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  1. #31

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    Re: 'CARS 2' box office race

    true, but the original "Cars" film had a believable story. The characters acted in believable ways. You could remove the computer animation, and have actors drive their character's cars, and the film could be mostly the same film. the film had a heart. It was about a hotshot rookie who was forced to slow down and appreciate the wisdom of his elders, and enjoy the simple things life had to offer. Actually, the film "Doc Hollywood" WAS a live action film that had this story. it worked.
    Even Mater, in the first "cars", was a believable character who said believable things, who lived a believable life. The tall tale series has mater doing UNbelievable things. its why they're called "tall tales," however in "Cars 2," Mater himself has become the tall tale character. He isn't believable anymore. Everything from Radiator Springs to Lightning McQueen takes a back seat to mater's one liners, and to musical montage bits. The story, imho, has become unbelievable, whether or not its a movie with talking cars. Pixar has always presented their animated films with two things. a quality story, and heart. Even ratatouille and up made you BELIEVE the scenario, no matter how impossible it is for a rat to be a chef. Cars 2 just didn't do it for me. There was no emotional attachment to any of the characters, there was never a "victory" moment.

  2. #32

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    Re: 'CARS 2' box office race

    I know I'm way late on this, but I wanted to chime in.

    I agree with those who say this was by far the worst of the Pixar films. Note, that doesn't make it a horrible film. But from a storytelling pov, it was just a run of the mill animated film. The technical side is a different story as it was at times beautiful to look at and the animation overall was top notch.

    But overall, it just wasn't a very good story. The box office was good, but not what you would expect from a "franchise" film. It appears the Pixar brand and the Cars franchise power (along with 3D) carried the box office to a reasonable level, but the film clearly didn't achieve what Disney or most other hoped/expected.

    The real problem here is that it takes some of the luster off of the Pixar brand, which means the next Pixar film won't have quite the same advantage out of the gate. It it's a great film it will likely overcome that, but it is the first time in awhile people will be truly doubting what they will get from Pixar.

    This was bound to happen at some point. Even Pixar had to eventually have an "off night". The issue here though is other than Toy Story, this was the first Pixar sequel and some suspected this was going to be the first sign of Disney's "franchise" strategy trumping Pixar's "storytelling" strategy. The fact that those fears have to at least a certain extent been realized is troubling for Pixar's future.

  3. #33

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    Re: 'CARS 2' box office race

    Quote Originally Posted by Raidermatt View Post
    I know I'm way late on this, but I wanted to chime in.

    I agree with those who say this was by far the worst of the Pixar films. Note, that doesn't make it a horrible film. But from a storytelling pov, it was just a run of the mill animated film. The technical side is a different story as it was at times beautiful to look at and the animation overall was top notch.

    But overall, it just wasn't a very good story. The box office was good, but not what you would expect from a "franchise" film. It appears the Pixar brand and the Cars franchise power (along with 3D) carried the box office to a reasonable level, but the film clearly didn't achieve what Disney or most other hoped/expected.

    The real problem here is that it takes some of the luster off of the Pixar brand, which means the next Pixar film won't have quite the same advantage out of the gate. It it's a great film it will likely overcome that, but it is the first time in awhile people will be truly doubting what they will get from Pixar.

    This was bound to happen at some point. Even Pixar had to eventually have an "off night". The issue here though is other than Toy Story, this was the first Pixar sequel and some suspected this was going to be the first sign of Disney's "franchise" strategy trumping Pixar's "storytelling" strategy. The fact that those fears have to at least a certain extent been realized is troubling for Pixar's future.



    I often think to myself and wonder what influence critics really have on movie-going. This film was slaughtered by critics undeservedly so. They spoonfed what people were afraid to hear, that Pixar had finally fallen.

    I believe that many people did not even bother going to the theater based on that kind of feedback.

    Of course the people who actually DO finally give it a chance find it to be a decent animated film with brilliant visuals.


    If the critics were more fair like Roger Ebert was, I wonder if the box office would have been higher.


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  4. #34

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    Re: 'CARS 2' box office race

    Cars 2 was a classic buddy/action film about the meaning and importance of friendship and loyalty when embroiled in a crazy situation. No, it wasn't quite the touching film that other Pixar films have been, but honestly, it was fun to watch, and had enough of a theme and message that it wasn't drivel. Compared to 95% of the rest of "family" films out there, Cars 2 was a quality movie, even if it wasn't the kind of innovative, touching stories that most Pixar films have been.

    I think many (not all) people, including many critics, were so dead set against the idea of Cars having a sequel, that when they heard the premise for Cars 2, they immediately decided that it wasn't going to be a quality film, that it wasn't going to be one of Pixar's finest, and it colored their experience.

    In terms of how this will affect Pixar... it won't. The public just isn't that savvy. I'd say 90% of the people that see these films don't know the difference between Pixar, Disney Animation, Dreamworks, Sony, or other. The public goes to see films based on a few simple things: The premise, the "buzz" (word of mouth), and sequel effect (did the first one build a fan base that wants to see more). The next Pixar film (Brave, a non-sequel) will need to hook people with its premise/trailer, or have good buzz. Very few people will be thinking, "Gee, I've kind of soured on Pixar after Cars 2, so my enthusiasm for Brave is lessened."

