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!"
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