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PostPosted: Sat Jan 04, 2020 10:05 am 
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The box office reports from Spies in Disguise makes me fear the future of Blue Sky Studios. So far the movie has only made $53.5 million from a budget of $100 million. Not sure why it hasn't done better. But it doesn't matter how good a movie is if the trailer and poster fails to sell it.

The remaining hope is that Nimona will be a success. If not, the whole studio could be in danger.


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 Post subject: Re: Blue Sky Studios
PostPosted: Sat Jan 04, 2020 10:29 am 
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In my opinion Disney never intended to make more features beyond those whose production started before the acquisition.

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 Post subject: Re: Blue Sky Studios
PostPosted: Sat Jan 04, 2020 10:31 am 
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In addition, I don't think Disney needs another studio to make animated features. In my opinion they should repurpose Blue Sky to make features/TV series for Disney Plus.

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 Post subject: Re: Blue Sky Studios
PostPosted: Sat Jan 04, 2020 11:13 am 
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I think it's too early to call Spies in Disguise's fate as it's still rolling out overseas, the holidays aren't over and it still has January (which is light on competition) to play in. Audience response appears to be very positive and its daily numbers have been fine, although I agree they could be a little better.

I just wish the wait for Nimona wasn't so long, as it's currently set to open in 2022, although that could certainly change.

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 Post subject: Re: Blue Sky Studios
PostPosted: Sat Jan 04, 2020 11:24 am 
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estefan wrote:
I think it's too early to call Spies in Disguise's fate as it's still rolling out overseas, the holidays aren't over and it still has January (which is light on competition) to play in. Audience response appears to be very positive and its daily numbers have been fine, although I agree they could be a little better.

I just wish the wait for Nimona wasn't so long, as it's currently set to open in 2022, although that could certainly change.

It's not too early. Usually when a film doesn't make the amount of its budget in its first weekend, it's going to flop.

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 Post subject: Re: Blue Sky Studios
PostPosted: Sat Jan 04, 2020 2:15 pm 
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I echo your sentiments.

However, what I am very interested in knowing is how Disney views Spies in Disguise's performance.

Either they knew beforehand that box office performance would be tepid and are in no way "disappointed" because they expected these results, considering the movie was conceived and completed prior to the acquisition. In this scenario I can see key people at Disney forming a long-term plan to get the studio on its legs, same as what happened to WDAS fifteen years ago.

Alternatively, Disney executives may be frowning and shaking their heads at the film's underwhelming performance and viewing Blue Sky Studios as a liability not worth saving rather than an asset.

I really hope it is the former. :|

EDIT: Farerb, I do not really like the idea of turning Blue Sky into a producer of animated features and series for Disney+. While I'll admit it could very well be spot on and bring success to Blue Sky if Disney were to take up your suggestion, I would hate the fact that more animation is being produced exclusively for a streaming service for which one must be subscribed to enjoy it. And that's not even mentioning the inferior video and audio quality you get on these services compared to blu-ray.

I am really dreading the moment when the latest WDAS feature will be viewable only on a streaming service with no physical option. Low bit rates, lossy sound, no 24p support. Ugh ... :evil:


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 Post subject: Re: Blue Sky Studios
PostPosted: Sat Jan 04, 2020 11:11 pm 
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farerb wrote:
In addition, I don't think Disney needs another studio to make animated features. In my opinion they should repurpose Blue Sky to make features/TV series for Disney Plus.


I don't see the problem with another studio. Especially considering that they produce movies that couldn't have come from the other two. Can you imagine for instance Robots being made by Pixar or Disney? Blue Sky has their own voice, and hopefully that will continue also after the acquisition. The problem with Lasseter and Catmull running both Disney and Pixar was that the two studios started to flow into each other, and the movies looked increasingly more similar. Hopefully that will change after different persons are running them.

Jules wrote:
I echo your sentiments.

Either they knew beforehand that box office performance would be tepid and are in no way "disappointed" because they expected these results, considering the movie was conceived and completed prior to the acquisition. In this scenario I can see key people at Disney forming a long-term plan to get the studio on its legs, same as what happened to WDAS fifteen years ago.

