Marc Graser wrote:But what guaranteed a greenlight for the sequel was the amount of merchandise the film has moved since 2006: a whopping $10 billion, or around $2 billion a year. Last year alone, the film revved up $2.4 billion in retail sales, making it one of the few film properties to sell more toys each year after the first film's debut. That's impressive for a film that wasn't based on an existing property.
Disney is hoping its merchandise machine speeds away with even more coin this year through the brokering of more deals with licensees, who are taking advantage of the appeal of Mater and his friends, but also the introduction of new vehicles in "Cars 2," like two gun-toting, missile-firing spy car characters and the villain's stealth boats, as well as planes and trains.
The goal is to beat the $2.8 billion that "Toy Story 3" earned last year, according to Andy Mooney, Disney's consumer products chief, who is offering "Cars 2" merchandise "in every conceivable category that will enable it to be the largest licensee program in history."
Merchandise, including 150 different die-cast cars and other playsets from Mattel (company's designed 600 die-cast "Cars" since 2006), the first Legos for the film, car-shaped chicken nuggets from Perdue, even aprons and baking tins at Williams-Sonoma, started hitting store shelves in May. Target is the primary retail partner, although products also prominently appear in Walmart and Toys R Us stores.
Tom Hanks wrote:I think there will be yeah. Yeah, yeah. They’re working on it now.
Steven Zeitchik wrote:For the last decade, Pixar has pulled off one of the great runs in movie history. Until this weekend, it had released eight films, and every single one of them became a runaway blockbuster (at least $200 million in domestic box office) and a critical darling (not a single one got below 70% on the Rotten Tomatoes website).
It was a run, like Joe DiMaggio in the batter's box or Roger Federer at a Grand Slam semifinal, that seemed impossible for the company to keep replicating, and seemed even less likely to ever be broken by anyone else. (It lasts even longer if you throw in the company's trio of 1990s movies, which didn't all hit $200 million but were financial successes just the same.)
But all hot spells must come to an end, and indeed, one of Pixar's two streaks ended this weekend. "Cars 2" did open to $68 million, putting it on pace for another $200-million gross. The movie, however, left critics cold, garnering only a 34% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, as my colleagues Patrick Day and Rebecca Keegan note in an article in Monday's Los Angeles Times.
Audiences came out, but they came out to a movie that, at least by one measure of quality, was muddling around down there with the rest of summer's moneymaking mediocrities. "Cars 2's" Rotten Tomatoes score was just half of its two-digit box-office total, a disparity that puts it in the same camp as "Green Lantern" (Rotten Tomatoes score: 26%. Opening-weekend: $53 million.)
In a way, the fact that "Cars 2" attracted audiences despite the weak reviews could feel more unsettling than if it had performed poorly at the box office. The lesson of Pixar's long run has not only been that a massively sized, big-budget Hollywood operation can consistently create films of quality, but that this quality was integral to its success. Other studios often churn out indistinguishable, derivative entertainment that makes gobs of money. But at John Lasseter's Pixar, impeccable storytelling and huge popularity move in perfect alignment. The company puts out high-end films, and we come out because of that.
After this weekend, It turns out that not only can Pixar create something middling, but we'll come out to see it anyway, if not for ourselves then for our children. Which kind of throws into question, at least in more cynical moments, whether the quality was as much of a reason for the earlier films' popularity as we previously thought. Would "Ratatouille" or "Wall-E" have been pretty much as successful even if they didn't have the subtle touches and indelible characters? It's a little harder to offer a definitive "no" after this weekend. For hard-core animation enthusiasts, it's a deflated feeling, like learning the Tooth Fairy doesn't exist, in the words of one disconsolate (and perhaps slightly melodramatic) friend.
In noting what they didn't like about "Cars 2" (in many instances, the noise and the focus on the broad character of Mater), critics didn't just evaluate the film but judged it in the larger world of its studio. "It actually hurts to knock one of [Pixar's] movies," wrote Indiewire critic Leonard Maltin. (Whether critics were harder on the movie in the first place because Pixar is held to a higher standard is an interesting question, though the subject of a different post.)
There are those who will say that in making the "Cars" sequel in the first place, Pixar put the licensing cart first (the first had taken in an estimated $10 billion in global merchandising). And for those who think sequelization is an inherent problem, there are reasons for concern about the studio. Pixar will soon bring out a "Monsters, Inc." sequel, and there are already rumblings that the company is quietly developing a third "Cars" film. But it's of course still way too early to worry about Pixar; there's far too much of a track record, not to mention a record of steady stewardship, for that.
