The Wild

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  • Directed By: Steve ‘Spaz’ Williams
  • Written By: Ed Decter, John J. Strauss, Mark Gibson, Philip Halprin
  • Release Date: April 14, 2006
  • Domestic Distributor: Disney
  • Cast: Kiefer Sutherland, Jim Belushi, Eddie Izzard

Box Office Info:
Budget: $80 million Financed by: Disney
Domestic Gross: $37,384,046 Overseas Gross: $64,954,469

The Wild had been in various stages of development at Disney for about a decade and in September 2000 the studio put the project into turnaround.  The Wild was going to be produced like Dinosaur, which used digital characters rendered into actual film footage, but after Dinosaur ultimately disappointed at the box office, the mouse house scrapped it.  The Wild began to move forward again in 2002 and it was decided that the project would be entirely CG and the animation would not be done in-house, but outsourced to Canada to save money.

Disney invested into the vfx studio C.O.R.E. Digital Pictures, which expanded their staff to create a C.O.R.E. Feature Animation division with The Wild as their first feature.  After tax rebates, The Wild was budgeted at $80 million and was at the time the most expensive animated project to be produced in Canada.  C.O.R.E. was expecting to see a huge uptick in business after completing The Wild.

Disney dated The Wild for April 14, 2006 over the Easter holiday.  In late January 2006, Disney purchased Pixar for $7.4 billion and clearly had little interest in giving The Wild a strong marketing push while they were focusing their attention on the animation powerhouse.  It bowed against Scary Movie 4 and would have direct competition with Ice Age: The Meltdown, which was released two weeks earlier.  The Wild received mixed to poor reviews and tanked with $9,684,809 — placing #4 for the weekend led by Scary Movie 4 and Ice Age.  The Wild had a small 14% second frame decline to $8,332,068 but it fell 42.4% in its third weekend to $4,799,676.  The domestic run closed with $37,384,046.

The movie posted soft numbers in most markets overseas, bringing in $64.9M, with $7.9M from the UK as the highest gross.  The worldwide total was $102.3M.  Disney would see returned about $56.2M after theaters take their percentage of the gross, which would not even cover the worldwide P&A spend.  The Wild was the first and the last C.O.R.E. Feature Animation film and C.O.R.E. Digital Pictures closed down in 2010.

In July 2006, when Disney was pulling in mountains of cash from Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest, Walt Disney Studios chairman Dick Cook announced that Disney would reduce its movie output from around 18 per year to 8 and slash personnel.  Citing the recent box office misfires The Wild, Annapolis, Stick It and Stay Alive.

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