By Ross Lelieur
Senior Staff Writer
Pixar––that universally loved giant of the animation film industry––finally seems to have stumbled. After decades of releasing hit after hit at the box office (ignoring Cars 2), it appears that one of the studio’s films––The Good Dinosaur––will be considered a failure. This surprise has left many puzzled, asking what exactly Pixar has done wrong. Perhaps The Good Dinosaur was released too soon after Inside Out, or perhaps the film simply did not live up to the tremendous standards many hold for Pixar. These may be true, but box office numbers have not been kind to many studios over the past three months, and thus Pixar’s woes may be more symptomatic of a general slump.
The Good Dinosaur is far from the only failure from the last quarter of 2015. Rock the Kasbah, Steve Jobs, and Victor Frankenstein are some of this season’s most promising titles that failed on release. The reasons behind this are many, but chief among them is a lack of originality. Rock the Kasbah is yet another comedy, Steve Jobs another biopic, and even The Good Dinosaur is just another kids’ movie. The fantastic novelty that characterized 2015’s first three quarters (think Straight Outta Compton and Mad Max) is nowhere to be found; while Q4’s films may bear a cosmetic resemblance to originality, the subcutaneous reality is that most have been done before.
Another issue for the film industry may be Star Wars. The film is advertised continuously and is constantly featured in conversations about film, all of which amount to Star Wars robbing the film advertising space of its oxygen. Every eye is on J.J. Abram’s reimagining of George Lucas’s universe, and as a result, other less competitive films have flown swiftly and sadly under the radar for moviegoers. Until the weekend of Star Wars’ release has passed no other film stands a chance, and the flops of these past few months may have something to blame in the incredible popularity of Skywalker and company.