1. In the ’90s, Disney produced seven feature-length cartoons that grossed over $100 million — and that was back when $100 million meant something, especially for a cartoon. But despite the fact that the studio has continued to put out roughly one new animated film per year, it has released only three feature-length cartoons that grossed over $100 million in the ’00s.
One of those movies happens to be Bolt, and you might think Disney would be happy that the film has done so well, compared to their other recent output. But the film’s box-office performance — it has grossed $112 million so far — still pales considerably next to that of WALL•E, Kung Fu Panda, Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa and Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who!, all of which grossed between $154 million and $224 million last year.
So instead of celebrating, Disney executives are feeling a bit of disappointment. One of them reportedly said: “Coming in second to Pixar, I can live with. They’re the best in the business, after all. Besides, we own them. So all that money still goes into our pocket. . . . But to have ‘Bolt’ earn less than the latest Blue Sky & DreamWorks animated features? That’s kind of tough to take.” — Jim Hill Media
2. Speaking of Pixar, WALL•E may be the #1 animated film of the year at the North American box office, but overseas — and therefore worldwide — it is down at #3, behind the DreamWorks pics Kung Fu Panda and Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa. — Box Office Mojo
4. Fireproof has earned $33.3 million since opening in September, and that makes it one of the top-grossing “independent” movies of 2008 — depending, of course, on how one defines the term “independent”. By some reckonings, it might even be at the very top of that list, but Slumdog Millionaire, distributed by Fox Searchlight, is currently slightly ahead of that, at $34.8 million. Fireproof comes to DVD in two weeks. — Andrew O’Hehir