Friday, June 2, 2017

Rainmaker Entertainment

Rainmaker Entertainment was founded in 1991 initially under the name Mainframe. The animation studio changed its name in 2007 to Rainmaker. In its history it has done TV, straight-to-video, and two theatrical movies. They are most known for creating the ABC Saturday Morning classic, Reboot. In 2007 after changing to Rainmaker, they also sold off their visual effects and post department, leaving just animation. They are known today more for creating all the Barbie movies and also the newer version of Bob the Builder. The company’s first foray into an animated movie was 2013’s Escape from Planet Earth. The movie had been in production since 2007 under The Weinstein Company, with Tony Leech and Cory Edwards writing the story. Leech and producer Brian Inerfield had an agreement with The Weinstein Company where they would receive at least 20% of the adjusted gross product. Leech and Inerfield eventually sued The Weinstein Company for dragging their feet and making new agreements. The Weinstein Company opened up the script for re-writes, which happened 17 times and production languished for years. In the end, both sides dropped the suits with each paying their own legal fees. I’m guessing they came to a new agreement, but the details were never released. Like with any movie that goes through a turbulent production, the movie didn’t do too well. It received bad reviews all around and grossed less than its budget.

Their second, and perhaps last theatrical film was 2016’s Ratchet and Clank, a movie based on a video game. Ratchet and Clank was a popular game series from the Playstation 2 and Playstation 3 era, though the best were the first three from the Playstation 2 era. The game’s popularity had waned in the last five years, but Insomniac, the creators of the Ratchet and Clank series, sought to bring the series back with a bang. They had wanted to do a movie version of the game for a while, and for whatever reason they bypassed the obvious straight-to-dvd route. The movie opened near the same time as Disney’s live-action The Jungle Book and Zootopia, so it was already doomed. Opening weekend totals were half than expected, and the movie dropped 70% the next weekend. In the end the movie made $13.1 million against a $20 million budget. Rainmaker, in the end, lost $5 million of their $10 million investment. Reviews were even worse for this than Escape from Planet Earth. Critics who were not familiar with the game series compared it to much better animated movies being released and critics that were familiar saw it as a pale comparison to the games. To further confuse you: the movie was based around the first game in the series, and a new game was made about the movie, so there are three versions of the first story of Ratchet and Clank. While the movie tanked, the new game received rave reviews. Some games just aren’t supposed to be made into movies. By some, I mean all. Please stop making video game movies. It doesn’t matter if they are live-action or animated. They are all terrible. People play video games for a reason. They want to play as that character, not watch them do the story themselves.

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