Launching content production department, “Afagh Pictures” has done some researches based on its experience and technical knowledge in the fields of story writing, screenplay and film critic in three steps and in a period of 15 months.
First step: Oscar winning animations
in this step, all the Oscar winning animations from 2002 until 2016 have been scrutinized in terms of content, form and box office. In addition, we have recognized the reasons for their success in terms of designing universal desire and need and emotional influence on the audience brought about by these animations, structural framework of screenplay and dialect in narration, production technique, choosing appropriate visual format and adapting it with content, influential factors making difference on revenue (attracting maximum audiences) and reasons of Oscar winning animations, in an academic approach. Not only did this research discuss the innovation and technique used in these animations, but it also introduced a general method and motif in screenplays of Oscar winner animations as an influential factor on their mass market. Using the concept “Family” with creating the elements of classicism, modernism and post modernism in designing plot, emotional influence by applying designing universal desire and need for attracting maximum audiences, pulp fantasy, designing main character with the ability of maximum communication with all ages and so forth are the fundamental elements of outstanding animations.
Then, we exclusively examined the box office of these movies. Although both producers and distributors of most of these animation are Pixar and Disney, there are considerable differences in their box office. One particularly salient example is “Finding Nemo” which sold more than $937 million in 2003, while “Brave”, in 2012, sold just $539 million. The reason lies in the mentioned research that demonstrates absolutely dramatized and conceptual answers.
Second step: the successful and failed American, European and Japanese animations.
In this step, over 30 successful or failed American, European and Japanese animations have been examined based on the following questions:
- Why couldn’t animations with high box office win Oscar? What are the reasons for their high box office?
- Are animations made by mediocre companies (compared to big companies) able to be Oscar nominated? Can they win Oscar? Why?
- Have any of mediocre companies (Europe and Asia) products met with success in international box office? What are the reasons of their success or failure?
- Is it enough to have only relatively appropriate technique which is compatible with today audience to reach more than $100 million sale?
“Chicken Run” and “The Pirates” which have been produced in Europe, used clay technique (cheaper than 3D technique with less attractiveness and audience) achieved success (relative to their budget) and won international prizes.
Not only did “Spirited away”, which is produced in Japan, win Oscar, but it also had considerable box office all over the world.
In spite of extremely weak story, “Planet 51” could sell more than $100 million with its relatively good 3D technique.
“The Secret of Kells” was nominated for Oscar. Yet, it was a total failure in box office.
During this research all of the mentioned factors have been scrutinized in thirty animations.
Third step: recent products
Examining form and content of 2015 and 2016 products, we analyzed the reasons of their success or failure in box office. Our criteria in research was today audience’s taste and the type of pulp and universal fantasy.
Despite of weak story, “Minions” sold more than $1 billion.
Pixar and Disney’s “Good Dinosaur” with $200 million budget, witness failure in box office.
Finding Dory with mediocre story sold more than $1 billion.
“the Spongebob” with $74 million budget, sold as much as “Home” with $135 million budget.
“Kubo” with $60million budget failed in box office and sold just $75 million.
“Mahoo”; an animated feature film project
Having done mentioned research for 15 months, we spent 7 months for developing the idea for writing an animated feature film in content production department based on research findings. As a result, we wrote a synopsis and, consequently, a treatment of an animated feature film named “Mahoo”. The story of Mahoo was written based on family and according to human need in today world. One of the reasons of animations success in festivals and box office is paying attention to needs and demands with which all nations and races can emotionally communicate. Understanding today’s needs of society and working on it in a fantasy animation leads to communicability with all nations and races in all ages and, subsequently, story identification. This is one the significant features in narrating “Mahoo”. Defining this need in a family which stimulates the feelings of audience (from children to elderlies) is another feature of “Mahoo”.
Regarding analysis done in the research in content production department, we came to conclusion that “Mahoo” is able to compete with the best stories in the world and win prize in various animation festivals. Moreover, “Mahoo” can have high box office.