After 20 years of feature film animation and 16 entries in that time, The Good Dinosaur is likely to become the first release by Pixar Animation Studios to not make a profit and, instead, lose money for the industry titan.
Despite a solid 76% fresh score at Rotten Tomatoes and an “A” rating from audiences polled by CinemaScore, The Good Dinosaur has not received good traction by word-of-mouth. It dropped 60% from its opening weekend, an uncharacteristically steep falloff for a Pixar movie.
“With a production budget of $200 million and roughly $150 million spent on marketing,” Variety reports, “industry analysts and executives say that Pixar and its parent company Disney must make $500 million to break even theatrically. Currently, the film has made $131.3 million globally and is showing signs of fading fast.”
With Star Wars: The Force Awakens in the wings, parent company Disney won’t be sad (or hurting) for long, and no doubt this will all be forgotten in June with the release of the surefire hit sequel Finding Dory. Still, for as derivative an unmemorable as The Good Dinosaur is (read my review here), if this failure proves anything to Pixar it’s that playing it safe (like this movie does) isn’t their brand, and isn’t what made them the envy of Hollywood.
15-1 over 20 years. Any studio would take that in a heartbeat.