While Pixar's heart is almost always in the right place, it was destined to fail at some point or another. Some thought The Incredibles was the end of the line, before getting a handle on its beauty. Hell, some must have thought Cars was going to surely sink the boat, only to see it become a huge enough hit to spawn a sequel. But if you were looking for an official Powerball level failure in The Good Dinosaur, you can collect your winnings in the comments below.
The total take of The Good Dinosaur has been clocked at $266 million worldwide, according to the latest stats reported by The Wrap. With the film already out of the top 10 on the domestic charts, it looks like it's safe to call the time of death on Pixar's second film of 2015. The traditional "tinker while you work" approach that Pixar has taken to writing and re-writing their stories looks like it's finally hit a snag so big that the final product couldn't overcome its storm cloud of doubt. Or, to paraphrase the words of Doctor Leonard McCoy, "It's dead, Jim."
So how bad is the damage to The Good Dinosaur's reputation? Well, let's say the $200 million production budget is a physical embodiment of the film's costs. Now, if you're a successful film, you'll at the very least cover production plus the non-disclosed advertising budget, which can sometimes run another $100 million if you're as big as a Pixar film. Meeting this estimated $300 million would put Pixar's first dud in a basic ensemble of clothing, with any sort of profit past this point upgrading said wardrobe into fancier styles past the bare minimum. With $266 million standing as the worldwide total for The Good Dinosaur, it's not only under-dressed, but it's also without the jaunty hat of box office achievement that other films in the Pixar canon can lay claim to.
Obviously, the new lowest grossing film in Pixar history isn't going to sink the studio. Whatever merchandise might have been sold in the months leading up to the film's release, will probably help soften the blow of box office disappointment, as well as any money that's brought in through television, home video, and rental sales. But the fact still remains that The Good Dinosaur, whether they like it or not, is Pixar's first undeniable flop. The best thing that the studio can do, rather than retreat into the "safe" cocoon of sequels, is to re-evaluate their storytelling process and know when to leave well enough alone during the production cycle. When all is said and done, this is one big learning experience for the studio that Toy Story built.
The Good Dinosaur is still in theaters in some locations, so check your local listings in case you're morbidly curious.
CinemaBlend's James Bond (expert). Also versed in Large Scale Aggressors, time travel, and Guillermo del Toro. He fights for The User.
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