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MinaTakla

The Future of Illumination Entertainment: A Discussion

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As most of you know, I’m a huge Illumination fan. I created my account on the forum back in 2015 just around the time when Minions was going to be released.

Since then, Illumination has delivered a stellar box office track record, delivering big hit after big hit and none of their films ever came below 500m WW.

With SLOP 2 on its way to becoming their lowest grossing fully-animated film domestically and among their lowest WW (though it's still early to assess this), they definitely will be concerned. Yes they probably won’t panic because their low budgets would assure it is still profitable but they won’t achieve the heights of SLOP 1 or come anywhere near it.

Several questions come to mind:

-          What could the future be for the studio?

-          Does SLOP’s underperformance become a standalone case where the marketing and film failed to ignite interest or does it impact their future releases which are Minions 2 (2020) and Sing 2 (2021) and I assume Mario is 2022 with direct supervision from the original Mario creator? Do we look at SLOP 2 as a special case where there was simply not a franchise there or as a downward trend that may cascade to upcoming Illumination IP

-          Every animated studio has a dud or underperformer. This could be Illumination’s 'Lego' moment. But can/will they recover?

-          Has Illumination lost its touch with the public or is this a one-off dud relatively speaking?

I’m also wondering about the future of non-Disney/Pixar animation in the coming few years from a box office perspective – and not from a quality standpoint. Until Mario in 2022, there looks to be a lack of potential/probable sizable box office hits except Minions 2, Trolls 2 and Boss Baby 2.

Could streaming be impacting animated films more than other genres?

 

 

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They are like McDonald’s of movie studios 

 

loves good taste when you eat it but nothing makes you remember what you ate.

 

nothing memorable about their movies 

 

a notch below dream works animations 

 

just pandering to general audience. Never liked their movies. No where close to Disney or Pixar 

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12 minutes ago, Minnale101 said:

They are like McDonald’s of movie studios 

 

loves good taste when you eat it but nothing makes you remember what you ate.

 

nothing memorable about their movies 

 

a notch below dream works animations 

 

just pandering to general audience. Never liked their movies. No where close to Disney or Pixar 

So you’re saying ”Illumination” might be or is the next ”Dreamworks” in terms of their animated films and the impact?

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33 minutes ago, MinaTakla said:
  • What could the future be for the studio?
  • Does SLOP’s underperformance become a standalone case where the marketing and film failed to ignite interest or does it impact their future releases which are Minions 2 (2020) and Sing 2 (2021) and I assume Mario is 2022 with direct supervision from the original Mario creator?
  • Do we look at SLOP 2 as a special case where there was simply not a franchise there or as a downward trend that may cascade to upcoming Illumination IP?
  • Every animated studio has a dud or underperformer. This could be Illumination’s 'Lego' moment. But can/will they recover?
  • Has Illumination lost its touch with the public or is this a one-off dud relatively speaking?
  • Could streaming be impacting animated films more than other genres?
  • More movies.
  • They don't look at one movie of a franchise & go, "this other unrelated movie is doomed."
  • See above.
  • LEGO get by on so little, but they have hundreds of hours worth of content. 
  • One Toy Story knockoff of ten others goes under, whoop di doop.
  • No because scifi/fantasy have been impacted most. Illumination could do the industry a favor by making more movies like Sing, not musicals necessarily...just not as dumb as the average kid's movie. 

 

Edited by 2kt09
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14 minutes ago, MrFanaticGuy34 said:

So you’re saying ”Illumination” might be or is the next ”Dreamworks” in terms of their animated films and the impact?

No dream works Atleast in 2000s were better.

 

shrek 

Kung fun panda 

madagascar 

 

are really good franchises

 

they are notch below dream works 

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1 minute ago, Minnale101 said:

No dream works Atleast in 2000s were better.

