Dec 3, 2019

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

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

Go deeper

Disney remains box office champion of animated films with Frozen 2

Disney

After a record-breaking holiday weekend box office haul with Frozen 2, Disney is poised to win the box office yet again this year, and with it, remain the box office champion of animated films.

Why it matters: Rival streaming chiefs have talked openly about expanding their animation studios to compete with Disney, or to help lure families to their services.

Go deeperArrowDec 3, 2019

Disney breaks $10 billion box office record

Photo Illustration: Miguel Candela/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

With the help of a successful weekend showing of "Frozen 2," the Walt Disney Company has officially raked in more than $10 billion this year in box office sales, a new record.

Why it matters: Disney’s box office success this year is attributable in part to a years-long strategy to invest in major tentpole franchises, like Pixar, Marvel and Star Wars. Most of its biggest box office hits this year came from those three brands.

Go deeperArrowDec 9, 2019

New estimates show Disney spends more on content than Netflix

Data: MoffettNathanson presentation from Code Media Conference; Chart: Axios Visuals

Michael Nathanson, a well-respected media research analyst, said Monday at Recode's Code Media conference that he estimates that Disney spends the most on content annually, followed by Comcast and AT&T.

Why it matters: There's been a long-standing narrative that Netflix spends more money on content than its streaming rivals, but the MoffettNathanson estimates revealed at the conference dispute that notion.

Go deeperArrowNov 19, 2019