Even more interesting as this debate unfolds is the question of a Pixar effect -- that is, a level of quality that has lifted all animation boats. Pixar may have slipped, but only after prompting other studios to raise their game. Many attribute Paramount's taking a chance on Gore Verbinski's "Rango" to the success of sophisticated animated movies at Pixar, for example. And "Rio," Fox's spring hit and critical darling, was so close to Pixar's values that it actually caused the Lasseter-run company to shelve one of its own projects (an exotic-animal movie titled "Newt"). That may be of small comfort for those accustomed to a Pixar gem every summer, but it does makes it a little easier to wake up and look under the pillow.
DO NOT WANT!!!!!
The Internet Movie Database (IMDb) is listing Toy Story 4 as being in development at Pixar for release in 2015.
While IMDb can be grossly inaccurate, the listing of a Pixar project usually foreruns the proper announcement. For example, "Monsters, Inc. 2" was listed nearly a year before Monsters University was revealed.
More importantly, this comes on the heels of Tom Hanks' authoritative comments last month that he 'understands Toy Story 4 is happening'.
Are you ready for another big screen adventure with Andy's Bonnie's toys?
TheButcher wrote:‘Cars 2′ on Track to Become Pixar’s Worst Box Office Performance Since 1998
I bet there's a lot of horses in there. It seems like all young girls love horses.
Pete Docter, from 'Monsters, Inc.' and 'Up,' is doing a new film that takes place inside of a girl's mind
# “I’m sure you’ll see other sequels to things” – Stanton on upcoming Pixar projects.
# He’s do a Finding Nemo sequel if he comes up with the right idea, and he’s always thinking.
In a batch of updates to their feature film release schedule this morning, Disney announced that a currently untitled Pixar project will hit theatres on Wednesday, November 25, 2015.
This new addition to Pixar’s lineup is the most distant yet, with Pete Docter’s Mind movie coming on June 19 of the same year and Monsters University and The Good Dinosaur set for June 21, 2013 and May 30, 2014, respectively. Though a title wasn’t included with the announcement, it’s fairly safe to assume that the film is the Dia de los Muertos-centric production that was teased at CinemaCon.
Pixar has struggled to launch two films in the same year for nearly a decade. Each time, though, plans consistently fell though due to the cancellation of Newt and numerous release date shifts. With this newly announced film and Pete Docter’s project both scheduled for 2015, could this be the studio’s first successful attempt? Stay tuned.
Brendon Connelly wrote:In the summer, Pixar will be releasing the prequel to Monsters Inc., heading into the hallowed halls of Monsters University with young Mike and young Sully. It was directed by Dan Scanlon, making this the first “two” from the studio to not share a director with its respective “one.”
Well, presuming you count a prequel as a “two” and not a “zero.”
The director of Monsters Inc. was Pete Docter, and while his furry creations are moving out and going to university without him, he’s busy at work on his third feature, another original.
There’s been no official announcement of its title, and Disney have only referred to it as The Untitled Pixar Movie That Takes You Inside The Mind.
John Lasseter described the set up like this:The emotions of this little girl are the characters and it takes place in the head of this little girl, and shows how they control things that go on.
A little bit Herman’s Head, a little bit Numbskulls?
We’ve now heard that the film is on the verge of getting an official title and that title is almost certainly going to be The Inside Out.
That title hasn’t yet been cleared, but it’s the one Pixar want. Barring any problems with getting the name okayed, we can probably expect it to be announced soon.
Incidentally, once my source told me this title, I Googled around to see if I could find any mention of it. I found one.
Seems that the title was used just this week by Stefano Bethlen, Disney’s head of distribution in Italy, when speaking to Primissima.
That’s enough corroboration for me, so there we go. Pete Docter’s next is The Inside Out – at least for now.
Brendon Connelly wrote:Pete Docter’s Untitled FilmAnd then Pete Docter… is working on the next one. We don’t have the title for it yet, but it takes place in the mind. Pete has this way of constantly trying to figure out something that we’re all familiar with in some way… he’s constantly looking for these kinds of things. You look at people oftentimes and they do something to make you go “What are they thinking?” or it’s like how a song gets stuck in your head and you just can’t get it out. Little quirky thing alike this that we all do. Certain emotions just seem to take us over, anger or happiness, where you start giggling and laughing and you can’t stop. He thought “I want to take a look at that, explain that.” His idea is that the emotions of this little girl are the characters and it takes place in the head of this little girl, and shows how they control things that go on. It’s very, very clever and it’s truly unlike anything you’ve ever seen, yet it explains things you’ve seen.
Well, “explains” at least. But it sounds like a lot of fun, and I’m sure Pixar can do better than The Numbskulls or Herman’s Head quite comfortably.
