I still don't understand the success of March of the Penguins. I don't understand the film's popularity, and I really don't understand how it beat Murderball for the documentary Oscar. I do understand its influence, though. Yes, Happy Feet was coincidentally in production before the release of the penguin doc, but as far as the public knows, the animated movie is coming on the heels of March, and it should be of help to Warner Bros. that kids might be hungry for more penguins (not literally, of course). Earlier this month, the New York Times featured an article on the penguin craze and mentioned other related movies coming out in the near and distant future, including Surf's Up, a Madagascar sequel and a long-in-the-works Opus picture. Of course, there's also Bob Saget's March parody, Farce of the Penguins, which heads straight-to-DVD in January.

But what about the nature documentary? What influence has March of the Penguins had on its genre as opposed to its subject? Obviously, Hollywood isn't so keen on celebrating the medium, especially when that medium is one typically associated with the Discovery Channel and other cable outlets more than with theatrical box office gold. Sure, before March of the Penguins there was Winged Migration, another doc about birds that grossed about $11 million domestically, but compared to March's $77 million domestic earnings, that can easily be forgotten in studio execs' memories.
categories Cinematical