Red Rackham's Treasure, Steven Spielberg

News on Tintin 2

Very good find Britto! An important piece of news has been hiding on a French site the past few days and, while I admit I do occasionally check, I almost certainly would have missed it. While in Paris for the release of ”War Horse”, Spielberg did an interview with ”Figaro”. The big ”scoop” the article was trying to push was what Spielberg thought of the Tintin movie’s ”failure” in the USA. The movie was no mega flop, but within the USA it was certainly no hit either. Spielberg said he didn’t want to blame anybody, and that he thinks the the movies bad reception in the USA was due mainly to the decision to use performance capture rather than a problem with the movie itself. Mainly, and I think I’d agree with him most here, he said that what people most rejected were the television commercials. They didn’t give them enough of a chance to go and see Tintin in the cinemas. I personally believe that, even though they used performance capture, the movie would have done much better if they had advertised it better. An American friend of mine told me all he saw related to the Tintin movie most of the time he watched TV this winter were short TV spots that didn’t tell him very much about the movie and left him wondering ”who’s Tintin?” I bet a lot of people saw the motion capture and thought the film was an expensive animated movie for kids. They needed more than occasional TV spots…they needed giant billboards, advertisements everywhere you looked, they needed to play the second trailer more on TV, a good line of action figures and other toys to get kids and families interested. The movie didn’t even get McDonald’s toys in the US. I also suspect that part of the movie’s failure to make as much as they hoped was because it came out right alongside Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked (I couldn’t turn a corner in the US without seeing an ad for this one), Happy Feet 2 and The Muppets, all of which stole away a large part of the families going to the movies over the holidays. And anybody who wanted to see action and adventure was going to see Mission Impossible 4 in 3D. When given the choice between going to pay and see something new, especially when it’s been poorly marketed, and something old they are familiar with and know they like, American’s will choose the latter. It makes sense. Nonetheless I’m interested in seeing how many DVDs the movie sells, and I think that with a bit more luck and more work to let the USA know who Tintin is, Tintin 2 could be a really big hit. Regardless of American interest in Tintin, the film still made 76 million dollars in the US and about 300 million dollars worldwide. Spielberg reminded those in the interview that the film only cost about 142 million dollars to make, so he’s really pretty happy with how well the film did and a sequel is certainly underway.

However the most interesting part of the interview for me was the end, where they ask whether or not Calculus will ”finally show up in the film.” Spielberg answered yes, because he shows up in Red Rackham’s Treasure and they plan to pick up the second movie around where the first one left off. Then he told them that as of yet they still don’t know what books they will be combining in the new movie, and that Peter will be looking more into that this year…If this is true it’s quite something! Elsewhere they’ve told us that a script is already being written, so I really doubt that they are as clueless as Spielberg told Figaro. In any case, it does suggest that the beginning of Red Rackham’s treasure will make it into the next movie. And if what Spielberg told us before is true and the movie is ”more than one book, but less than two books”, all we’re missing is the name of one album. We’ll see…I’m interested in finding out whether or not Calculus’ shark submarine will make it into the film. If not, I wonder why Calculus will be interested in meeting Tintin…



On a side note, I got Williams’ Tintin 1 soundtrack and have been listening to it over and over…It has grown on me a lot, and I sincerely hope that Williams wins an Oscar this Sunday for his superb work.





  1. adesh

    I would blame:Paramount’s bad bad marketing strategy for the film and nothing else.
    If crapfests like “You don’t mess with Zohan” or “Madea’s family reunion” work at box office , there should have been no reason for an adventure and fun movie to work at the box office.
    I have said this before in some other post but it almost felt like Paramount didn’t want the movie to succeed in the US.
    They released and gave all the emphasis to MI4 at the same time and didn’t do much marketing for Tintin at all. They gave no clue on how popular and known Tintin is and how exciting the movie is to US audiences and didn’t care for its collections. They knew very well before hand the resentment people in USA had for performance capture and should have tried to sell the movie emphasizing on other aspects much like what Avatar did.
    So I am with Speilberg on this completely and its natural for him to be upset with Paramount. Obviously that is what he is trying to say when you read between the lines. Not many people watched the movie to decide whether it was good or bad.

