'Toy,' 'Toy 2' to build anticipation for franchise's newest

Disney/Pixar on Oct. 2 unpacked the toy chest, debuting its “Toy Story” double-bill in 3D for a two-week run at 1,745 playdates.

The re-issue is meant to build anticipation for Disney’s latest addition to the toon franchise, “Toy Story 3,” slated for release June 18. It also acts as a testing ground for Disney’s back catalog getting the 3D treatment.

The Mouse already has plans to unveil its 3D update of the hand-drawn classic “Beauty and the Beast” in 2011. Originally skedded for release Feb. 12, “Beast” was pushed back to coincide with its 20th anni celebration.

Disney says “Toys’ ” re-release will allow for new generations to experience the pics on the big screen and the studio would be open to extending the two-week run, depending on the toons’ performance.

Pixar’s first 3D venture, “Up,” performed strongly in its opening weekend, with $68.1 million in the U.S. — the third biggest grosser for Pixar. The studio reported an estimated boost of $36 million at 3D sites.

In 1995, “Toy Story” opened with $29.1 million at 2,281 locations. The two films have cumed $847 million worldwide.

The 3D versions received a worldwide preem at this year’s Venice Film Festival.

“Toy Story 2″ is set to screen in 3D at the London Film Fest later this month.

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