THE BAD GUYS Review: An animated movie with “villains” as the main characters

In a crowd of new films, “The BAD GUYS” stands out with more than $20 million, setting a new opening high for Dreamworks Animation in the past three years.

At the same time, unlike the path of recent years where the window period was shortened or even strengthened online, “Badass League” returned to a 45-day exclusive window in theaters. This means that “Badass League” maintains the sharing of big screen dividends between animated movies and live-action special effects films, and further injects confidence into the accelerated box office recovery of animated movies.

According to The-Numbers, “Bad Ass” made $1.12 million at the zero screen, between two other new films, “Scandinavian” ($1.35 million) and “The Unbearable Weight of Genius” ($835,000).

According to the data, “Bad Alliance” spread to 4,009 theaters in North America and made a total of $23.95 million in its opening weekend, with a single theater gain of $5,974. This means that “Badass League” set the second highest opening for an animated movie in nearly a year, just below “Full House of Magic” ($27.21 million), which debuted over the Thanksgiving holiday last year.

According to the data, “Bad Alliance” spread to 4,009 theaters in North America and made a total of $23.95 million in its opening weekend, with a single theater gain of $5,974. This means that “Badass League” set the second highest opening for an animated movie in nearly a year, just below “Full House of Magic” ($27.21 million), which debuted over the Thanksgiving holiday last year.

The “Badass League” is produced by DreamWorks Animation and is based on the children’s book series of the same name, which tells the story of a gang of animals led by the “Big Bad Wolf” trying to transform themselves into model citizens. The voice cast of “Badass Alliance” is a star-studded one, bringing together Sam Rockwell, Okafina, Craig Robinson, Anthony Ramos and Marc Maron, and the director is Pierre Perrifiel, who created the short film “Rabbit Ears Bag Beaver”.

From the audience composition of “Badass League”, children under 10 years old accounted for 16%, while 10 to 12 years old and 13 to 17 years old were 12% and 8% respectively; and the percentage of parents who brought their minor children into the movie reached 30%, much higher than the two age groups of 18 to 24 years old (13%) and 25 years old and above (19%).

Among the ticket-buying groups for “Badass League,” whites and Hispanics accounted for 39% and 30% respectively, while blacks and Asians also reached 17% and 6%. In terms of word-of-mouth, “Badass League” has a Rotten Tomatoes freshness rating of 85% and an A rating on CinemaScore, and is expected to come out of the long run in the aftermarket.

Since mid-March, “Badass Alliance” has been debuting early in several overseas markets. According to comScore statistics, “Badass League” has landed in 52 countries and regions and accumulated to $87.11 million at the global box office. In terms of opening results, “Bad Assemble” made gains in the United Kingdom ($2.99 million), Mexico ($1.88 million), Spain ($1.85 million), Australia ($1.41 million) and France ($1.18 million).

At the end of April, “Badass League” will be expanded to the Netherlands, the Philippines, Norway and Turkey, and is scheduled to open in the mainland on the 29th, the “May Day”.

Meanwhile, “Scandinavian” took in $12.29 million in 3,234 theaters, the second new film to debut at over $10 million that week. However, the audience of “Nordic” is more senior, with 73% of the audience over 25 years old and 68% of the audience being male, while “Badass League” is dominated by women (55%).

The Norse” is a Viking saga set in 10th century Iceland, with a cast that includes Alexander Skarsgard, Nicole Kidman, Claes Bang and Ethan Hawke, and director Robert Eggers, who has released such great films as “The Lighthouse” and “The Witch”. But unlike its predecessor’s strategy of going small to go big, “Nordic Man” has a production budget of $90 million, which will put Focus on Film under considerable pressure to get back its money.

In addition, “The Weight of Genius”, starring Nicolas Cage, entered 3,036 theaters and ranked No. 5 on the box office chart with $7.13 million. The Unbearable Weight of Genius” has been gaining critical acclaim since its premiere at the South by Southwest Film Festival in March, and currently has a Rotten Tomatoes fresh rating of 91%. This time, “The Unbearable Weight of Genius” is being handled by Lionsgate, making it not only Cage’s first major opening since his 2016 guest appearance in “Snowden,” but also his first major studio project since 2012’s “Soul Calibur 2: Hour of Vengeance.

