I’ve always wondered why Disney/Pixar decided to move forward with a Cars sequel instead of something original or another outing of The Incredible, for example. Cars only made $460 million worldwide compared to the $630 million made by The Incredibles, however an announcement today from Disney makes everything clear.
Merchandise tied to the Cars franchise has generated global retail sales of more than $8 billion, Walt Disney said Monday. That makes it one of the company’s top franchises at what are now $2 billion in global retail sales annually.
Disney detailed the merchandise strength of Disney/Pixar hit Cars, which has grown its retail business since its launch in 2006, here on Monday as the entertainment giant unveiled what it expects to be its largest licensed film merchandise program ever for Cars 2.
In an event tied to Toy Fair, which opened here this weekend, Disney brought Cars 2 voice actors Michael Caine and Emily Mortimer to the stage to help unveil a line of more than 300 toys for the June 24 release. Over 200 million die-cast cars tied to the franchise have sold to-date, the company said.
So not only are Disney/Pixar making Cars 2 purely for the money, they’ve got Sir Michael Caine selling toys for them. The shame!
I guess this is the equivalent of Disney releasing a movie which makes Avatar numbers each year, so it makes very good business sense. But why would they have Lightning McQueen heading around the world for a “Race of Champions” taking place in five different countries: Japan, Austria, Italy, France and the United Kingdom? More global toy sales perhaps? Has Pixar allowed money to influence its storytelling?
I guess we’ll find out in June.