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Is The Key to Marketing an Animated Film Really All About the Color Scheme?

Photo of Jim Amos By Jim Amos | Box Office Insider April 7, 2014 at 8:10PM

Is it really as simple as that? Of course not, no kid wants to see an animated story about the development of the Pythagorean Theorem no matter how many splashy colors a studio marketing department tosses against a one-sheet or outdoor. But if we go back to 2011 and take out any sure fire hits, such as sequels or slam dunk Disney hits...
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Is it really as simple as that?  Of course not, no kid wants to see an animated story about the development of the Pythagorean Theorem no matter how many splashy colors a studio marketing department tosses against a one-sheet or outdoor.  But if we go back to 2011 and take out any sure fire hits, such as sequels or slam dunk Disney hits, and just look at original animated films, an interesting analysis can be made.  Animated success may not be guaranteed solely by color scheme but it might just play more of a role than we realize.

ANIMATED TITLES 2011-PRESENT WHICH WOULD FALL INTO THE "SUCCESS" OR "PLEASANT SURPRISE" CATEGORY

The Lego Movie

The LEGO Movie --2013--$ 236 M  (To Date)
Vivid color scheme with tons going on to attract kids' attention







The Croods

The Croods--2012--$ 187 M
How to make Prehistoric Man look fun for kids?  This'll do it.


The Lorax

The Lorax--2012--$ 214 M

It looks as if a yellow paint factory exploded.  In other words, well done.







And the rest of the titles speak for themselves, color-wise...

Wreck-It Ralph

Wreck-It-Ralph--2012--$ 189 M







Hotel Transylvania

Hotel Transylvania --2012--$ 148 M







Rio

Rio--2011--$ 143 M







Hop


Hop--2011--$ 108 M






Gnomeo & Juliet

Gnomeo & Juliet--2011--$ 100 M







ANIMATED TITLES 2011-PRESENT WHICH WOULD FALL INTO A MIDDLE RANGE

Mr. Peabody & Sherman

Mr. Peabody & Sherman--2013--$ 63 M (To Date)
Early marketing went for a rather nondescript color scheme but later marketing switched to a more colorful approach.






Epic

Epic-- 2013--$107 M
Another example of practically colorless early marketing materials that then transformed into a display of colors for the final materials






Planes

Planes --2013--$ 90 M







ANIMATED TITLES 2011-PRESENT WHICH WOULD FALL INTO THE "DISAPPOINTMENT" CATEGORY

Smurfs 2

Smurfs 2--2013--$71 M
White background abounds until the final colorful materials come later







Walking with Dinosaurs

Walking W/ Dinosaurs--2013--$  35 M
It's like the "brightness" button needed to be turned up.







Happy Feet 2

Happy Feet 2--2011--$ 64 M







Arthur Christmas

Arthur Christmas--2011--$ 46 M







The lesson of our story is this...if it's animated then throw a ton of colors on it!

This article is related to: Hit or Miss, Animation


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Upcoming Imax Titles

2014
9/5 Forrest Gump
9/26 The Equalizer

Upcoming D-Box Titles

2014
9/19 The Maze Runner

Upcoming 3D Titles

2014
9/26 The Equalizer
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Studio Market Share

Thru August 3rd
1. Fox 18.1% 1,156m
2. Warner Brothers 15.7 998m

Major Film Festivals

8/6 - 8/16 Locarno
8/27 - 9/6 Venice Film Festival