Yo ho. Glad you all liked Buck's interview over at Jellyfishland. He sends his warm regards to everyone who sent him such nice mail.
Now… about that movie. The Pirate movie has grossed about $10mm after two weeks, which is about 1/3 less than Jonah at the same point in time. Obviously, Big Idea and Universal were hoping for a little more. It isn't a disaster, considering the film carried a fairly small budget, but it certainly could be doing better. As to why it isn't doing better, well, I'll list a whole host of reasons folks have suggested:
- Small family films don't do well at this point in movie history
- Too much marketing $ spent in places like NYC, not enough spent in the heartland
- VeggieTales isn't as popular as it was 5-10 years ago
- Movie wasn't Christian enough for the "home crowd," but the property is considered too Christian for everyone else
- No singing chipmunks anywhere on screen
- Not enough crazy slapstick/bathroom humor to fill a trailer and attract the Nickelodeon generation
- Johnny Depp's role too difficult to notice onscreen (Buck suggested this theory)
You probably have a few more, but that's my list. (And Buck's.) So… which ones are correct? I have no idea. I mean, that's the thing about the movie biz – "No one knows anything." Honestly? I think 1 thru 4 and 6 are all probably valid. (Okay, Buck, you raised a good point with #7, too.)
The reality is that the movie business is extraordinarily difficult, providing many more opportunities to fail than succeed. The Pirate movie was, perhaps, a long-shot from the beginning, but since Universal was helping out financially, the new owners of VeggieTales decided it was worth the effort. So there you go. The good news is that, unlike Jonah, the Pirate movie wasn't a central part of keeping Big Idea in business. The bad news is that the performance of the new film makes it fairly unlikely that we'll be seeing The Bob & Larry Movie go into production any time soon.
Next – someone asked when the next veggie DVD, Huckleberry Larry, was hitting stores. The answer: I dunno! The next episode (based on a script I wrote from an outline Mike and I developed together), has been lolling it's way through the development process for a good year now and, I believe, is finally in production. It is being animated in Singapore, of all places, because Canada, as a nation, was "too busy." Bob and Larry are really racking up the frequent flier miles, eh?
That's all for now… I'm hoping before long we can start talking about the things we've been developing here at Jellyfish Labs… soon… I hope…
Oh – I'm speaking at a bunch of conferences in the next few months: the Elmbrook Children's Pastors Conference (outside Milwaukee), the National Religious Broadcasting convention in Nashville, the Assembly of God Children's Pastors Conference (Little Rock) and the Willowcreek Children's Pastors Conference (Chicago), and the Gideon Film Festival in the Smokey Mountains. (See why it's taking so long to make new stuff at Jellyfish?!?) Maybe I'll see you at one of these!