  2. Archibald


    Although it’s only released Monday in France, I got my copy of the BluRay yesterday.

    So here are the featurettes running time and basically what they’re about :

    -Toasting Tintin: Part 1 : (1’23) The crew on the first day of shooting.
-The Journey to Tintin : (8’53) How Spielberg and Jackson were introduced to Tintin, why they choose motion capture, WETA early tests.
-The World of Tintin : (10’45) Spielberg, Jackson, Michael Farr, Jamie Bell, Gad Elmaleh on the books and the character of Tintin. why they merged the Crab and Unicorn stories, and how the writers got involved.
-The Who’s Who of Tintin : (14’17) Basically a featurette on the characters and the actors that are playing them.

    -Tintin: Conceptual Design : (8’37) How Weta designed the world and characters of Tintin.
-Tintin: In the Volume : (17’53) The process of performance capture explained by cast and crew.
-Snowy: From Beginning to End : (10’10) The title says it all. From the design to the voice(s) of Snowy.
-Animating Tintin : (10’59) Shows various renditions of the same scenes, from previsualization to the final film – similar to those Weta website featurettes. Also Michael Kahn on editing the movie and Spielberg on 3D.
-Tintin: The Score : (7’01) John Williams on his score, when it was recorded. Again, everything is in the title.

    -Collecting Tintin : (3’57) Featurette on the Weta Workshop collector statues.
-Toasting Tintin: Part 2 : (3’12) filmed on September 15th 2011. Spielberg in Los Angeles, Jackson and Serkis in Wellington, and the Weta crew, all toasting the completion of the movie via video conference.

    I also watched the film again, and yes, it’s still good.

  3. Proman

    These interivew are conducted by fools who want nothing more than to put people like Spielberg on the spot. What these people don’t understand, is that TIntin was a success. It was an INVESTMENT INTO A FRANCHISE and did more than well enough to gurantee that that invesment would pay off.

    Look at Batman Begins as ana example, the first installment cost more than Tintin and made less worldwide. However, it sold very well on DVD and Blu-Ray and established anticipation so that the when the next movie opened it did terrficially well.

    So, the most important thing is that Tintin wil have more installments, which are guranteed to make a lot more money. People would already havbe a chance to fall in love with Tintin the character and I have no doubt that the series will have terrific future in US and around the world.

  4. adesh

    @Proman..while I agree with you the difference is Batman Begins earned over 200 million dollars in USA. Like it or not, the success ratio of a movie as judged by Hollywood is whether the movie was successful in USA or not for them to decide on whether sequels should be funded. I sure as hell hope that the attitude changes for Tintin franchise.

  5. Trix

    It obviously wasn’t advertised very well there, and considering that there were also another million movies released at the same time, then yeah, it wasn’t gonna get the same attention.
    In saying that, it was pretty well advertised here in Australia, saw it on TV, shopping centres, bus stops and bill boards. Certainly reached a better audience here (also helps that more Australians know about Tintin, far more than the USA).

    PS On another note, saw John Hurt on the Jonathon Ross show, and to me, seems like a very ideal Calculus!

  6. Trix

    Tintin (sadly) didn’t get the award for the music original score at the Oscars, The Artist beat it (like just about every other award as well!) but at least it got nominated, and has won several other awards which is good.

  7. Jake

    There are a lot of reasons why Tintin failed In the USA. Here are some reasons that is Paramounts bad marketing.

    They had the option for Burger King in the USA because Happy Feet 2 got it until January. Paramount put all of its focus on Mission Impossible 4. In November 2010 To December, there were 6 family movies compared to 10 in 2011. Christmas Eve and New Years Eve both fell on a Saturday which is the best day for movies to make money. But everybody was too busy preparing for Christmas Day and New Years Day. I really hope Tintin makes more money next time.

Comments are closed.