By Phil Contrino
This Friday, the juggernaut animation duo of Pixar and Disney will make another addition to their already classic list of collaborations when WALL-E opens across the country.
The Pixar/Disney connection has brought us inside the world of superheroes, talking toys and even fish. Now, with WALL-E, they are applying their trademark heart and visual beauty to a small robot.
Yet while the main character this time around is short in stature, the expectations for the film are as big as ever.
Joel Cohen, the Executive Vice President and General Manager for Movietickets.com, is one of the many industry experts willing to share his high hopes for the flick.
"I think it’s going to do very well. Looking back at the overall marketing that [Disney is] doing for this particular film it’s just very wide-spread, very broad and it’s reaching a number of different demographics," said Cohen.
According to Cohen, Wall-E is selling about four times as many advance tickets on Movietickets.com as Kung Fu Panda did at the same point in the selling cycle. Considering that Panda opened with $60.2 million during the first weekend of June, that statistic can be a sign of very big things to come.
"The release weekend I think is ideal, considering that the other big movie [ Wanted ] is after a completely different demographic," added Cohen.
In fact, Wall-E is selling about six times the amount of advance tickets that Wanted, which also opens this Friday, is.
Jeff Bock, Box Office Analyst for Exhibitor Relations, is also predicting big things for that cute, little robot and once again it all comes back to the strength of Pixar.
“They basically net the entire family demographic and if they can just go over into the teens and the college-aged, that’s when they get something like Finding Nemo or The Incredibles and WALL-E seems more akin to those titles than say Ratatouille or Cars, which were very audience specific. Cars played very young and Ratatouille played very old for a Pixar film."
Bock is also quick to dismiss the concern that WALL-E may not play as well with audiences due to stretches of little or no dialouge.
“I don’t really think that will factor into it. If anybody can pull it off it would be Pixar. In fact, I think some people would probably sit through an entire Pixar film even if it was silent."