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Old June 21st, 2007, 06:44 PM
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Cars: Products sell better than the film!
We talked about Pixar's film Cars quite a bit last summer. The soundtrack was pretty good (even with lyrics you couldn't decipher)... and I enjoyed the film as well. It inspired low-budget remakes... and a trip Amy & I took down Route 66.

But for the most part, it wasn't considered Pixar's finest film. Many folks didn't like it. The fact that the box office returns didn't eclipse the previous Pixar movie (The Incredibles) was often cited as the start of a slump in Pixar films... and perhaps indicate that Disney overpaid when it bought Pixar.

With that in mind, I thought this article in Variety was very interesting. Basically, it states that while the film brought in $462 million globally at the box office (making it the #2 film of 2006 behind Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest), merchandise sales have brought Disney an insane $2 billion!

Apparently, Cars characters are resonating with fans. I know personally I'm collecting the die cast Mattel cars... and they are pretty cool!
Quote:
Cars
2007 Hot Property

Posted: Mon., Jun. 18, 2007, 4:52pm PT
By DANIEL FRANKEL

Principal: Andy Mooney, chairman, Disney Consumer Products; Mary Beech, VP animation consumer products marketing, DCP

Licensees include: Mattel for toys, Hallmark for party goods, THQ for interactive, Random House for publishing

The story: In terms of being well positioned to defy expectations, Disney-Pixar's "Cars" started its race about as far from pole position as you can get. In fact, when an animated feature takes in $462 million in global box office and garners on Oscar nomination, like "Cars" did, yet still is dogged by critics who compare it unfavorably to previous Pixar efforts "Finding Nemo" and "The Incredibles," the bar is set perhaps a bit too high.

While many refuse to rank "Cars" as Pixar maven John Lasseter's finest two hours, its merchandising campaign has become a global phenomenon. A year after the motion picture release, a sojourn to a local Toys R Us will reveal collectors -- boys to men -- on the prowl for the new shipment of Mattel-made die-cast miniatures, with the movie's extensive ensemble of characters yielding an endless array of product iterations (Dinaco Blue Chick Hicks, anyone?).

Merchandising campaigns for tentpoles are supposed to peak around the time of the DVD release, then begin to taper off, but "Cars" is only getting hotter.

"Do you think anybody knew it would have these kinds of continual legs? No way," says the merchandising topper for a rival studio. "I've just been impressed. It's doing this without anything supporting it in the marketplace."

Indeed, "Cars" has become as ubiquitous as "Dora the Explorer."

If parents try pulling their tikes out of the toy department and into bedding to escape the onslaught in the mass-merchant aisles, the tiny lobbyists will no doubt shift their strident filibustering toward purchases of "Cars" pillow cases and comforters. There's no relief at the grocery store either, where parents must say no -- "I said, 'No!'" -- to demands targeting Lightning McQueen-themed cereal bowls and Huggies Pull-Ups.

POV: "In a year without content in the marketplace, we'll do $2 billion in ('Cars') sales," Mooney says. "It underscores the fundamental point that not every animated movie is created equally in terms of merchandising. 'Cars' gets into the very fundamental play pattern for kids. And it seems every boy and every man in the world has a panache for vehicles."
Source

Another take on all this, via the 2719 Hyperion blog.
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Old June 22nd, 2007, 11:47 AM
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FernLaplante FernLaplante is offline
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Now they just need to turn that crappy Autopia ride in Disneyland into a themed Cars ride.
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Old June 22nd, 2007, 12:17 PM
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Originally Posted by FernLaplante View Post
Now they just need to turn that crappy Autopia ride in Disneyland into a themed Cars ride.
If it happens, probably will happen at other parks first. Disneyland's Autopia is sponsored by Chevron, and the cars were designed to emulate characters used in their ads.

Though, over at WDW, the Tomorrowland Motor Speedway has an Indy 500 theme that could be easily changed. Hong Kong just rolled out their Autopia this year and it's not themed... though it's electric powered. Tokyo? No clue.

Disneyland Paris did just add a Cars-themed ride to a new land at the Walt Disney Studios Paris park called Toon Studios. It's nothing more than a carnival-type ride, however. Take a look

Also, here's a video.
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Old July 2nd, 2007, 10:44 AM
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Our middle child is into collecting these, and has found a way to contribute to the $2 billion in sales. Glad I'm there to finance this record.
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