Sequel fatigue hit two venerable franchises at the box office this weekend.
Here’s a fun trivia bit: animated movies have been #1 at the box office for the past four weeks (three weeks for Finding Dory and one week for The Secret Life of Pets), and the last time animation ruled the box office for such a long stretch was three years ago, when Monsters University and Despicable Me 2 were #1 for two weeks each.
If anything signaled the end of Disney’s dominance in the feature-length animated-film department, as well as the rise of computer-animated films over traditionally hand-drawn animated films, it was the release, ten years ago, of Ice Age.
Prior to that, most of the major cartoons — the successful ones, that is — were produced by Disney, distributed by Disney or, in the case of DreamWorks, produced by former Disney people who were either imitating Disney’s style (a la The Prince of Egypt) or mocking it (a la Shrek).* But Ice Age changed all that: produced by Fox, it borrowed at least some of its sensibility from the old Warner Brothers cartoons — certainly where the hapless Wile E. Coyote-like Scrat was concerned — and its makers didn’t seem to have Disney on the brain at all. And audiences still flocked to it anyway.