Despite an all star cast, the DreamWorks animated film “Turbo” didn’t exactly hit the ground running at the box-office. Released on July 17th, the film opened #3 at the box office, and was the third lowest all-time opening for a DreamWorks Animation computer-animated film. It was pitted against some tough competition though with Monsters University and Despicable Me 2 in theatres at the same time.
The soft opening was likely the cause of an overly saturated marketplace and difficult release date. It went up against Epic and The Smurfs 2 at the box office. Expected to be a flop after the disappointing North American opening, the movie is catching up with “Turbo” performing well worldwide it is expected to be profitable.
An original idea by first-time director, David Soren, “Turbo” features an ordinary garden snail whose dream to become the fastest snail in the world comes true.
According to Wikipedia, the idea for the film started five years earlier when DreamWorks Animation organized a competition for all employees to pitch a one page storyline. The night before the competition, Soren conceptualized Fast & Furious with snails, and won the competition. The studio bought the idea, and proceeded to put it on the back burner for over five years. But when Soren and his family moved into a new home with a backyard infested with snails, he pushed for the idea and “got it back on the fast track.”
Soren told Movieweb.com why he chose snails: “For me, it was less about trying to make a racing movie and more about finding an underdog that I could really latch onto. I think that a snail is inherently an underdog. It’s smashed, eaten by people, the butt of slow jokes around the world. It just seemed loaded with obstacles. Obviously, the opposite of slow is fast, and that’s where racing came into the picture.” For the racing side of the film, Soren was inspired by his six-year-old son’s fascination with race cars.
Analysts expected revenue losses but, just like Turbo, the snail underdog in the film, the movie is closing in on a victory. Having spent $135 million on to make the movie; it has grossed about $100 million so far, according to Box Office Mojo.
One area that received positive reviews was the voice-over casting, including:
- Ryan Reynolds as Theo aka Turbo, a garden snail who dreams of becoming a racer.
- Paul Giamatti as Chet, Turbo’s brother
- Michael Peña as Tito, a “Dos Bros” taco truck driver who finds and befriends Turbo
- Snoop Dogg as Smoove Move, a snail
- Maya Rudolph as Burn, a snail
- Michelle Rodriguez as Paz, a car mechanic
- Samuel L. Jackson as Whiplash, a snail leader
- Luis Guzmán as Angelo, Tito’s brother and a “Dos Bros” taco truck driver
- Bill Hader as Guy Gagne, a French-Canadian Indy 500 champion
- Richard Jenkins as Bobby, a shopkeeper
- Ken Jeong as Kim-Ly, a shopkeeper
- Ben Schwartz as Skidmark, a snail
- Kurtwood Smith as Indy CEO
- Michael Bell as White Shadow, a snail
- Dario Franchitti as Scottish Anchor, Male Tourist
- Will Power as Australian Anchor
- Mario Andretti as an Indianapolis Motor Speedway traffic director
- Paul Page as a booth announcer
Watch for Turbo: F.A.S.T (Fast Action Stunt Team), which will see the film turned into a television series. It will be available through Netflix December 2013.