Disney EchoEar Grand Mouseter
Joined: April 1992
||Posted: April 10, 2011, 10:48 am
Sheesh! What a bomb "Mars Needs Moms" turned out to be.
It opened in the US March 11, it's out of theaters in the US as of April 7, not even a month in theaters.
A production budget of $150 million, in the US it only earned $20,557,678, overseas so far (it's still opening worldwide, poor world….) $15,800,00, grand total $36,357,678 so compared to production costs, definitely a money loser. There is probably little likelihood it can recover in pay-per-view or download or DVD and Blu-Ray sales.
Overseas reviews showing up in just a casual "Disney" Google News Advanced Search say how creepy looking the characters appear in Zemeckis' signature "motion capture" effect. The actors are real, but their image is processed into a CGI world. It is the4 same effect in Disney's "A Christmas Carol" and non-Disney "Polar Express". The motion capture effect is also expensive to accomplish, adding to production costs. Fiscally, the effect didn't attract ticket sales and actually in itself is criticized as something unpopular about the movie. It probably would have made more money in CGI or even 2-D traditional animation, or as a live action movie, cheaper to produce and perhaps drawing more of a family audience than the motion capture version of it did.
Here's the Box Office Mojo page for "Mars Needs Moms". You can click on the various tabs and links to charts to see how bad it got for "Mars Needs Moms".
This chart pits "Mars Needs Moms" against Disney's own 2002 animated "Treasure Planet" and other studios' "Planet 512" "Astro Boy" and "Space Chimps" in the genre of who has the worst box office performing animated family sci-fi movie.
"Mars Needs Moms" is not the worst such money losing movie, "Planet 51" is the biggest bomb of the five on this page. But Disney's "Treasure Planet" is #2 and "Mars Needs Moms" is #5. Means of the Top 5 Box Office Bombs of Animated Sci-Fi movies, Disney has 2 out of five, the highest among the studios listed.
Meanwhile on a list of Animated Sci-Fi Movies, "Mars Needs Moms" is #16, Disney's "Treasure Planet" is #10, worst animated sci-fi bomb "Planet 51" is #9, and "Wall-E" from Disney-Pixar is #1, "Lilo & Stitch" is #3, and "Chicken Little" is #4, #1, #3 and #4 are from Disney Animation or Disney-Pixar as the case may be.
So it's possible to make a hit movie in the realm of Animated Sci-Fi. But you have to take into account the production costs. #1 "Wall-E" earned, worldwide, $521,311,860 vs. a production budget of $180 million, so it was definitely a hit movie by a proportion of nearly 2 : 1. You have to make back in profits all of your production costs then have plenty of money left over. Animated sci-fi obviously is a tough nut to crack to do a successful movie out of it. If the #1 bomb "Planet 51" ranks as high as 9th of top box office earners of animated sci-fi movies, obviously it's difficult and very niche to tackle the whole subject matter of sci-fi animation. "Lilo & Stitch" cost $80 million to produce, made back worldwide $273+ million, also definitely profitable. "Chicken Little" was Disney's first CGI animated film, costing $150 million to produce and making back worldwide $314+ million, profitable.
Berkeley Breathed wrote the original children's book.
Two of his books were adapted for animated media, A Wish for Wings That Work (a TV special) and Edwurd Fudwupper Fibbed Big (a 2000 cartoon short) as was "Mars Needs Moms" adapted for major movie release by a major studio.
As a book it debuted after just a week in release at #7 on the New York Times Bestselling Children's Books List May 13, 2007 for children ages 4-8. This film probably should have done better at the box office than it did.