Turbo

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  • Directed By: David Soren
  • Written By: Darren Lemke, Robert D. Siegel, David Soren
  • Release Date: July 17, 2013
  • Domestic Distributor: FOX
  • Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Paul Giamatti, Michael Peña

Box Office Info:
Budget: $127 millionFinanced by: DreamWorks Animation
Domestic Gross: $83,028,128Overseas Gross: $199,542,554


The budget for Turbo was $127 million, which DreamWorks Animation financed and even with a $282.5M global box office haul, the studio posted a $13.5 million write-down on the picture.   The box office failure of Turbo triggered a class action lawsuit from DreamWorks Animation shareholders against the company in 2013.  During the 2013 second quarter earnings call CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg said “based on the data that we have to date, we do believe that Turbo will be a profitable film.”  In the 2013 fourth quarter filing, DreamWorks animation posted the write-down and the lawsuit quickly followed.  Shareholders claimed that DreamWorks delayed the write-down to artificially inflate the stock price by announcing Turbo would be profitable, knowing it would never get out of the red — even after ancillary sales.  This led to an investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission and a year later the court sided with DreamWorks.  Shareholders appealed three years later in February 2017 and the court upheld the ruling.

Turbo was the second animated feature to go out through DreamWorks Animation’s new distribution home at FOX.  Turbo was dated for Wednesday July 17 and opened into a crowded family marketplace with Despicable Me 2 and Monsters University still going strong at the box office.  It bowed against The Conjuring, Red 2 and R.I.P.D. and received mixed notices from critics.

The toon was tracking soft going into release and pulled in a very disappointing $21,312,625 for the weekend — the 5-day tally came to $31,015,384.  Actor Ryan Reynolds who lent his voice to the title character, also had the box office disaster R.I.P.D. open the same day.  The animated pic declined a modest 35.5% the following weekend to $13,740,247 but then sank 54.7% in its third session to $6,228,816 when another family pic The Smurfs 2 further saturated the box office.  Turbo was hurt even more in its fourth weekend when the animated Planes was released and it fell 62.3% to $2,351,120.  The domestic run closed with $83,028,128.

Turbo pulled in a solid $199,542,554 overseas, but after theaters take their percentage of the gross and the pricey marketing spend — the movie was in the red.  A pre-release deal with Netflix to produce a series for the digital platform, helped pad what would have been an even larger loss.

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