DreamWorks’ “Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken” Sinks at the Box Office: What Went Wrong?”


A couple of weeks ago, Warner Bros.’ “The Flash” and Pixar’s “Elemental” struggled to make a splash at the box office. Now, we witness a similar trend as DreamWorks‘ “Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken” fails to meet expectations.

Despite positive audience reception, middling reviews, and a relatively modest budget, the animated film finds itself sinking rather than swimming. This article explores the factors that may have contributed to the underperformance of “Ruby Gillman” at the box office.

Lackluster Box Office Performance: According to The Hollywood Reporter, “Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken” debuted outside of the top five films at the box office, earning sixth place with a projected three-day total of $6 million. While not as expensive as Pixar’s “Elemental,” which struggled in its opening weekend, “Ruby Gillman” failed to break even given its budget of $70 million. The film’s lackluster box office performance suggests that it might struggle to recover its production costs.

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DreamWorks' "Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken" Sinks at the Box Office: What Went Wrong?"

Marketing Challenges: One possible reason behind “Ruby Gillman’s” disappointing box office results could be the lack of effective marketing. Industry insiders have speculated that Universal Pictures may have sent the film out to die, as early trailers and subsequent promotion were limited. Despite positive audience feedback and an A- CinemaScore, the film failed to generate enough buzz to draw larger audiences.

Conceptual and Stylistic Challenges: “Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken” faced conceptual and stylistic hurdles that could have contributed to its lack of mainstream appeal. Director Kirk DeMicco, known for the success of “The Croods,” struggled to find a compelling hook for this original animated venture. The idea of a colorful society of krakens with superpowers felt disjointed, as the kraken is traditionally portrayed as a solitary and mysterious creature. Additionally, the film’s animation style, reminiscent of DreamWorks’ earlier works like “Shark Tale,” appeared dated and less visually impressive compared to recent animated releases.

Fierce Competition and Sequel Dominance: In today’s crowded market dominated by sequels, prequels, spin-offs, and adaptations, it becomes increasingly challenging for original films like “Ruby Gillman” to capture audience attention. With the overwhelming number of blockbuster franchises vying for viewers’ attention, it’s no surprise that a lesser-known and non-sequel film struggled to stand out.

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The Future on Streaming Platforms: While “Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken” may have failed to make waves at the box office, there remains a glimmer of hope for the film’s future. Given the changing landscape of movie consumption and the growing popularity of streaming platforms, the film could find a larger audience when it eventually heads to digital release. Streaming platforms provide an opportunity for films that may have struggled in theaters to gain a following and potentially recoup their costs.

DreamWorks’ “Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken” encountered a series of obstacles that contributed to its underwhelming performance at the box office. Limited marketing efforts, conceptual challenges, stylistic choices, and tough competition all played a role in the film’s struggle to attract a wider audience. However, with the shifting dynamics of the entertainment industry, the film might find redemption in the streaming realm, where it has the potential to garner a more significant and appreciative following.

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