Disney’s Oz increases lead to 42 billion; Disney promotes current shows to worldwide children; Monsters Vs. Aliens to premiere in April during Spring Break



Oz rebounds again! I’m Realistic Fish Head. After receiving dismal reviews from critics, Disney has once again proved them wrong as Disney’s Oz is back on the top of the box office for the second week. Does the trick continue this week Gene?



Disney’s Oz: The Great and Powerful remained comfortably in first place this weekend with an estimated $42.2 million. The blockbuster 3D fantasy film was down a significant, but reasonable 47 percent from last weekend’s debut. In comparison, 2010’s Alice in Wonderland fell 46 percent in its second weekend to gross $62.71 million, while last year’s The Lorax fell 45 percent to gross $38.85 million. Oz: The Great and Powerful has grossed $145.03 million through ten days of release, which places it 31 percent behind the $209.34 million ten-day take of Alice in Wonderland and 19 percent ahead of the $121.72 million ten-day gross of The Lorax. Oz: The Great and Powerful is already the highest grossing release of 2013 thus far domestically.

Oz: The Great and Powerful held up nicely overseas this weekend as it grossed $46.6 million from 55 foreign territories. That brings the film’s overseas total to $136.8 million and current global haul to $281.8 million.

The Call debuted in second place with an estimated $17.1 million. Sony’s low-budget thriller starring Halle Berry and Abigail Breslin exceeded pre-release expectations this weekend. The performance was especially impressive given the film’s R rating and was 53 percent stronger than the $11.21 million debut of 2007’s Perfect Stranger. The Call grossed $6.19 million on Friday and is on course to generate an opening weekend to Friday ratio of 2.76 to 1. That is very solid for a thriller and is a good sign for the film going forward; as is the film’s B+ rating on Cinema Score. The audience breakdown for The Call skewed towards female moviegoers (61 percent) and moviegoers over the age of 30 (53 percent).

Meanwhile, Warner’s The Incredible Burt Wonderstone debuted below expectations with an estimated third place start of $10.3 million. The PG-13 comedy starring Steve Carell and Jim Carrey marks yet another disappointing performance for Warner Bros. in early 2013. At the end of the day, star power and marketing weren’t enough to transfer Burt Wonderstone from a niche comedy into a comedy appealing to a wider audience base. Burt Wonderstone opened 26.5 percent softer than the $14.02 million start of 2010’s Hot Tub Time Machine. With a relatively lackluster estimated opening weekend to Friday ratio of 2.77 to 1 and a C+ Cinema Score, going forward it is quite unlikely that Burt Wonderstone will hold up as well as Hot Tub Time Machine did.

Fellow Warner Bros. release Jack the Giant Slayer placed in fourth with an estimated $6.2 million. The expensive 3D fantasy film did stabilize this weekend, as it was down a very solid 37 percent from last weekend. However, with Fox’s The Croods and Paramount’s G.I. Joe: Retaliation both soon entering the marketplace, it will be tough for Jack the Giant Slayer to maintain momentum going forward. Jack the Giant Slayer has grossed a lackluster $53.91 million in 17 days, placing it 14 percent behind the $62.41 million 17-day take of last year’s John Carter.

On the platform front, A24’s Spring Breakers was off to a terrific start with an estimated $270,000 from just 3 locations in New York and Los Angeles. That gave the much buzzed about film a massive per-location average of $90,000. Spring Breakers will hope to springboard off of its strong platform launch when it expands into moderate release this coming Friday.


To recap, Oz triumphs again in 1st, not much better than last week, Sony’s The Call debuts in 2nd, Burt Wonderstone makes his magical appearance in 3rd, Jack the Slayer stumbles in 4th, and the ID Thief plans to finish strong in 5th.


On Wednesday’s upfront report, Disney released its entire block for spring break and summer season delivering their promise to the viewers. And to that we ask the question, how do Disney’s current shows deliver the entire world viewing public to every child around the world? Jimmy’s got the dish on this story!