    Dreamworks released several absolute train-wrecks, and flooded the market with 23 films since 1998 (vs Pixar's 11 during that time-frame)... but it didn't hurt the box office of Shrek, How to Train Your Dragon, or Kung Fu Panda.

    Some stuff hits, some stuff misses. Sometimes quality films don't succeed at the box office, and sometimes bad films do. In the end, Cars 2 won't impact future Disney/Pixar branding in any dramatic way.

  5. #35

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    Re: 'CARS 2' box office race

    Quote Originally Posted by Coheteboy View Post
    I often think to myself and wonder what influence critics really have on movie-going. This film was slaughtered by critics undeservedly so. They spoonfed what people were afraid to hear, that Pixar had finally fallen.

    I believe that many people did not even bother going to the theater based on that kind of feedback.

    Of course the people who actually DO finally give it a chance find it to be a decent animated film with brilliant visuals.


    If the critics were more fair like Roger Ebert was, I wonder if the box office would have been higher.
    We'll never know, I can only speak for myself. I saw the movie before having read any critical response and expected Pixar to do what Pixar usually does. Unfortunately, from a storytelling pov, I was disappointed. I then learned I was not alone.

    As I said, it was not a BAD movie. But it was the weakest of the Pixar films by quite a big margin. I'm pretty sure THAT was the biggest reason for the good, but not stellar, box office.

    ---------- Post added 01-09-2012 at 09:54 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by simba View Post
    Cars 2 was a classic buddy/action film about the meaning and importance of friendship and loyalty when embroiled in a crazy situation. No, it wasn't quite the touching film that other Pixar films have been, but honestly, it was fun to watch, and had enough of a theme and message that it wasn't drivel. Compared to 95% of the rest of "family" films out there, Cars 2 was a quality movie, even if it wasn't the kind of innovative, touching stories that most Pixar films have been.

    I think many (not all) people, including many critics, were so dead set against the idea of Cars having a sequel, that when they heard the premise for Cars 2, they immediately decided that it wasn't going to be a quality film, that it wasn't going to be one of Pixar's finest, and it colored their experience.

    In terms of how this will affect Pixar... it won't. The public just isn't that savvy. I'd say 90% of the people that see these films don't know the difference between Pixar, Disney Animation, Dreamworks, Sony, or other. The public goes to see films based on a few simple things: The premise, the "buzz" (word of mouth), and sequel effect (did the first one build a fan base that wants to see more). The next Pixar film (Brave, a non-sequel) will need to hook people with its premise/trailer, or have good buzz. Very few people will be thinking, "Gee, I've kind of soured on Pixar after Cars 2, so my enthusiasm for Brave is lessened."

    Dreamworks released several absolute train-wrecks, and flooded the market with 23 films since 1998 (vs Pixar's 11 during that time-frame)... but it didn't hurt the box office of Shrek, How to Train Your Dragon, or Kung Fu Panda.

    Some stuff hits, some stuff misses. Sometimes quality films don't succeed at the box office, and sometimes bad films do. In the end, Cars 2 won't impact future Disney/Pixar branding in any dramatic way.
    The theme was poorly executed, and was also a rehash of a sub-theme in the first movie. The buddy/loyalty thing had already played out between McQueen/Mater, choosing that as the focus of the 2nd movie was a head-scratcher.

    On the brand issue, I agree that when it comes to most of Hollywood the customers don't know and don't care. But there are exceptions and Disney and Pixar have been a couple of those notable exceptions. Disney had that brand recognition through the classic years then lost it in the 70's. Mermaid came out and the box office wasn't what one would expect from one of Disney's best. That was because it had to fight through the negative reputation that the Disney animated brand had taken on. Fast forward to Pocahontas, which has hardly become a favorite of most Disney fans and you can see the opposite happen. A less than stellar film has a huge box office take because people trusted the brand again and came out. Of course that trust in the Disney animated brand is long gone now.

    Pixar now enjoys the same strong rep and its films are guaranteed to get off to strong starts. Those strong starts are based on the brand. In the case of Cars, there was also the initial boost that most sequels get. I don't think Cars 2 was bad enough to kill all the goodwill that has been built up by Pixar over the last 15 years, but it certainly isn't going to help. The key will be to watch the opening for 'Brave', Pixar's summer release. If it is less than prior Pixar openings, we'll know Cars 2 had an impact. If it starts strong however, the brand endured the hit.

    ---------- Post added 01-09-2012 at 10:02 AM ----------

    BTW, the idea of brand value is something Disney execs talk about all the time in their investor conference calls. The interesting point is that Disney's wish was to incorporate the Pixar brand value into the Disney name, rather than keep the Pixar name as it's own (essentially) stand alone brand. It hasn't worked out that way though, and the public clearly knows the difference between a Pixar film and a Disney film, just look at the box office openings.

  6. #36

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    Re: 'CARS 2' box office race

    It looks like Cars 2 just became the first Pixar movie not to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature since the category was created in 2001. I really really hope Disney/Pixar learns their lessons from this movie.

  7. #37

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    Re: 'CARS 2' box office race

    I do like "CARS", but not to crazy about it as I am of the rest of the PIXAR films...CARS 2 felt more like a Mater film tho!

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