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Old 07-01-2011, 01:49 AM   #241
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You guys are biased as fans, Spirited Away would absolutely not touch the kind of money Finding Nemo made. Miyazaki's fans in America are mostly anime fans, the style just does not have mainstream acceptance here. But we'll probably just go back and forth on this as usual.
Obviously not, but you're kidding yourself on the anime comment and being entirely dismissive of a film based simply on what country it came from.
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Old 07-01-2011, 03:02 AM   #242
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I didn't say it would have made as much as Pixar's most successful films. But could it have done Wall-E money? Sure.
The most successful foreign language film of all time, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon (200+ mil), made half as much as Wall-E (managing a paltry 500+ mil). No, a Miyazaki film is highly unlikely to make as much as even the most esoteric Pixar film stateside. That's just the way it is. And I don't think powerhour is being "dismissive" of Ghibli films for stating this. It's not as if we're talking about quality here anyway, just marketing appeal. Sure, Totoro is cute, but cultural barriers limit the immediacy on occasion, and I find that the English translation of films like Ponyo tends to water down the surreal quality of those films, so to a degree they're a compromised product anyway. Japanese children's films cannot and will not have commercial dominance in an American market, and that's really quite alright. Anyone with the inclination can find them if they so desire, and those who are too lazy to provide their children with higher quality entertainment than Dreamworks fare probably wouldn't appreciate them in the first place.

For the record, I do adore Pixar and I feel that those panicking or gloating over the shittiness of Cars 2 are acting rashly. While it does appear that Pixar's creativity is trending downwards with 3 sequels scheduled in the span of 4 films, one of them happened to be very strong (not Spirited Away strong, but I pity those who give a fuck), and I have enough faith in the quality of Monsters Inc's characters to expect an alright film to result from the sequel. And, since their last three original ideas all resulted in extremely good films, arguably the most creative run in their entire filmography, I have no reason to expect less of Brave. This is a really shitty period for Pixar, relatively speaking, and the result will be a solid year of iconoclastic backlash. Once the hits and critical fellation resume, however, it will be as difficult/irrational to fault them as ever for doing what they do well, even if it is more limited than American critics like to believe.

Looking through their output to date, I like just about every one of their films, and see legitimate artistry in several. That's the best I can reasonably expect from a studio of their commercial standing, so I have little room to complain. My expectations from Ghibli are considerably different, and they have also delivered.
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Old 07-01-2011, 03:52 AM   #243
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Disney distributed those negative reviews for Bad Teacher, nefariously

Also, let's not forget, even at their absolute worst, Pixar still provided us with the finest mainstream popcorn-muncher of the week:

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Old 07-01-2011, 08:32 AM   #244
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But Pixar is silly! It is silly to like Pixar!
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Old 07-01-2011, 11:06 AM   #245
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The most successful foreign language film of all time, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon (200+ mil), made half as much as Wall-E (managing a paltry 500+ mil). No, a Miyazaki film is highly unlikely to make as much as even the most esoteric Pixar film stateside.
I don't know what numbers you're looking at, but Crouching Tiger only made $125 million in the U.S. That Wall-E total is worldwide, not domestic. It only made about $220 million here, which is on the lower side for the Pixar stuff.

And I do feel that with the right promotion, Spirited Away could have reached that number. I think it has a fairly wide demographic, and if its similarity to Alice in Wonderland had been played up, who knows? If Crouching Tiger could break $100 million I don't think it's a challenge when you factor in the child/parent audience. I think it's the greatest children's film and the greatest animated film ever made, and I think that Oscar win is a testament to how strongly people who did see it felt about it. Disney spent jack shit trying to secure that award while pumping money into their own product, and it still won.
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Old 07-01-2011, 02:04 PM   #246
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The fact that a Taiwanese revisionist wuxia film (a slightly niche market generally in the west, you might say) can still manage to make as much as Crouching Tiger did when receiving the right critical and promotional attention should stand as a testament to how wildly successful any Ghibli film could be in the west if Disney actually gave a shit. Seeing as how the potential market for them is just as wide if not moreso than most homeland Disney products, and how universal in artistry and content most of them are.
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Old 07-01-2011, 02:11 PM   #247
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True, and despite some of the Shinto imagery that Western audiences wouldn't be familiar with, it's not like the characters are drawn to look specifically Asian or anything.