Joseph Flaherty wrote:Most people think losing 10 pounds is an ambitious New Year's resolution, but Pixar artist Everett Downing set out to create 365 brand-new superheroes in one year. Downing has brought iconic characters to life in classics like Ratatouille, WALL-E, and Up, so coming up with a bullpen of his own characters seemed like a simple enough task.
Like most resolutions, it didn't quite work out. What started out as a year-long project has become three years and counting. So far, he's created 285 homespun heroes and bespoke bad guys, and vows that 2013 will be the year the project is completed.
Wired Design talked with Downing about his super-size resolution, what he's gained from it and what will happen when he finally hits number 365.
The origin story is a critical part of any hero's development. Downing is no different. "I got into a rut, I wasn't drawing enough and a friend told me I was over-thinking things," says Downing. "I just needed to do something I was really into that wouldn't require too much thinking. I started thinking about designing superheroes and the more I thought about it, the more I wanted to do it. I threw the gauntlet down and decided to draw a super every day."
Just as Edna Mode from The Incredibles had rules for superhero costumes, Downing developed ground rules for his characters. "I don't want to spend too much time on these, so they can't go over an hour." The project was also intended to be a fun way to generate ideas and exercise his creativity so Downing wouldn't allow himself to stockpile designs to keep up the pace.
Other than those guidelines, anything was fair game. Downing's horticulturist hero (above) gained super powers after his super grass growing solution exploded on him — transforming him into the Hulking Mulch!
To keep the creative juices flowing Downing has a list of hero names that he created with friends, chock full of impressive monikers, plenty of puns, and even suggestions from loyal readers. "A lot of my super designs are driven by this list of names." says Downing. "If you have a list of names it's easier to schedule."
He starts every drawing with a name that falls into one of three buckets. Some just sound cool, like Power Fist. Others come from puns or goofy word play, like Re-Pete. Then there are those that come completely out of left field like Lance-a-Lot — a half man, half unicorn "mythic crusader from another world, who wields a sword made of righteous light and shoots a rainbow of wrath from his horn!"
"This just goes to show you what can happen when you forget about everything and just draw for fun. This is probably my favorite super I created for this blog." says Downing. "These things come in waves. Sometimes the ideas just come and I'll just belt them out, other times I'm not so excited. When I stay consistent and do it daily, there are times I scrape the bottom of the barrel and I have to be OK with the bad ideas. When I'm working on bad ideas, I know a good idea is just around the corner, that's how it worked with Lance-a-Lot."
Another unlikely favorite is "Dober-Man and Pincer," a silly looking duo with a hilarious history "Altruistic exotic veterinarian Voss Brown was bitten by a genetically altered rabid doberman and given its approximate powers. He can run as fast as a pinscher and wields a dog-like fury! Together with his pet, Pincher (the now toothless dog that gave him his abilities) they pursue crime with a dogged determination!"
"Doing something like this is completely worth it. Looking back, it's a time capsule of where you were at that time." says Downing. "There are ideas where when I'm done I think it was terrible, but a few months later I think its great."
Downing can trace his love of superheroes and animation down to a specific source, The Uncanny X-Men, specifically issue #173.
"The artist, Paul Smith, would do these amazing drawings of Wolverine fighting the Silver Samurai." says Downing. "He drew every move of the fight, every counter and block and as a kid I remember thinking 'They're really fighting!'"
He also credits modern comic artists like Darwyn Cooke, Tonci Zonjic, David Aja, Cory Walker, Chris Samnee, and Michael Avon Oeming as influences.
Even though Downing failed to create 365 superheroes in a year, it helped him get out of the rut he was stuck in. "It's helped me a ton creatively. It helped me loosen up — I was getting stagnant in my drawing. I was reluctant to take risks." he says. "When your really tense, you're not as flexible; it's not as easy to get back to things. When you're loose, if you fall down you bounce back up. If you're tense, something will break."
He also says "It helps me get in the zone quicker. Every time I try to fuss over a drawing — let's see what guy comes out today." It turns out that "anything" can be a playful approach to emoticons (left) or a slightly grittier take on the "Fail" meme (right).
Downing says creators should also be open to modifying their projects. For instance, after drawing the characters for a while, he decided to come up with one- or two-line backgrounds for each of his characters that help explain the influences and inspiration. Downing got on an archaeology kick and came up with the mysterious "Pandorceress," an "archeologist who finds the legendary Pandora's box and opens it up. She's granted dark wisdom at the price of her eyesight." And her protector, "Chip Scarab," is an "Egyptologist turned Sorcerous protector."
