Jonah: A VeggieTales Movie

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  • Directed By: Mike Nawrocki, Phil Vischer
  • Written By: Phil Vischer, Mike Nawrocki, Tim Hodge
  • Release Date: October 4, 2002
  • Domestic Distributor: Artisan
  • Cast: Phil Vischer, Mike Nawrocki, Tim Hodge

Box Office Info:
Budget: $14 million Financed by: Big Idea
Domestic Box Office: $25,581,229 Overseas Box Office: $34,002

We normally do not do write-ups on lower budgeted fare like this, but we’ll make a special exception for Jonah: A VeggieTales Movie, since it bankrupted Big Idea.

After a long successful run of short straight to video VeggieTales episodes, Big Idea unwisely decided to finance an animated feature version of its successful franchise for about $14 million.  Jonah: A VeggieTales Movie was distributed in the US by Artisan Entertainment, which only had P&A costs on the line.  Artisan dated the family toon for October 4, 2002 and decided to go only moderately wide in its first week of release in 940 theaters.  Reviews were mixed and it bowed against Red Dragon.

Marketing was directed toward faith based audiences in the south and the midwest and Jonah had an ok start with $6,201,345 — placing #6 for the weekend led by Red Dragon.  It expanded to 1,174 theaters in its second weekend with diminishing returns, where it fell 40.9% to $3,662,880 but the film held on its third frame with a 6.6% uptic in attendance to $3,906,223.  Jonah: A VeggieTales Movie closed its domestic run with $25,581,229 — almost covering Artisan’s P&A costs after theaters take their percentage of the gross.

Bad news for Big Idea, who saw no revenue back from the theatrical title since P&A costs were not fully recouped and Big Idea went into Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.  They were sold off at auction to Classic Media for $19.3 million.  The new Big Idea management decided to get back into the theatrical market in 2008 with The Pirates Who Don’t Do Anything: A VeggieTales Movie and it flopped and they were sold off again.

The animated feature saw a brief theatrical release in Iceland and Russia to all of $34,002.

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