Who here remembers the Playmobil line of plastic toy figures? I do (kind of), and I never (EVER) wanted a movie made featuring them–even in my youngest and most naive years.
But here we are–being given another movie no one asked for. Playmobil: The Movie debuted over the weekend, and I think we have to file this one under the same category as that awful The Emoji Movie from 2017.
That category: Movies Based on Properties Undeserving of Cinematic Adaptation*
So, here is the trailer for Playmobil: The Movie.
On the surface, the movie looks like it might be more in line with The Lego Movie and less in line with The Emoji Movie. There is a clear plot here, the animation is fine, and the voice cast is reasonably stacked–Daniel Radcliffe, Jim Gaffigan, Meghan Trainor, Adam Lambert, and Kenan Thompson lend this some kind of celebrity power. The voice cast is rounded out by newcomers Anya Taylor-Joy (Glass) and Gabriel Bateman (Child’s Play).
So over the weekend, Playmobil: The Movie debuted to an abysmal $656,530 in the United States Box Office. That’s the fourth worst debut for a film playing on at least 2,000 screens in HISTORY (third worst if you don’t count the Saw 10th anniversary re-release). This movie was supposed to launch a franchise, but does anyone think it will be able to do that with these numbers?
Admittedly, Playmobil: The Movie performed better overseas, where it brought in $12.4 million. Still, that’s just over $13 million in an opening weekend for a kids’ movie made on a budget that most outlets are reporting could be as high as $75 million.
So what happened?
Of course it doesn’t help that Frozen II is still crushing it at the box office, but I think the real culprit here is that the marketing apparatus at STX Entertainment dropped the ball stateside. I didn’t even know this movie existed until its terrible numbers started popping up.
So, let this be a lesson to anyone planning Fidget Spinner: The Movie or Fortnight: The Movie. Not everything that makes money one way will (or needs to) make money another way.
Stay in your lanes, kids.
*Other films in this category: Battleship (2012), The Garbage Pail Kids Movie (1987), The Angry Birds Movie (2016), Minions (2015)**
**No one needed a standalone movie about Minions. Despicable Me has plenty of Minions.
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