“Turbo” finding new life overseas after so-so American run

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While “Turbo” is set to go to Blu-ray and DVD on Nov. 12 here in America, Dreamworks’ animated racing movie is putting up a strong showing at the overseas box office.

The story about a super-fast snail taking on the Indianapolis 500 has managed to bank more than $160 million overseas, with markets such as France, Spain and the United Kingdom most recently having its releases of the film. “Turbo’s” international gross alone is enough to cover the film’s $135 million production budget.

The overseas results for “Turbo” are a stark contrast to the sluggish showing it had here in America. On its opening U.S. weekend, it finished third at the box office ($21.3 million) and according to Box Office Mojo, it’s barely managed to crack $80 million Stateside.

That rough start triggered talk of a potential writedown for Dreamworks according to investors. But with almost $250 million in worldwide ticket sales, “Turbo” is helping the company enjoy higher share prices according to Bloomberg.

It also helps that Dreamworks has been working to stop being so dependent on the box office for its revenue. The company has been expanding into other areas such as toys, video games, and television.

“Turbo” will be part of that particular initiative, as streaming service Netflix will launch an animated series based on the film next month.

NHRA Gatornationals: John Force qualifies 15th with no motor explosion, says ‘I need to race smart’ Sunday

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There’s good news and bad news for John Force fans.

The good news is the 16-time NHRA Funny Car champ did not suffer yet another motor explosion after enduring his third in three races during Friday’s qualifying session at Gainesville (Florida) Raceway.

In fact, Force intentionally feathered the gas pedal on his Chevrolet Camaro Funny Car to make sure it wasn’t again overtaxed, qualifying 15th with a run of 4.281 seconds at 222.88 mph.

Now for the bad news.

When Sunday’s final eliminations begin at 11 a.m. ET, Force will be matched against daughter and No. 2 qualifier, Courtney Force (3.914 seconds at 332.18 mph).

“It is a little bit of a bummer that I have to race him in the first round,” Courtney Force said of her father. “Tomorrow is a new day and we will have all our stuff ready and we will put on our game faces to go for that win.”

Courtney Force is seeking her second consecutive win, having also won two weeks ago at the second national event of the season in suburban Phoenix.

“I want to have a good side-by-side safe race tomorrow in round one,” Force said. “Our goal is to take my dad down and have a long day at the track winning rounds.

“We want to move the momentum over from Phoenix. I feel like my guys have a good handle on this Advance Auto Parts Camaro.”

But don’t count out dear old dad, an eight-time Funny Car winner at Gainesville.

“I am the kind of guy that, when it is qualifying day, I run it to the edge.,” John Force said. “I run it even if I know it will hurt itself.

“(With his three motor explosions this season) I am rethinking all that. What I am looking is the long haul. To go out here and say I have to win this race or I have to qualify low after as much stuff as we have put on the ground in Pomona and Phoenix and then to come here and do it again is bad. … We want to fix this problem and move on.

“Tomorrow I am going to have to play the odds game. I am going to run it to 700 or 800 feet and hope (Courtney) gets in trouble. I need to race smart.”

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