Also, this was the number one grossing film OF ALL TIME in Japan. Not just any old successful film.
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Old 07-01-2011, 05:23 PM   #248
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I don't know what numbers you're looking at, but Crouching Tiger only made $125 million in the U.S. That Wall-E total is worldwide, not domestic. It only made about $220 million here, which is on the lower side for the Pixar stuff.
Sorry, those were the worldwide numbers, which aren't terribly relevant, though the claim that it made half as much as Wall-E stateside is still just about right even after the adjustments.

I recall the promotional push here for Crouching Tiger being absolutely massive when it came out, but that might be revisionist history. I was like 9; a lot of things seemed larger to me then.

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But Pixar is silly! It is silly to like Pixar!
Pixar owes me a piece of driftwood for Cars 2.

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Seeing as how the potential market for them is just as wide if not moreso than most homeland Disney products, and how universal in artistry and content most of them are.
While I do understand that the overall message of Ghibli films tend to be extremely relatable and easy to decipher, a major selling point when it comes to marketing, what do you mean by "universal in artistry?"
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Old 07-01-2011, 06:12 PM   #249
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I liked the first Cars, but I heard years ago that Disney was cashing in on a sequel, so I didn't have my hopes up and Mater being tied up in some ridiculous spy caper just doesn't make any sense. It's like they took of one those Tall Tales shorts and tried to expand that into a movie instead of making a true continuation of the Cars story.
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Old 07-01-2011, 08:23 PM   #250
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Sorry, those were the worldwide numbers, which aren't terribly relevant, though the claim that it made half as much as Wall-E stateside is still just about right even after the adjustments.
Not quite. The $125,000,000 that Crouching Tiger made would be over $150 million in 2008 dollars. That's significantly more than half of Wall-E's $220 million, but whatever.

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While I do understand that the overall message of Ghibli films tend to be extremely relatable and easy to decipher, a major selling point when it comes to marketing, what do you mean by "universal in artistry?"
I think Lance was basically saying what my last post did. The artwork isn't overtly Japanese, or some kind of niche Anime product like Akira or Ghost in the Shell. It's a children's fantasy that arguably could have reached much of the audience for Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland. Now I know that was a monster hit and Spirited Away wouldn't likely have made $400 million, but I do think that it had a wider audience than you're giving it credit for.
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Old 07-01-2011, 11:29 PM   #251
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Even with Ghibli-loving John Lassiter at the helm of Disney Animation, Ponyo's widest release was only 927 theaters.

Total Lifetime Grosses:
Domestic: $15,090,399 (7.5%)
Foreign: $186,660,538 (92.5%)
Worldwide: $201,750,937

Fucking bullshit.
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Old 07-01-2011, 11:49 PM   #252
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I don't get why Ponyo wasn't given a bigger release than that, they actually did ads for it and I felt like they were pushing that one far more.
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Old 07-02-2011, 12:56 AM   #253
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Thank you LemonMelon, I definitely wasn't being dismissive, I'm asking fans to wake up to the fact that anime is very niche in this country, no matter the marketing campaign or release size you get, the interest and acceptance for the genre has to be there and it just isn't in this country. We're talking box office and demographics here. Of course I opened this ridiculous wormhole with a throwaway sentence at the end of my real message, to which no one really reacted. Why must we nitpick random things and blow them into arguments?

Also let's see how Brave is and what Pete Docter has up his sleeve for his next project before claiming that they've lost their mojo.
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Old 07-02-2011, 01:15 AM   #254
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I think Lance was basically saying what my last post did. The artwork isn't overtly Japanese, or some kind of niche Anime product like Akira or Ghost in the Shell. It's a children's fantasy that arguably could have reached much of the audience for Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland. Now I know that was a monster hit and Spirited Away wouldn't likely have made $400 million, but I do think that it had a wider audience than you're giving it credit for.
Yeah, basically. Anime is kind of a niche market over here, because a lot of it is stylized, both in terms of visual artwork and general form or tone. I feel a lot of Ghibli's non-domenstic (meaning, outside of Japan) appeal has to do with their film's somewhat fundamental cinematic language and means of communication. They aren't the only studio making anime that's decidedly not ANIME, so to speak, but certainly the most visible.
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Old 07-02-2011, 01:26 AM   #255
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But Ghibli films AREN'T the kind of anime you're referring to that is niche, Powerhour, that's what bugs me about what you're saying.It comes off dismissive to me of the entire animation capabilities of Japan by dismissing all of it as "anime" in the sense you're talking. You make it sound as if Japan is completely incapable of making a film that people in other countries would want to see and that's CLEARLY not the case.
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