Jim Trout (via Variety)- For nearly eight decades, Disney has relied on films to rally kids and their families around the Mouse House. But with its core audience increasingly glued to screens of all sizes, the success of animated hits such as “Phineas and Ferb” and live-action fare like “Violetta” and “A.N.T. Farm,” has turned TV into the company’s most powerful brand ambassador.
That’s especially true overseas, where Disney Channels Worldwide — which operates Disney Channel, Disney XD and Disney Junior — has succeeded in introducing young audiences to the company’s iconic characters for the first time, or to new franchises that make them loyal to Mickey and friends for years to come.
“Disney Channel has become the biggest franchise grower for the company worldwide,” Jay Rasulo, the Walt Disney Co.’s chief financial officer, said last fall at the Bank of America/Merrill Lynch Media, Communications and Entertainment Conference in Beverly Hills. “It used to be (film) animation, but the amount of time kids spend in front of the TV and
Web devices (and) mobile devices (watching) the Disney Channel make this an incredibly powerful vehicle.”
Disney has always reached out to kids on TV via shows like “The Wonderful World of Disney” and “The Mickey Mouse Club,” but Disney Channels gives it more of a dedicated profile. In fact, given that more kids tune in to Disney Channels’ shows each day than watch the studio’s films, the kids cabler has launched more moneymaking properties than the Walt Disney
Studios over the past five to seven years, Rasulo says.
Gary Marsh, president and chief creative officer of Disney Channels Worldwide, says that the channel’s ability to reach people in their homes every day with programming that’s entertaining and uplifting is a profoundly positive influence in people’s relationship to the Disney brand. “In many countries, we are a daily 24/7 touch point presenting the core of all things Disney. It’s hard to imagine a more potent form of ambassadorship.”
It’s hard to argue with that when you consider the numbers: Disney Channels’ portfolio, targeting 2- to 11-year-olds, includes 107 channels in 166 countries, available in 431.3 million households. Not only is that up 13% from last year, it’s an exponential rise over 2007, when the division had 54 million total viewers in 20 countries.
Viewership is also increasing rapidly. In the fourth quarter of 2012, 620 million total viewers watched the channels around the world, an improvement of 11% over 2011. In Europe, the
Middle East and Africa, views are up 20%, another 15% in Latin America and 10% in Asia over last year. Disney Channel’s top international markets are the U.K., France, Germany, Italy and Latin America, in that order.
That kind of growth has made the network’s animated/live-action programming mix —“Phineas and Ferb,” “A.N.T. Farm,” “Jake and the Never Land Pirates,” “Sofia the First,” “Shake It Up,” “Good Luck Charlie,” “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse” and before that, “Hannah Montana,” “The Wizards of Waverly Place,” and “High School Musical” — international hits, which has turned its actors and characters into homegrown Disney Channel stars, and companywide ambassadors to promote everything from Disney’s films and TV shows to theme parks and mobile apps.
Get kids interested in Marvel’s superheroes or Lucasfilm’s “Star Wars” at an early age and they may want their parents to take them to the next films featuring Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, the Avengers or Darth Vader.
Disney is revving up its promotional machine to launch 17-year-old Dove Cameron as its next young icon, casting the “Liv & Maddie” sitcom top liner in the snowboarding movie “Cloud 9,” co-produced by Ashley Tisdale and pro-boarder Shaun White.
The market size of its footprint has certainly helped Disney become more competitive against rival kids cablers like Viacom’s Nickelodeon and Time Warner’s Cartoon Network, which operate channels in 110 and 170 countries, respectively.
Last year, Disney Channel was No. 1 among kids 2-11, toppling Nickelodeon’s 17-year record in total day among the largest advertiser-targeted segment, while it was also tops among kids 6-11 for the second consecutive year, and for the fourth year among tweens 9-14.
But operating so many channels means keeping tabs on what audiences in those countries want to watch.
“At the end of the day, we look at what makes our audiences similar, and celebrate that,” says Paul DeBenedittis, senior VP, programming strategy, Disney Channels Worldwide. “Being a kid and growing up and coming of age is universal. There might be different components of what’s happening in a different market, but kids want really funny, relatable and quality content.”
While many of its U.S. shows are dubbed for foreign territories some have been repurposed entirely to cater to local tastes.
For example, Disney Channel in India adapted sitcom “Good Luck Charlie” with its own local cast, and a new name, “Best of Luck Nikki,” but is filming the same scripts the U.S. show uses.
It’s similar to how it reworked “The Suite Life of Zack & Cody” as “The Suite Life of Karan & Kabir.”
In other territories, Disney Channels is producing its own local-language productions.
Music-based teen soap “Violetta” has become a big hit in Latin America since launching there last year and spinning off a live concert series. Since then, show has begun airing dubbed versions in Italy, Spain and Russia, but has not yet bowed in the U.S.
“GoalMouth,” a sports-themed show in the U.K. is being eyed as a format for other regions. And in Russia, programmers are exploring the launch of original content to complement the U.S. shows it airs.
“Hopefully along the way, we will be able to globalize the local and localize the global,” says Paul DeBenedittis, senior VP of programming strategy for Disney Channels Worldwide. “Nothing would make us happier than to have a Disney Russia series be adapted for the U.S. or other markets.”
Disney international chairman Andy Bird expressed similar sentiments during his opening keynote address this week at FICCI Frames conference, in Mumbai, India . “There is no international market,” he said. “There is only a vast collection of diverse and dynamic local markets that demand individual strategies and relevant products from any business trying to succeed there.”