 

shrek 

Kung fun panda 

madagascar 

 

are really good franchises

 

they are notch below dream works 

Fairly true enough. Though i really wish & hope that Dreamworks will get their first $200M DOM-grosser again. Since their last film that got over the mark, was 7 years ago with Madagascar 3. And nothing after that film has even got there, despite Dreamworks’s best efforts that they’re trying.

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10 minutes ago, The Horror of Lucas Films said:

They're the next Dreamworks, once people realize how mediocre their movies are, their downhill will start, it doesn't help that most of their franchises are extremely saturated by now. Minions 2 is the next one locked to drop hard.

That’s like saying ”More money for Disney/Pixar”. Like always.

 

Have you forgotten some of Dreamworks’s most popular & beloved franchises like the ”How to Train Your Dragon”-trilogy? They are among the pinnacles in terms of animated film-making for DWA.

Edited by MrFanaticGuy34
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They are nothing like DWA. DWA will give you complex characters that you come to care for more than a movie after and they become memorable characters, but Illuminations characters are bland (lacking something like flavor or personality) and boring (something that is uninteresting, like an object or a place). So they will suffer quick death soon. 

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Total budgets of their ten movies to date is about 730 million dollars.

 

Total gross world wide is more than 6.5 billion....without slop 2 being counted. I think they'll be ok. 

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29 minutes ago, tawasal said:

They are nothing like DWA. DWA will give you complex characters that you come to care for more than a movie after and they become memorable characters, but Illuminations characters are bland (lacking something like flavor or personality) and boring (something that is uninteresting, like an object or a place). So they will suffer quick death soon. 

The problem with your assessment here my friend is that you as an adult might not remember much about them but kids do and kids love them. As long as kids continue loving them they will continue making boatloads of cash.

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I agree that Illumination will almost certainly see diminishing returns from their sequels. But I don't think momentary diminishing returns are going to be their death sentence, and that's for a few reasons.

 

The first reason is how much money the company has been able to make from their previous films. These earnings should theoretically ensure that the company is able to survive through a hypothetical rough period until they're able to get their ball rolling again.

 

The second reason is this: no one sets out to make a bad film. Therefore, it's only a matter of time--I'd give 'em five-ten years--until some big shot director strolls into the company and lightning is able to strike through a new original project. If no one sets out to make a bad film, then it's only a matter of time until someone makes a great one.

 

The third reason is that Mario film. People really do like Mario. It'll do well, I'm sure of it.

Edited by Slambros
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11 minutes ago, baumer said:

The problem with your assessment here my friend is that you as an adult might not remember much about them but kids do and kids love them. As long as kids continue loving them they will continue making boatloads of cash.

I know it kids movies, but SLOP2 is going to lose about 50% of the originals gross, that means kids are rejecting them or their parents are rejecting them for them. Which translates to unmemorable characters that are good for one time and not more. That's why I would like for them to focus more on originals and not sequels as quickly as they are doing. SLOP franchise might be dead after this and that's concerning for them if they plan to do sequels for every original movie they produce. 

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These guys aren't going anywhere for a while. Their budgets are low, and SLOP2 is still going to make a profit for them (although I have no idea why they just seemed to abandon this movie in the marketing).

 

Minions, even if it does 180 DOM, will still do 500+ OS. Sing 2 could drop as well, but again, the budget won't be more than 100M, so even a 400-500M WW gross would be great. 

 

And once they start pumping out their Mario content, I have no doubt that their brand/animation combined with the property will make them bucketloads of cash. 

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1 minute ago, baumer said:

But how do you know swap part 2 is going to lose 50% of its audience? What are you basing that on?

Early overseas returns and Thursday box office. I know there's tons of time for things to turn around, but right now everywhere it seems to be opening to around half of the first one. 

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But Thursday's box-office is not comparable to the original. The original came out in July when every school is out. Right now maybe half of schools are still in. I haven't been paying attention to the overseas numbers but are you saying that it is to make around $400 worldwide?

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