Last March’s Mr. Peabody & Sherman, based on the 1959 character from Jay Ward’s Rocky And Bullwinkle Show cartoon series, was just out of its time — 55 years later — and as one marketing consultant puts it “too clever” for audiences. … a constant comment from mothers … was that Mr. Peabody was too sophisticated. Moms don’t go to the movies to think, but to escape…
Or you know maybe…. it just wasn’t very good? Heck, I never saw the film so perhaps it was ultra fantastic. But I did see the trailers for the film and I can say that the trailers did not inspire me to go watch it.
Lets add to this that it is a nostalgia vehicle aimed at kids. So the people who might care were not your target audience. For all of the Bay-Hating we do; transformers was a proper vehicle. It managed to get the nostalgia seekers into the theater while hooking the kids all without even being a good movie. TMNT is going for the same formula. So don’t blame sophistication, Disney has been doing that for years with their movies for kids that still aim jokes at the adults.
Also, this property is a subset of Rocky & Bullwinkle: Another film that performed poorly at the box office. Was your plan for two failures to come full circle into success?
Listen. It is terrible that you performed poorly and had to fire some people; but if your takeaway is that smart movies are bad then you are learning the wrong lessons.