Disney Channel hits overseas are only now starting to make their way Stateside.
In the U.K., “Henry Hugglemonster” debuted on Disney Jr., in February, made its way to India, and will air on the U.S. channel in April.
“It’s a great example of a project developed in another region that will go global,” DeBenedittis says.
In some markets, like Australia where a Disney XD does not currently exist, “Lab Rats” is a top five series on the Disney Channel.
“Because the shows still have the DNA of Disney, they can still work on a Disney Channel,” DeBenedittis says.
To help cross over more properties, Disney Channel also has offered shows’ assets to its channels to adapt for their audiences.
For “Take Two With Phineas and Ferb,” a talk show-themed interstitial that paired the show’s toon stars with celebs like Jack Black, Taylor Swift and David Beckham, Disney made the animated sequences available for channels to feature local comedians and athletes like India standup comedian Cyrus Broacha.
Not every show has been a success for Disney, however.
Disney XD’s visually impressive and pricey animated series “Tron: Uprising,” based on the films, struggled to attract the channel’s core viewers of 6- 11-year-old boys. The series’ tone appealed more to an older audience that isn’t yet watching the channel.
“It did well with many segments of the audience, but missed some of the key demos,” DeBenedittis says. “It’s one of those examples where if the bull’s-eye is the Disney brand, and you go into the other rings, you take some risks in missing the magic of the bull’s-eye. (“Tron: Uprising” took the right risk and we created a show to be so proud of, but it hit the secondary ring of the target.”)
With a sequel to “Tron: Legacy” in the works at the studio, Disney Channels plans to eventually bring back “Tron,” but it may not be returning as the same show, DeBenedittis says.
Instead, live-action series like “Pair of Kings,” “Lab Rats,” “Kickin’ It!” and “Crash and Bernstein” are slowly defining what the Disney XD brand means.
“Live action has really been fueling much of our success,” DeBenedittis says, since the series have made it easier for young audiences to connect with the stories and characters, and engage with the talent playing them. But the company also sees the value of animation, given that “Phineas and Ferb” struck a chord with its uber-optimistic themes of imagination, friendship and anything being possible.
While most channels feature a balance of live action and animation, in parts of Asia, toons tend to work better.
“Asia tends to be a market that thrived on anime and animation,” DeBenedittis says. “The live action genre isn’t new, but in the kids landscape, we’re still showcasing this type of content to an audience that lives and breathes anime.” As a result, Disney plans to invest more on local programming in those markets, including Japan.
Moving forward, Marvel and Lucasfilm will play a more significant programming role for Disney XD in the U.S. and some global markets, with new shows featuring the Avengers, the Incredible Hulk and “Star Wars” characters. “Ultimate Spider-Man” already is the No. 1 series on XD in the U.K.
The company has pulled the plug on the animated “Star Wars: The Clone Wars,” which had been airing on Cartoon Network over the past five seasons, to develop new shows.
Marvel and Lucasfilm offer “a world of really magical storytelling that has spanned generations, and we haven’t even scratched the surface of what this could mean for us,” DeBenedittis says.
Given how quickly its younger aud’s grow up, Disney’s shows typically have a short life, lasting around four years.
“That’s about all we need for kids in the landscape,” DeBenedittis says, citing the four-year run of “Hannah Montana” as an example of a series that saw its fan base grow up and move on to other shows once it wrapped Disney Channel’s “Good Luck Charlie” enters its fourth season in April. “We will go to season five if there is still more story to tell,” DeBenedittis says.
Still the generational aspect is what helped greenlight “Girl Meets World,” a spinoff of “Boy Meets World,” that aired on ABC from 1993-2000.
“We think there is a whole other generation that is going on the same journey,” and will watch the updated series featuring the same cast as parents, with their kids, DeBenedittis says.
Because of its success, Disney wants to see its kids cable biz expand into even more markets in the future. Bob Iger has pushed the growth of Disney Channels since becoming Disney chairman and CEO in 2005.
In 2011, Disney paid $300 million for a 49% stake in Russia’s Seven TV to launch a free Disney Channel in 40 million homes. Last year, it spent $375 million to acquire UTV Software
Communications, which produces local programming for Disney Channel India.
While it airs programming blocks featuring Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and other characters on China Central Television Network, a new Disney Channel could launch in China because of the company’s partnership with Shanghai Radio, Film and Television Development Co., which is involved with the construction of Disney’s new $3.7 billion park in Shanghai.
“With the addition of some of our Asian-based Disney Channels over the past few years — specifically Turkey, India and most recently Russia — we’ve been steadily adding to our distribution reach,” Marsh says. “The one significant country that remains on our wish list is China. Having a dedicated Disney Channel there to accompany the launch of Shanghai.
Disneyland, in 2015, represents a huge opportunity.”Marsh adds that the division already has installed a local China-based content creation team whose focus is to develop and produce locally sourced, Disney-branded content for distribution inside China — “content that will proudly showcase what Disney represents for current and future generations,” he says.
Disney also is expanding its digital presence through its Watch apps, which count 12.4 million downloads, as of February, with users spending 6 billion minutes watching Disney Channel content via live feeds or VOD on tablets and other mobile devices.
“For us it’s really about staying connected to our audience and being everywhere they are and want to be,” DeBenedittis says. “It’s really about making sure that there are many different ways of engaging with our audiences.”


