Not enough animated movies this year after Escape from Planet Earth, The Croods, Epic, Monsters University, Despicable Me 2, Turbo, Planes, and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2? Have no fear – the Thanksgiving themed Free Birds is out Friday.
Featuring the voices of Owen Wilson, Woody Harrelson, and Amy Poehler, Free Birds is the first venture from Reel FX Animation Studios, distributed by Relativity Media. The company was formed to produce modestly budgeted animated titles and Birds comes with a reported $35 million price tag which is small for these types of pics. The best thing Free Birds has going for it is the timing factor. If its halfway decent, this should play pretty well into the Thanksgiving holiday frame and could experience smallish declines from week to week throughout November.
Whether this means it’ll have a big opening is uncertain. The distributor has zero track record so that makes it a little tough to gauge. Anything below $20 million would have to be considered mildly disappointing. It’s rare for any wide release animated feature to fall much below that. A debut in the low 20s range where Turbo and Planes opened seems like a strong possibility. Of course, there’s always the chance this premieres higher than expected, but I’m not prognosticating it.
Free Birds opening weekend prediction: $21 million
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