Downing has advice for creators looking to undertake a similarly ambitious project advice for creative projects. "If your going to start something like this, some things are going to look bad. You'll have to throw away 10 OK ideas to get one great one." says Downing "I want to get these bad ideas out so I can get to the nuggets of gold." He also warns creators not to be fixated on fan responses. "Don't be discouraged if you don't get a lots of likes and buzz and chatter. You should be doing it for yourself and the other stuff comes second." Downing offers one last piece of advice - Carefully consider the scope of the project, especially if making public declarations about it. He says "When I started, I said '365 I can do that!' Now that I'm in the 280's I think 'why didn't I say once a week?' That's just 52. I'd be good by now!"
Like a superhero, Downing has a utility belt full of tools that help him develop his modern day marvel universe. Classics like pen and ink never go out of style, but Photoshop and iPad apps like Brushes, Paper, Sketchbook Pro, and Procreate have become part of his arsenal. This diversity of tools leads to a varied texture of drawings, from simple line art to richly colored compositions.
What's next in Downing's continuing saga? It wouldn't be a comic book story without a cliffhanger, but Downing does hint at some ideas for when he's done drawing. A comic book "one-shot" featuring the best of his creation seems like the logical next step. He'd also like to pay homage to the legendary (in geek circles) OHOTMU or Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe, a field guide to every hero and villain that appeared in a Marvel Comic along with their key stats and biographical information.
However, until the project is completed Downing is still looking for names. He has no complaints, though.
"Is it fun to do?" he asks. "Yes. Hard to do? Extremely. Worth it? For sure!"
Adam B. Vary wrote:
EMERYVILLE, Calif. — Pixar Animation Studios President Ed Catmull tells BuzzFeed that, moving forward, the animation studio plans to significantly scale back its production of sequels.
The news will likely come as a relief to the Pixar faithful, who have not been shy about concerns that the studio had become too eager to make sequels (or prequels) of its previous films at the expense of its legacy of acclaimed original movies.
“For artistic reasons … it’s really important that we do an original film a year,” says Catmull, who also serves as president of Walt Disney Animation. “Every once in a while, we get a film where we want or people want to see something continuing in that world — which is the rationale behind the sequel. They want those characters, which means we were successful with them. But if you keep doing that, then you aren’t doing original films.”
Indeed, the first 10 feature films from Pixar included just one sequel, but the subsequent four features from Pixar have only included one original film — the rest were either sequels or, most recently, the Monsters Inc. prequel Monsters University.
Cars 2 has especially been singled out as the studio’s first true disappointment, both creatively and commercially. And while Monsters University just earned one of Pixar’s best box-office debuts ever, the critical reception hasn’t been nearly as ecstatic as it had been for Pixar’s original fare.
The studio’s upcoming slate, however, only includes a single sequel, the Finding Nemo follow-up Finding Dory, which is scheduled for release on Nov. 25, 2015. That film also marks the first time Pixar will release two films within the same calendar year; Inside Out, an original production set within the mind of a young girl, is set to open on June 19, 2015.
It’s part of what Catmull says is a strategy to release “one and a half” films a year. “We’re going to have an original film every year, then every other year have a sequel to something,” he says. “That’s the rough idea.”
As the studio moves into its third decade making feature-length animated films, Catmull says he and chief creative officer John Lasseter are keenly aware of maintaining the studio’s legacy well into the future. “How do you figure out how to pass the baton onto other people?” he says. “In some places they don’t do that. When Walt [Disney] died, he didn’t pass the baton to anybody else, and so they went downhill after that. So John and I take very seriously the fact that we need to get people up to the level where they can tell original films.”
As it happens, Pixar’s next film, The Good Dinosaur, is directed by a first-timer, Bob Peterson, who was a co-director of Pixar’s Up (i.e., a kind of second-in-command under director Pete Docter). Set in a world in which dinosaurs never went extinct, The Good Dinosaur will open on May 30, 2014.
Fievel wrote:The Pixar Theory: Every Pixar Movie Is Connected
A very entertaining read that didn't become so for me until the evidence presented for the very last statement.
Honor Hunter wrote:The producer and director of the film had been removed, but the film is not as of yet in turnaround. John Lasseter has reportedly taken Bob Peterson off the film, and is attempting to still meet the 2014 release date.
Rebecca Keegan wrote:Pixar Animation has removed the director of its 2014 film, "The Good Dinosaur," and not named a replacement, marking the fourth time in eight movies that the Emeryville studio has made a director change midstream.
With the film's release date fast approaching and various creative choices unmade, Pixar executives decided to replace director Bob Peterson this summer, according to the studio's president, Ed Catmull.
