Woke ‘Little Mermaid’ Movie Just Killed DreamWorks

in Movies

Ruby Gillman from Dreamworks

Credit: Dreamworks Animation

The numbers are in on Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken, and it does not look good for the future of DreamWorks Animation.

Ruby Gillman from Dreamworks
Credit: DreamWorks Animation

Since DreamWorks was founded in 1994 by Steven Spielberg, David Geffen, and ex-Disney chairman Jeffrey Katzenberg, the studio has always struggled to match up to the House of Mouse, even after plundering the company for animators.

For a long time, DreamWorks was supported by the massive success of the Shrek franchise, which it has continued relying upon with the spinoff Puss in Boots series.

Live-action 'Little Mermaid' shot
Credit: Disney

However, it will have to be seen how the company deals with the failure of Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken, a movie that has been described as “woke” counter-programming to Disney’s live-action The Little Mermaid remake.

Related: ‘Little Mermaid’ Not Just “Another Disney Woke-A-Thon,” Claims Conservative Critic

DreamWorks Animation Biggest Failure Ever

According to Box Office Mojo, Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken is officially the lowest-grossing DreamWorks Animation feature film ever, delivering a crushing blow to the Disney rival.

Scene from Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken
Credit: DreamWorks Animation

The Kirk DeMicco-directed film grossed just under $26 million globally, not getting even close to its production budget of approximately $70 million. It is estimated that the movie may cost Dreamwork’s parent company, Universal Pictures, as much as $80 million in losses.

Even for a company as big as Universal (itself a subsidiary of Disney’s competitor Comcast), that is a pretty huge flop.

‘Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken’ and ‘The Little Mermaid’

For comparison, the live-action Little Mermaid remake cost vastly more than its DreamWorks Animation counterpart, with an estimated budget of $250 million. However, it did gross a whole lot more, pulling in an estimated $569 million at the global box office.

The two movies were pitted against each other by many pundits, with Ruby Gillman being posited as a “woke” alternative to the Disney film. 

Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken follows the title character (Lana Condor) as she attempts to fit in at high school, only to discover that she is actually the descendent of the legendary ocean creatures known as Kraken. The Kirk DeMicco film co-stars Lana Condor, Toni Collette, Annie Murphy, Colman Domingo, Jane Fonda, and Jaboukie Young-White.

Ruby Gillman Teenage Kraken, DreamWorks Animation
Credit: DreamWorks

The movie also received a comparatively lukewarm reception from critics, currently holding 65% at Rotten Tomatoes. All in all, it is fair to say that the movie was not the Disney counterstrike that DreamWorks Animation was probably hoping for.

Related: Universal Brings Back Closed Attraction in New Format, Classic Attraction Gets Major Facelift

Global Box Office Flops

Disney has been dealing with its own series of flops at the box office in the last few years, which some say may have cost the company up to a billion dollars in one year. Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken might not cost DreamWorks quite as much, but it is sure that it is a loss the studio doesn’t need right now.

Did you see Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken, or why not? Let us know in the comments below!

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