Thursday, October 26, 2017

The OTHER Production Road For Animated Features

The tattered remnants of Metro-Goldwyne-Mayer announce a cartoon feature:

MGM’s animated take on The Addams Family, a CG feature film that has been in the works the past four years, is finally ramping up. A week after Sausage Party co-director Conrad Vernon was set as director, Cinesite Studios has come aboard to provide animation and digital visual effects ad has started production in Vancouver. ...

Cinesite specializes in lower-budget long-form CG cartoons with budgets in the $20-$35 million range. The Addams Family will likely be in that category, aided and abetted by a generous dollops of Free Money from Canada.

There are three production tiers for 21st Century cartoon features. The top (most expensive) tier is occupied by Disney, Pixar and DreamWorks Animation (not counting its lower-rent Canadian productions like Captain Underpants), tat create movies costing $135 million to $180 million (give or take). Then there's the second tier, dominated by Blue Sky Studios in Connecticut and Illumination Entertainment/MacGuff in Paris, France. Blue Sky and Illumination make animated features in the $80 million to $120 million range.

The third tier is filled with $15 million to $45 million animated productions, usually made in localities with high government subsidies or low employee salaries ... and sometimes both. (There are, of course, CG animated movies that fall below the three tiers; most of these come from what are known as "emerging nations".)

Look for The Addams Family (when completed) to get a theatrical rollout during one of the less-crowded release windows.

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