"All directors get really deep in their films," Catmull said this week. "Sometimes you just need a different perspective to get the idea out. Sometimes directors ... are so deeply embedded in their ideas it actually takes someone else to finish it up. I would go so far as to argue that a lot of live-action films would be better off with that same process."
Peterson, who began at Pixar as an animator on its first feature film, "Toy Story," and co-directed the 2009 Oscar-winning movie "Up," conceived the idea for "The Good Dinosaur," which envisions an Earth where dinosaurs never became extinct.
Until a new director is named, Pixar is relying on a team of people to shepherd various sections of the movie, due in theaters in nine months. That group includes Pixar Chief Creative Officer John Lasseter, "Toy Story 3" director Lee Unkrich, "Brave" director Mark Andrews and the film's original co-director Peter Sohn (at Pixar, a co-director plays a deputy role to the director).
The move comes as Pixar is under mounting pressure to build on its early successes in an increasingly competitive marketplace; this year will see the wide theatrical release of 11 animated movies, up from six a decade ago.
The studio has changed directors on three other films — Brad Bird replaced Jan Pinkava on the 2007 movie "Ratatouille," Lasseter replaced Brad Lewis on 2011's "Cars 2" and Andrews replaced Brenda Chapman on 2012's "Brave." Each of those movies went on to gross more than $500 million at the box office worldwide, and "Brave" and "Ratatouille" won Oscars for animated feature, but "Cars 2" was the rare critical disappointment.
Over its 14 feature films produced since 1995, the computer animation studio has enjoyed outsized artistic and commercial success, but in recent years critics have suggested that it is in a creatively fallow period.
Pixar's 2013 film, the comedy "Monsters University" from first-time feature director Dan Scanlon, just became the fourth Pixar film to pass $700 million at the global box office, finding a large audience despite comparatively moderate reviews.
In the world of live-action films, changing a director when a film is already in production is rare, though it happened this year on the independent western "Jane Got a Gun," when Gavin O'Connor replaced director Lynne Ramsay after she failed to show up on the first day of shooting in New Mexico.
Animated films tend to have much longer schedules than live-action ones, with story changes often occurring after production has begun. As a result, personnel changes are far more common — Genndy Tartakovsky, who helmed last year's Sony Pictures Animation hit "Hotel Transylvania," was the sixth director to work on that film.
Leading an animated movie combines skills that can be hard to find in one person — the imagination to conceive an original idea and the command to manage crews of 200 to 300 people operating on budgets north of $200 million.
"Up" director Pete Docter in June said the method of choosing directors at Pixar is imperfect.
"We take our best guess," said Docter, whose next movie, "Inside Out," is due in 2015. "We try to diagnose: What are the necessary skills? How does this person measure up? They're going to need buttressing here, here they totally shine, and try to pair them with the right people. But if you figure it out, let us know."
Industry watchers started to speculate about Peterson's status when he didn't attend D23, Disney's fan conference in Anaheim this month, to showcase footage from "The Good Dinosaur." Instead, Sohn and producer Denise Ream represented the film, introducing its premise of a 70-foot-tall teenage dinosaur who befriends a young human boy.
Ream too represents a change on the film. The "Cars 2" producer has stepped in to replace John Walker, who left to work on "Tomorrowland," Bird's upcoming live action film for Disney, which owns Pixar.
Peterson, still employed at Pixar, declined to comment for this story. He has another directing project in development, according to Jim Morris, general manager and executive vice president of production for Pixar. "Bob is still working at the studio, and we hope he will stay here for the rest of his natural life," Morris said.
As of now, the release date for "The Good Dinosaur" is unchanged and the movie is proceeding on its production schedule, according to Catmull. "We've been around long enough to know it will never be smooth," Catmull said. "But getting this process smooth is not our goal; our goal is to make the movie great."
TheButcher wrote:Another Cars sequel? There's just no vroom
Ben Child: Pixar's rumoured to be developing Cars 3. It's time they put this franchise on the scrapheap
Lord Voldemoo wrote:TheButcher wrote:Another Cars sequel? There's just no vroom
Ben Child: Pixar's rumoured to be developing Cars 3. It's time they put this franchise on the scrapheap
From a business standpoint there are other factors to consider....like the fact that Disney just spent eleventy billion dollars creating Carsland in their California Adventure park. Of course they are going to try to keep that investment from becoming obsolete. Disney probably doesn't give a damn what the critics think here, the parents will go where their kids point them. Planes was a...pretty random...offshoot of Cars that was universally panned and it grossed over $200 million worldwide on a $50 million production budget. I don't begrudge Disney/Pixar the occasional "gotta eat" film. I just hope it's not ALL they do...
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