, etc. anymore; the audience that grew up watching those shows would probably not show up in force for a feature film, and the kids who WOULD be interested don't know the characters.

July 22, 2011
Usa Is not currently on the site
In my opinion (I'm ignorant, so I could be wrong) Disney's kinda giving back us long-time fans what we've been screaming for. They started this with PATF, then Tangled, now Winnie the Pooh and soon Lion King 3D. So. There you have it. My opnion.

July 21, 2011
Webmaster France Male Is not currently on the site
AS leader
Mickey would definitely have a greater appeal, especially if they focus on the more "mischievous" part of him like in Epic Mickey.

July 21, 2011
Usa Is not currently on the site
Mickey made Disney. So its time Mickey brings it back. If done right I think a full length 2D animated feature starring Mickey would be fantastic. Im almost certain it would appeal more to the casual film goer than Winnie the Pooh.

July 20, 2011
Switzerland Female Is not currently on the site
Anastasia Admin
Agreed with Tibb. More people would want to see HP than this.

July 20, 2011
Webmaster France Male Is not currently on the site
AS leader
I don't think releasing it the same week end as Harry Potter is a big deal.
Look at the foreign box office. It flopped even more outside USA.

Here in France, it's THE Disney film that made the less entries in the whole history. Yet Princess & The Frog was VERY successful here. (it made as much as Tangled)
So no, there are a lot more reasons than just the release date.

July 20, 2011
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The timing wasn't right. But the movie itself is funny and enjoyable.


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