Tuesday, 17 November 2009

PLANET 51 TO BE RELEASED THIS WEEKEND



Planet 51 is due to be released on the 20th of November in USA. It has been created by Ilion Animation Studios in Spain, which was founded in 2002, and is the first Spanish movie that has achieved wide international distribution. Sony Pictures is behind it, with around 3,500 theatres in the United States. To put this into perspective: Paramount Pictures released “Up” in 3,886 theatres earlier this year.


The movie is the most expensive film made in Spain; with a budget of 55 million Euros. Only Agora comes close to that, spending 50 million euros on the developing of this Spanish live action movie getting in return around 20 million Euros in Spain, where it is still showing.
With these numbers it becomes clear the need to explore foreign countries in order to make a profit for these high budget films.
Spanish population is reduced (46 million according to the INE) compared to the 308 million with which counts the United States (source: U.S. Census Bureau). It seems clear that the movie needs to appeal to an International audience if it aims to make a profit.

The original idea comes from three directors: Jorge Blanco, Marcos Martínez and Javier Abad, although the final script has been developed by Joe Stillman (screenwriter for Shrek and Shrek 2). The film lacks of Spanish references, to the exception of the Macarena. On the contrary, the movie is set in an American resembling suburbia of the 1950´s.

Ignacio Perez Dolset had previously worked with Jorge Blanco, Marcos Martínez and Javier Abad at Pyro Studios (where the highly successful video game Commandos was created) and founded Ilion animation Studios for the development of Planet 51. He says in Cinemania 09: “We had a bit of pride and anger. Spain was a country of consumers of video games and animated films, but not of creators.”

Planet 51 has been seven years on the making with over 300 hundred people working on the film during production peak times. The company has developed its own render and in-house tools to make possible a visually competitive film. The central idea has been the reverse story of an alien invasion. An Astronaut lands in what he thinks is an uninhabited planet to find himself on the middle of an alien barbeque in a world that resembles America’s suburbia in the fifties.

The animation has been done with the voices of the actors Dwayne Johnson, Jessica Biel, Justin Long, Seann William Scott, Gary Oldman and John Cleese. It has been dubbed to other languages, including Spanish.       


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