Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole

  • Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole box office
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  • Directed By: Zack Snyder
  • Written By: John Orloff, Emil Stern, Kathryn Lasky
  • Release Date: September 24, 2010
  • Domestic Distributor: Warner Bros
  • Cast: Emily Barclay, Abbie Cornish, Essie Davis

Box Office Info:
Budget: $80 millionFinanced by: Warner Bros; Village Roadshow
Domestic Box Office: $55,675,313Overseas Box Office: $84,398,077


Warner Bros landed the rights to the Owls of Ga’Hoole seven book series by Kathryn Lasky in June 2005, in hopes to launch an animated franchise.  WB’s resident director of fascistic action fare Zack Snyder was tapped to helm this kids property in April 2008, while he was in post-production on Watchmen for the studio.  The budget for Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole was $80 million after a huge 40% Australian tax rebate and WB and Village Roadshow financed.

WB and Roadshow had a string of expensive animated family fare that tanked, which started off with Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore and followed by Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole and Happy Feet Two.

Warner Bros dated Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole for September 24, 2010 and aided the domestic release with a $50 million marketing blitz.  Additional exposure came from a Burger King tie-in.  Marketing kept Synder’s name off of the promotional materials — for obvious reasons 300 and Watchmen were not selling points for a kids pic and instead tied the picture to the studio’s hit Happy Feet.  Despite the aggressive ad push, tracking was pointing to a soft $20M opening.  Studio research showed that people could not pronounce, remember or understand what Ga’Hoole was and there was concern the movie was too dark for children and too derivative for everyone else.

Legend of the Guardians bowed against Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps and You Again.  Reviews were mixed and it disappointed with just $16,112,211 — placing #2 for the slow weekend led by Wall Street 2.  Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole had modest weekly declines in attendance, but closed its run with a franchise ending $55,675,313.

Overseas the film did fare a bit better than its stateside run, but only pulled in mediocre numbers at $84.3M.  The worldwide total was $140M and the studio would see returned about $77M after theaters take their percentage of the gross — which would not even cover the global P&A spend.

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