For you Monster’s vs. Aliens fans out there, your patience is about to pay off! With this week remaining until next Saturday’s KCA’s, DreamWorks’ Monsters vs. Aliens will invade Nick this April as spring break fast approaches! Perch’s got the official date on where the invasion will commence!


Perch Perkins (via Toon Zone HQ)- Nickelodeon has sent Toon Zone the trailer for the Monsters vs. Aliens TV series, with a special sneak preview premiere of the show airing after the Kids’ Choice Awards on March 23, 2013. The series premiere date has been set for April 6, 2013 at 7:00 PM (ET). Inspired by DreamWorks Animation’s 2009 blockbuster feature film ($383 million worldwide gross), Monsters vs. Aliens follows the further adventures of the beloved monsters- B.O.B., the gelatinous blob without a brain; Link, the prehistoric fish-man; Dr. Cockroach, the half-man/half-insect mad scientist; and Susan (aka Ginormica), the incredible growing woman-as they learn to adapt to a new world filled with bizarre aliens. This 26 episode series marks the third partnership between Nickelodeon and DreamWorks Animation.


With the addition of Team Monster, Team Po and Team Skipper will wish them good luck on season 1 of the series as they prepare to meet their destiny!


Checking the Penguins tally, 212 fans will see whether the arrival of Team Monster will give Team Skipper the advantage needed to face their archenemy Dr. Blowhole!


Breaking news fairy fans, Team Timmy’s pet is revealed to be a fairly odd puppy! With Sparky, their newest addition to the family, Timmy, like every dog owner, must take very good care of him properly in order for him to stay healthy! Before the reveal, Sparky’s arrival on the show could doom the entire season. But creator Butch Hartman has vowed that the show’s popularity will never be brought down as long as Sparky fits perfectly. To that end, the newest special Fairy Odd Puppy will premiere next Saturday before the KCA’s! This is Realistic Fish Head saying, make sure to make your last votes until next weekend!

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