Homer Simpson is probably shouting "woo-hoo!" right about now. That's because News Corp.'s
Sorry, Adam Sandler -- while your movie, I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry, distributed by General Electric's
It's also impressive when you consider that News Corp.'s nemesis in animation, Disney
For News Corp., this is a great achievement. Sure, a big opening was expected because of the unquestionably large demand that's only been growing over the years for a celluloid Simpsons. Nevertheless, now that the gross has validated the theory, News Corp. knows that the denizens of Springfield represent a truly powerful brand. If the media execs at the conglomerate are smart, they'll devise as many schemes as possible to further increase the merchandising program. They have the opportunity now -- from video games to fast-food tie-ins, a la the current Burger King
In addition to devotees, I'm sure the film captured a lot of moviegoers who are completely new to the Simpsons phenomenon. That could spell good news for the Fox network and its owned-and-operated TV stations. In addition, the movie execs at Fox obviously know they have a new franchise on their hands -- the sky just might be the limit in terms of new silver-screen Simpsons adventures. And just think -- News Corp. can continue the franchise without having to spend a lot of money developing novel CGI technologies. Boxofficemojo.com pegs the budget for Ratatouille at $150 million; The Simpsons is said to have cost half as much. It's got to be a wonderful feeling to have an animated brand that can be executed in a more traditional manner.
Kudos to News Corp. for a successful Simpsons release. It picked the right time period -- Time Warner's
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Fool contributor Steven Mallas owns shares of Disney and General Electric. As of this writing, he was ranked 6,867 out of more than 60,000 participants in Motley Fool CAPS. Don't know what CAPS is? Check it out. The Fool has a disclosure policy.