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Trivia / Penguins of Madagascar

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  • Box Office Bomb: Budget, $132 million. Box office, $81,268,373 (domestic), $320,483,373 (worldwide). And that's not even counting the advertising budget. DreamWorks Animation had already been suffering from previous box office stings, but this film delivered the biggest blow to the studio. After the studio predicted it would make a $49 million loss at theatersnote , studio shares tumbled six percent the following month, and forced the company to terminate five hundred employees and shut down PDI.
  • Creator Killer: The film's disastrous financial results, along with that of Mr. Peabody & Sherman, scarred DreamWorks' ability to survive as an independent film studio. It took two years and several major job losses to get to the point of having to be sold.
    • The film was such a disaster at the domestic box office that DreamWorks Animation lost an enormous amount of money (though the failed merger with Hasbro deserves credit, too), resulting in studio Pacific Data Images shutting down as part of a restructuring of the company.
    • It also ended the long run of chief creative officer Bill Damaschke, who had been with the studio since 1995, and the short run of COO and longtime Disney executive Mark Zoradi, who had been with DWA since earlier that summer (Zoradi would take over the Cinemark theater chain months later.)
    • And finally, it was the beginning of the end for founder Jeffrey Katzenberg himself, with his ambitions against Disney having finally got the better of him. The studio's next two films were financial successes, but not on high enough of a level to please shareholders. This eventually led to Katzenberg agreeing to sell the studio to Comcast's NBCUniversal unit within 18 months (after having decided not to take the company private with the help of a shareholder in China) and divest his involvement with DWA on a heavy basis.
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  • Descended Creator: Rather than having John DiMaggio, Dreamworks staff member Conrad Vernon voiced Rico here. Skipper, Kowalski, and Private still have Tom McGrath, Chris Miller, and Christopher Knights, all staff members, voicing them.
  • Fan Nickname:
    • Classified has been called Classy by many fans.
    • Corp for Corporal. It isn't as popular as many other nicknames, but it still counts.
  • Franchise Killer: Throughout most of the 2000's, Madagascar was only second to Shrek as DreamWorks' Cash Cow Franchise. Even though Kung Fu Panda and How to Train Your Dragon eventually overshadowed it in popularity, Madagascar was still able to stay afloat as one of Dreamworks' top-tier brands. This film's flopping at the box office, combined with the concurrent serious restructuring of the company following the other Box Office Bombs of the 2010s, pretty much set the Madagascar franchise out to pasture as a previously-scheduled fifth film in the series remains in Development Hell.
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  • The Original Darrin: Kowalski and Private are voiced by their movie actors, Chris Miller and Christopher Knights, instead of their TV actors, Jeff Bennett and James Patrick Stuart.
  • The Other Darrin:
    • Instead of being voiced by John DiMaggio, Rico is instead voiced by Mason's voice actor, Conrad Vernon.
    • King Julien's cameo during The Stinger has him being voiced by his TV replacement actor, Danny Jacobs, instead of Sacha Baron Cohennote .
  • Recursive Adaptation: Movie -> TV series -> movie. The penguins have taken such a huge leap in bringing their personalities and appearances closer to the series, that some people consider this movie to finally link to the Penguins series.
  • Release Date Change: It was scheduled for March 2015 before moving to November 2014, swapping places with Home.
  • Role Reprise:
    • Tom McGrath, Chris Miller, and Christopher Knights return to voicing Skipper, Kowalski, and Private.
    • The stinger has Andy Richter and Danny Jacobs return to voicing Mort and Julien, the former from all non-video game media and the latter from the video games and the cartoon while replacing Sasha Baron Cohen.
  • Same Voice Their Entire Life: In the A Minor Kidroduction scene, the four penguins sound exactly the same as they do when they're adults. It's particularly conspicuous with Skipper and Kowalski, who both have deep male voices.
  • Stillborn Franchise: The film actually did worse than DreamWorks' previous three attempts to start a franchise, despite being fueled by the Madagascar series, leading them to lose $49 million at theaters, over triple of what they expected, and the company's shares fell six percent because of it. Not enough to kill off the Madagascar franchise, but certainly enough to ensure that there would be no more Penguins solo films.


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