'Cars 2' Races Past
'Kung Fu Panda 2' Overseas
The Disney/Pixar sequel debuted to $42.9 million
at the international box office, beating
DreamWorks Animation's sequel's $37—
despite playing in fewer territories.
Box Office Report: 'Cars 2' Races Past 'Kung Fu Panda 2' Overseas - The Hollywood Reporter Pixar/Disney’s Cars 2 in 3D posted a swift No. 1 opening lap on the foreign theatrical circuit, beating comparable overseas debuts of previous Pixar outings. Director-coscripter John Lasseter’s animation adventure comedy drew $42.9 million overall from 18 overseas territories, which represent what Disney described as “25% of our potential performance.”
The opening take was 127% ahead of the comparable figure registered by the 2006 Cars original, which grossed $217.9 million offshore.
In addition, said Disney, the Cars 2 debut beat that of 2009’s Up (which grossed a total of $438.3 million foreign) by 80%.
The weekend also outpaced that of 2007’s Ratatouille (with a foreign cume of $417.3 million) by 77%; and that of 2010’s Toy Story 3 ($648.2) by 4%.
Biggest Cars 2 markets were Russia ($9.3 million), Mexico ($8.1 million), Brazil ($7.6 million), Italy ($5.7 million) and Australia ($5.2 million). Disney said that the opening three-day gross total worldwide came to $110.9 million.
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Disney and Pixar’s ‘Cars 2’ a Hit in Red States
Disney and Pixar Even though Disney/Pixar’s Cars 2 is set overseas this time—with big oil playing the enemy—the 3D toon did best in America’s heartland, a.k.a., the red states. The turnout was so strong that the pic roared past expectations to gross an impressive $68 million in its domestic box office debut. In the sequel, Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson) travels to Tokyo, Italy and London to participate in the Grand World Prix. He’s accompanied by Mater the tow truck, voiced by Larry the Cable Guy, the ultimate hick. Mater plays more of the lead this time, and is inadvertently swept up in an international espionage case involving big oil trying to squash the alternative fuel movement. Some conservatives lashed out at Pixar CEO and Cars 2 director John Lasseter over the storyline. The Lonely Conservative, a blog, accused the movie business of trying to indoctrinate children with “left wing propaganda.” But Cars 2 lost none of its appeal in flyover states, where both Larry the Cable Guy and NASCAR are immensely popular. As with the first film, Cars 2 overperformed in the South, Midwest, South Central (including Texas) and Mountain states. But if the big oil vs. alternative fuel wasn’t a turn off for more conservative parts of the country, nor was it a draw for more liberal regions. Cars 2 underperformed on the East Coast, and slightly underperformed on the West. Reviewers were largely critical of Cars 2, unusual for a Pixar title. Yet moviegoers gave the film an A-CinemaScore. Males made up 53% of those buying tickets for the toon, while 36% of the audience was under the age of 12. Cars 2 enjoyed a great launch overseas, where it grossed $42.9 million from 18 territories (repping about 25% of the international market).