I know it isn’t exactly nerdy but I went to see the Peanuts Movie today. Growing up I loved the cartoons and even had some of the books. As I got older I learned to appreciate the comics more, especially considering that Charles Schulz intended the comics to be for adults.
A few years ago I stumbled onto an article about Schulz that discussed some of the business side of things, I definitely admired him. Charlie Brown was partially based on Schultz’s own life. Schulz actually requested that the Peanuts comic strip not continue with new stories after his death. New animated cartoons have been created since he died but they were based on existing comic strip stories. This new movie was going to be a bit different which worried me. I hoped this was not just a cash grab.
I was really pleased with the movie. I felt the story stuck to the source material including lots of references that other fans no doubt noticed. I felt like the movie offered closure to the comics and I think the movie was a great way to honor Charles Schulz. The fact that it was computer animated instead of hand drawn didn’t bother me. I had been afraid that it might be distracting or weird to see the Peanuts in such a way.
The movie had a $99 million budget and has only done $105 million domestic and it looks like a bit over $9 million worldwide so far (though only 9 countries reporting in). I don’t think the low box office was due to the quality of the movie. I haven’t seen anyone mention “flop” in regards to the Peanuts Movie. So far I’ve only seen praise. Typically though if the box office isn’t triple the budget, usually I see complaints about the box office numbers. So why wasn’t the Peanuts Movie a $300 million movie? I think perhaps it is the fact that the Peanuts strip was for adults originally and although kids loved the merchandise and cartoons, the shows haven’t been around on TV in some time aside from the yearly holiday specials. The previews before the movie were all kids movies, not unexpected when seeing a G-rated movie, however, the audience was almost all adults when I was there. I think there were maybe 3-4 kids among 2 groups of parents.