Last month I was approached through email by PR reps who asked if I could attend a movie premiere of the Oogieloves and the Big Balloon Adventure; an interactive kids’ film which featured cameos from Chazz Palmentieri, Christopher Lloyd, Toni Braxton and Cloris Leachman.
It was a premiere which brought out many of my Atlanta mommy bloggers friends. But truth be told when I showed my kids a picture of the colorful characters, they immediately rebuked them.
My 9-year-old Kaitlin said, “Really mommy? I don’t want to see that. That movie is for babies.” And my 8-year-old Mikaela co-signed and added that the characters looked a bit “weird,” especially the purple dude she added. My 6-year-old Milan and 4-year-old Jojo were not the least bit interested either. The big, oversized, Teletubby-ish looking characters didn’t even intrigue my kids enough to want to see the movie for free.
So I actually did not go to the free movie event because of what my kids said. The opinions of my kids matter. And even if I’m offered freebies to view a movie I won’t go if my kids don’t think it’s worth it. They are my measuring stick. And when they say a movie concept stinks, then it’s pretty rotten.
And apparently this was the sentiment shared with millions of moms around the world because the Oogieloves and the Big Balloon Adventure tanked at the box office and earned the title as the Worst Ever Opening For Wide Release Movie in history.
No surprise here.
But I bet you this, I’m waiting to hear the forces-that-be behind the Oogieloves blame mommy bloggers: the primary marketing machine they used to push and promote the Oogieloves. But here’s the thing, we can push and promote all you want but at the end of the day, you still have to have a good product. And the Oogieloves was not.
First off, I hate the Teletubbies. Never been a fan and my kids never watched them and I never understood them. Kenn Viselman, who created the Oogiesloves also created the Teletubbies and Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends.
But it seems like Kenn is somehow stuck in the days of ole, of creating big-headed bulky costumed characters that are not easy on the eyes. I think if Kenn wanted to do costumed characters (because we all know kids still adore Disney favorites) then he should at least not make them weird looking with one character having a purple face, one with a green face and one with a yellow face. Green in itself is the color that speaks regurgitation! More lifelike characters might have made a difference and not been so repulsive to kids.
And just today in a private Facebook group of mommy bloggers discussing the movie, comments ranged from one mom saying the name and promotional pictures were not interesting, to others saying it looked like it was low budget and low quality to another saying even her 2-year-old child was not interested in seeing it and neither was she.
Another went on to say she was not a fan of the title, “It was too difficult and long to pronounce.”
And to be honest, I HATE the name Oogieloves too! What in the devil is an Oogieloves? What ever happened to choosing a name that rolls off the tongue like Mickey Mouse? Plain and simple. Just saying.
And answer this Kenn Viselman: Why in God’s name would I want my kids looking at Toni Braxton’s ta-ta’s? Toni Braxton was not only too sexy for herself, but she was way too sexy for my 6-year-old! (9-year-old, 8-year-old AND 4-year-old!) Toni was too inappropriately dressed for a G-rated movie.
Bottom line, when kids tell you they don’t want to see a movie because it’s freaky-looking and doesn’t appeal to them, movie-makers should pay attention. Maybe Kenn should have screened the concept a year before releasing to gauge if it was worth dumping dollars into. I’ve had the wonderful pleasure of pre-screening Disney movies well beforehand and been invited to Los Angeles to give my honest opinion of them. And so far, Disney movies have been doing OUTSTANDING using the forces that be called mommy bloggers.
So take a cue from Disney (why don’t cha) and use our collective power in a productive way so more of your movies will blow up like an Oogieloves balloon– and not bomb at the box office.
$20 million to make the movie. Earned $448,000 in its opening weekend. You do the math.