By David Poland firstname.lastname@example.org
Summer Counting, Always A Blast…
Jeffrey Katzenberg is a brilliant guy… except when he shoots his mouth off in public. Since DreamWorks Animation has gone public, JK’s public statements have been dangerous stuff. And once again, Reuters reports, he is overreaching more than a little while addressing a Bank of America conference.
“Everyone is going to see Shrek. Everyone is going to see Pirates. Everyone is going to see Spider-Man,” he said. “The difference is which one of those movies are going to get multiple viewings.”
Fair enough… though the use of the word “everyone” is one of those Hollywood headed usages. A $400 million domestic gross probably means fewer than 50 million Americans going to the box office. That is a massive number… but hardly “everyone.” This is also the Passion of the Christ lesson that no one seems to want to hand onto.
While describing “Shrek the Third” as “good” and “a worthy successor” to its blockbuster forebears, Katzenberg suggested that his green ogre could have an advantage over Spidey and Pirate Jack Sparrow during the “unprecedented” month of blockbusters.
“We are the only family film, the only PG-rated movie and we are 81 minutes long. That pretty much means we are going to tend to get one-and-a-half to two shows for every one of theirs because they are longer films,” Katzenberg said.
Katzenberg is right that on the face of it, Shrek The Third has a big advantage in that it crosses over, but is also a very muscular kids film for kids of all ages. This held up for Shrek II and Finding Nemo in their summers… even Cars, which looked like it might underperform last summer.
However, Shrek The Third faces a much harsher fight for the family dollar this summer than Shrek II did in 2004. Two weeks after opening, Sony throws Surf’s Up at it… and three weeks later, Pixar’s Ratatouille… and that’s not to mention Nancy Drew or Fantastic Four or Evan Almighty. Shrek II faced only a Potter movie of any size, with Pixar holding for November with The Incredibles.
In addition, as far as I can tell, no four-day weekend has ever cracked $300 million. So why through out that $800 million number? And how can he say that there will not be screen count issues by mid-June? Will theaters be holding multiple screens or even full day screening schedules for the downslope of Shrek The Third with Ratatouille coming in? (Answer: No.)