Dec 3, 2019

Despite box office hits, demand for animated films has stalled out

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Data:Parrot Analytics; Chart: Naema Ahmed/Axios

Consumer demand for animated content has remained stagnant over the past two years, despite the onslaught of animated box office hits, according to data pulled for Axios by Parrot Analytics.

The big picture: "Animation, especially adult animation, is a category that was mostly overlooked as 'peak TV' output increased, so one could argue it is underexploited today," says Matthew Ball, the former head of strategy for Amazon Studios.

  • "Regardless, it tends to be much cheaper than premium live content, and it's certainly more insulated from cost escalation versus such content."

Between the lines: Michael Dempsey, a venture capitalist at Compound, says that a few macro trends could increase the demand for animated content.

  1. "The digitization of animation and the scalability of it thanks to new technology is bringing the creative barrier to entry down, allowing more studios to create better animation. You can already start to see a higher volume of animated content being pitched."
  2. "Also, consumer understanding of animation is increasing. You're starting to see willingness from adults to see animation as a genre for adults, like drama-based animated series."

What's next: In an essay in animation, Dempsey argues that we're going to begin seeing technologies used in other industries, like face-tracking and machine learning, be used to create hyper-realistic and compelling animation.

Go deeper: Disney remains box office champion of animated films with Frozen 2

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Updates: George Floyd protests continue for 9th day

Demonstrators march on Pennsylvania Avenue on June 3. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Largely peaceful protests over the death of George Floyd and other police-related killings of black people continued Wednesday, marking nine straight days of demonstrations.

The latest: As several major cities moved to lift curfews, NYPD officers "aggressively" dispersed large crowds in Brooklyn and Manhattan beyond New York City's 8 p.m. curfew, per the New York Times. The National Guard was stationed outside many protests Wednesday night, including in Hollywood and Atlanta.

Trump hits back at Mattis: "I gave him a new life"

President Trump speaks at the White House. Photo: Doug Mills - Pool/Getty Images

President Trump unloaded on his former defense secretary via Twitter on Wednesday, hours after James Mattis condemned him for making a "mockery of our Constitution" in his response to mass protests in the wake of George Floyd's killing.

What he's saying: "Probably the only thing Barack Obama & I have in common is that we both had the honor of firing Jim Mattis, the world’s most overrated General. I asked for his letter of resignation, & felt great about it. His nickname was 'Chaos', which I didn’t like, & changed it to 'Mad Dog'"

Obama praises young protesters, urges mayors to pursue police reforms

Former President Barack Obama called on all mayors to review their use-of-force policies and commit to policing reform in a virtual town hall Wednesday hosted by the Obama Foundation's My Brothers Keepers Alliance.

Why it matters: Obama has addressed the killing of George Floyd and the nationwide protests that followed on social media and in a Medium post, but this was his first time speaking about the past week's events on camera. His voice will add weight to the growing pressure on local, state and federal officials to pursue policing reforms.