Rise of the Guardians Could Be a $50 Million Loss for DreamWorks

For the most part, animated flicks are a safe enough bet for studios. Family entertainment is always in demand, after all. Even if the budgets for many mainstream releases reach excessive levels, they can usually still make studios a profit. But, every now and then, an exception is made and it appears that Rise of the Guardians has taken on that role for DreamWorks Animation. Despite overall positive reviews, the film failed to catch on with audiences, opening 4th place in its first weekend. With a production budget of $145 million, even a holiday surge in box office might not be enough to make it into the black. This comes during a time when DreamWorks stock is already down, unfortunately, and it could lead to a re-evaluation of the company’s reliance on animated movies.

So what exactly went wrong on Rise of the Guardians? Was it not properly marketed or does it just not have the kind of appeal that DreamWorks anticipated? Having only seen the marketing for the film, it does come across as somewhat old-fashioned in the type of story it tells, so perhaps that’s a factor. There is still some hope that the film will pick up steam closer to the holidays, especially since there won’t be too much in the way of animated competition. Why do you think Rise of the Guardians is failing at the box office? Does it have enough supporters to rally through the holiday season?

Around the Web:



  • This film got hurt with release and marketing. The film should’ve been release towards the middle of December and market for both males and females. I took my younger sisters to see this and they were bored. Dream works thought their audience was stupid! Not to say the animation and voice acting weren’t great,but everything else was subpar.

  • Brendan

    The title couldn’t have helped either. It was too ambiguous. I’ll bet people went to the theater, saw the name but didn’t associate it with anything. For a movie that I think was supposed to be about Christmas characters, they should have had a more Christmas-y title. They could’ve called it “Santa Clause and the Rise of the Guardians” and at least then it would be more identifiable as a Christmas movie.

  • See also: Last year’s “Arthur Christmas”. Animated Christmas-themed comedies just aren’t really appealing to folks when it used to be something that was pretty much foolproof.

    @1 Guysreviews

    Having managed a theater for a long time, I can tell you that putting out a Christmas movie THAT close to Christmas seriously limits it’s lifespan. It has that built-in expiration date, and as soon as Christmas comes and goes, no one’s all that interested in movies about Christmas. If the studios drop a Christmas movie around Thanksgiving and it does even just OK business, there’s a good chance that it will at least play through Christmas and possibly benefit from being the only family movie out there and/or no other wide releases coming out until at least a week into January (translation: nothing to force it out of theaters). After that, it’s done. And remember, it won’t hit DVD until the NEXT holiday season, which is death for a movie that flopped the first time around, because people remember the film even less and less. Again, “Arthur Christmas”.

  • Tatianna

    I agree the marketing for ‘Rise of the Guardians’ was not properly done, and for an animated film it had a dated feel. I have been on the fence about seeing ‘Rise of the Guardians’ for a while. My co-worker at DISH watched this movie and enjoyed.For a lot of people like me; the holidays are right around the corner and movie prices are too expensive for my pocketbook. I want to see this film, but I’m going to wait until this movie is released on DVD and add it to my Blockbuster @home account through DISH. I can add this to the top of my movie list instead of waiting for it in the mail. I can pick this up from the store which is nice when I don’t feel like waiting for a new release in the mail. I think the DVD release should help Dreamworks regain some of its losses.

  • If it’s not connecting with audiences now, it’s not going to be connecting with anyone a year from now when it’s hitting DVD, so I doubt DVD sales will do much to help Dreamworks save face. I know the smart thing is to rush a dud to home video with the hope that it’ll still be fresh enough in potential viewers’ minds, but no one’s buying Christmas/winter-themed releases in the spring and summer, even the big Christmas HITS, so that’s why they wait so long and try again the next holiday season. There’s no way this ends well for “Guardians”.