Alternatively, Disney executives may be frowning and shaking their heads at the film's underwhelming performance and viewing Blue Sky Studios as a liability not worth saving rather than an asset.

I am really dreading the moment when the latest WDAS feature will be viewable only on a streaming service with no physical option. Low bit rates, lossy sound, no 24p support. Ugh ... :evil:


Spies in Disguise was practically finished when Disney took over, so I'm guessing they will wait to see how Nimona is doing. If it does well, perhaps what was intended as their first musical will be greenlighted.

And I hope we never see the day when Disney decides to drop the theatre and release their movies straight to streaming.


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 Post subject: Re: Blue Sky Studios
PostPosted: Thu Jan 09, 2020 3:58 pm 
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Do you think Nimona Will still be made ?

It was one my most anticipated upcoming animated movies from any studio !

Out of all the animated films being in development Nimona was one the one I most coked forward ! :)


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 Post subject: Re: Blue Sky Studios
PostPosted: Thu Jan 09, 2020 4:09 pm 
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Yes, I do think it will be made. Disney have committed to it. The real question is what will happen to Blue Sky following Nimona.


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 Post subject: Re: Blue Sky Studios
PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2021 2:22 pm 
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Disney Closing Blue Sky Studios, Fox’s Once-Dominant Animation House Behind ‘Ice Age’ Franchise

https://deadline.com/2021/02/blue-sky-s ... 234690310/


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 Post subject: Re: Blue Sky Studios
PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2021 2:29 pm 
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Wow, what a shame! I wish they had sold the studio to another company instead. It must've been especially hard for the people who were working on Nimona and other upcoming projects.


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 Post subject: Re: Blue Sky Studios
PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2021 2:34 pm 
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Unsurprising. I suppose that's one way to get rid of potential competitors--buy them out then close them down. :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Blue Sky Studios
PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2021 3:12 pm 
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This is just what I was afraid would happen, but was hoping they at least would complete Nimona. Stopping the production of a movie that was already greenlighted and in production, with only ten more months to go, is stabbing the whole studio in the back.

I don't think there is anything funny or amusing about this, and nothing to laugh about. It's just sad and annoying, and I'm not even working there. Imagine those who have been at the studio for years.

It's not like they can just take all the tests animation, pre-production work, design and so on to another studio willing to give them a chance. After Disney's acquisition of Fox, including Blue Sky Studios, everything from the studio is now a property of Disney. Not only the already existing movies, but as far as I know, everything they were already working on at an early stage. Both Nimona, the planned musical and other projects. If the directors and animators try to go somewhere else, there is a chance that Disney will say "sorry, but this belongs to us".

The only positive thing about this is that Nimona is itself not a Disney property, but belongs to its creator (can't remember her name). So perhaps it can be made by another studio some day, but right now I'm not optimistic.

I know I would have been very frustrated if I had come up with my own creation, and a studio wanted to buy the rights to make a movie. "It will be ready in 2020". Then it was delayed a year. And then another year, but at least it was in production and only some months remained. And then some new owners came along and pulled the plug.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2021 9:48 pm 
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no big surprise here...especially after all those new Disney/Pixar series that were announced for Disney +. Who do you think is gonna be animating all those? :P

Shame about Nimona though, they should have at least allowed the studio to complete it and released it on Disney +.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2021 9:59 pm 
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Sad news. Blue Sky Studios had amassed a lot of talent within its walls and had made some endearing films. I can't say I'm surprised by Disney's decision though. Blue Sky Studios never managed to make a brand of itself and its dwindling box office gross made it an easy target. Its past few films had flopped at the box office with the most recent, Spies in Disguise, grossing the least of any Blue Sky Studios film. I'm sure Disney noticed. They are blaming the pandemic for this, but I think that's just an excuse to deflect criticism. They must have been contemplating its closure for a while. Disney already had trouble accommodating the output of WDAS and Pixar. They wouldn't further invest in an underperforming studio. The only thing that gave me pause was the need for Disney Plus content. I figured that Blue Sky Studios could pivot to providing content for Disney's streaming services. The planned spin-offs based on Ice Age and Rio seemed to indicate that. I guess it's cheaper to outsource projects like that than produce them in-house. It's a shame they didn't at least wait until Nimona was finished to close the studio. Talk about adding insult to injury.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2021 11:31 pm 
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@Rumpelstiltskin: Sorry about that, I have a dry, dark humor. I wasn't laughing at the loss of jobs or anything.