In the past decade, except for the voice of some animated feature films, most of the films Cage has appeared in are small budget productions, with some of the less well-received cases being sent directly to online platforms, and some of the acclaimed masterpieces struggling to break free from the shackles of small-scale screenings. After breaking a long silence with “The Weight of Genius,” Cage will also play the lead role in Universal’s “Renfield,” which is expected to open the door for a return to the mainstream big screen.

With the steady output of films like “Badass League” and “Nordic Man,” the North American weekend gross dropped slightly by 12.6 percent to $93.33 million, maintaining it at around $100 million for the third consecutive week. As of the 24th, the monthly gross accumulated to $493 million, up 153% from last year, warming up early for the upcoming summer season.

The topping of “Badass League” with results far exceeding industry expectations heralds a good opportunity for animated movies to recover in the theatrical market.

First, “Badass League” set a new North American opening high for DreamWorks Animation in the past three years. in February 2019, “How to Train Your Dragon 3” had topped the box office chart with $55.02 million and finished with $161 million. Then “The Snowman Wonderland” slipped to $20.61 million in its opening weekend, with a cumulative North American total of just $60.76 million.

Entering 2020, in early spring when North American theaters were closed on a large scale, “The Wizard 2” opened the first “zero window period”, holding the slot and opening online viewing, but box office revenues were not counted.

With the second half of the big screen gradually restarted, “Mad Men 2” in November Thanksgiving debut, but then there are still about half of the theaters closed, opening figures only 9.72 million dollars, and finally stopped at $ 58.57 million. Last year, DreamWorks Animation released “Wild Spirit” and “Baby Boss 2” back-to-back, accumulating to $17.72 million and $57.3 million, respectively.

This is a far cry from the results of previous Dreamworks productions. Between 2010 and 2019, DreamWorks Animation released 19 films, 15 of which exceeded the billion dollar mark at the North American box office. This time, “Badass League” reactivates the type market and is expected to open a new situation for Dreamworks.

It is worth mentioning that “Badass League” is also the first DreamWorks Animation film to implement an extended window since 2019, and will only hit the Peacock platform 45 days after its theatrical premiere. In comparison, “Mad Men 2” and “Wild Spirit” offer streaming or online on-demand options after only 22 days, while “The Wiz 2” and “Baby Boss 2” are relegated to simultaneous theatrical and network release experiments.

In addition, the high opening of “Badass League” has brought animated movies closer and closer to recovery overall. Before “Badass League”, the last North American mass release of animated films or “Christmas” “The Voice of Joy 2”, the first weekend in 3892 theaters scored $ 22.33 million, the long line continued four months after the cumulative rise to $ 163 million. Since 2020 “The Voice of Joy 2” is still the only North American animated movie to break $100 million, and “Badass League” is set to make an impact with high word-of-mouth.

In fact, animated films have been one of the hardest hit genres at the box office over the past two years, constantly falling victim to window experiments by major studios. Take Pixar Studios for example, since March 2020, “1/2 the magic” hurriedly ended the theatrical journey, “the strange journey of the mind”, “summer friend sunny day” and “youth metamorphosis” are skipped the big screen in North America, was transferred by Disney to Disney + for streaming diversion, in the process of the theatrical rebound to deliver a white paper.

In contrast to Pixar, Disney Animation Studios has not been absent from the big screen, but has also experienced a loss of box office due to a shortened window. Last March, “The Legend of Dragon Quest” became Disney’s first work to be synchronized with theaters and networks, and eventually “The Legend of Dragon Quest” closed at $54.72 million in North America, the second lowest in Disney Animation Studios’ history, higher only than “Winnie the Pooh” ($26.69 million), which opened in 2011.

Although “Full House” has since returned to theatrical exclusivity, it went online for streaming 30 days after its release, resulting in a 72% drop in earnings the week the window ended, stopping the cumulative figure at $96.09 million.

However, this situation is expected to be completely reversed this summer: in mid-June, Pixar’s new film “The Legend of Lightyear” will hit the big screen, as a spin-off of the “Toy Story” series, and is considered a strong contender for the summer title. The “Independence Day” slot is expected to reap a huge amount of box office.

This “Badass League” premiere has opened a big red plate, proving that the hunger of family audiences for quality content has not decreased. With Dreamworks and Pixar both returning to the window, the biggest obstacle in front of the animation film has also been removed, the future of this type of sustained recovery will be a probable event.