@Sotiris: Yes, COVID-19 is being used as an excuse. I'm sure this was eventually going to happen to Blue Sky Studios anyway the moment FOX was swallowed by the Disney monster. That said, COVID-19 probably is impacting Disney monumentally--less people at the parks, less merchandise and physical media sales because everybody's broke, etc. I guess I can't really blame them for looking to cut the fat, it's just, like I said, I think this would've happened even without the pandemic as a convenient excuse.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 10, 2021 12:07 am 
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Blue Sky movies have their own traditions and signature. Not all their films have been blockbusters, but they have been around for a long time. And also Disney and Pixar have had their share of flops. And they were obviously doing well enough that the studio had several projects in pre-production before being absorbed by Disney.

No, I didn't think anyone was laughing over the loss of jobs, it's just that this is not the kind of thing I don't find funny myself.

This is just like Planes 3 from Disneytoon Studios. Lasseter's reputation is no longer what it was, but if he had still been around back then, I'm convinced the movie would have been made (which means it wasn't because they assumed it would do poorly at the box office). It was not a fan of the franchise myself, but at least they could have let them finish the movie they were working on before they closed the studio if they felt it didn't make enough money anymore.

Remember that Nimona have been years in pre-production already, and also some time in production. Which means that millions of dollars have already been spent on it. All these money will now be lost. If Disney had been willing to let them complete what they had started, then I can't see why it couldn't have made some of the money back. Especially compared to what will happen now, where they will make zero money on it.

Remember why Rapunzel/Tangled had such a gigantic budget for an animated feature. It was not because of the production itself, but because of the long and complicated pre-production. Can anyone imagine them stopping the production of the movie with only some months left to go before it was completed, because they felt it was too expensive? When the studio finally can see the light at the end of the tunnel after several years of work, the new owners suddenly tells them to stop.

The only hope now is that it will be made for Disney+, and completed somewhere else.

And I agree; the corona virus is probably just an excuse, and not the real reason.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 10, 2021 7:01 am 
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Sad to hear :cry: :cry: :(

I love their movie Robots !


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 10, 2021 8:02 am 
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This really is sad. If Disney truly is offering jobs to these employees, I hope Disney pays for the relocation costs. Connecticut to California is literally the other side of the country. It makes no sense to not complete Nimona for Disney+. Disney just bought Fox for the back catalog, I get it, but don't they need material for Disney+?!? Disney didn't pay to develop the film, and didn't pay for the paychecks initially (before the merger/takeover), so it really seems like a bargain for Disney and a sure thing for Disney+. My mind is boggled, and my heart breaks for those employees.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 10, 2021 10:06 am 
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This news was so heartbreaking to read yesterday. I felt Blue Sky really stood out with the films they made and the stories they told. They did such a lovely job with their adaptations of Horton Hears a Who, Ferdinand the Bull and Peanuts, Rio was a funny and beautiful tribute to the director's home country, Robots and Epic really showcased the incredible imagination of William Joyce and Spies in Disguise was such a clever twist on the spy genre, not only with its hilarious bird antics, but also its pacifist message.

I anticipated every one of Blue Sky's movies and they meant an enormous amount to me. The "Rio" movies are especially big pick-me-ups and I think the Blue Sky films had more depth than people gave them credit for. Ferdinand, for example, had so much to say about toxic masculinity and how brute strength isn't the answer to conflicts. I also admired that it was willing to call out the cruelty of bull fighting and show just how vicious of a sport it is (something which apparently made it a bit controversial in Spain).

Something that's been lovely to see on Twitter is a lot of animators and artists at other studios doing their part to help the Blue Sky animators find new jobs. I hope they do and I hope the directors find new opportunities soon. I can't begin to imagine what people like Chris Wedge and Carlos Saldanha, who have been with Blue Sky since almost the beginning and were pivotal to its growth and creativity, are feeling right now.

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