You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Pixar Sequels Draw Bigger Role in Company’s Future

In its 19-year history, Pixar Animation Studios has largely avoided making sequels — of the 14 films it’s released since 1995, only four feature the same characters in follow-ups.

Yet with Thursday’s announcement that Disney will release “Toy Story 4,” on June 16, 2017, Pixar now has four new sequels planned over the next several years as the Mouse House looks to add more heft to its record fiscal earnings.

In addition to a fourth “Toy Story,” the Emeryville,Ca.-based company has “Finding Dory,” “Cars 3” and “The Incredibles 2” in the works.

The first, “Finding Dory,” a sequel to the 2003 hit “Finding Nemo,” will be released on June 17, 2016. The next “Cars” and “Incredibles” are not yet dated, but Pixar already has planted its flag on Nov. 22, 2017, and June 15, 2018 for untitled pics.

It’s unclear whether Disney will move forward with another “Planes,” a spinoff of Pixar’s “Cars” franchise. DisneyToon Studios produced “Planes,” a film originally planned for homevideo platforms, that was released in theaters in 2013, flying away with nearly $220 million at the worldwide box office. Its sequel “Planes: Fire & Rescue” came out this summer, but was grounded with landed with $139 million.

Pixar is still betting on original productions. In fact, it has two new properties — “Inside Out” and “The Good Dinosaur” — bowing in 2015, the first time it will release two films in a year, introducing new worlds and characters.

It also has two more movies dated for 2017, and one so far for 2016. Another new property is one based on Dia de los Muertos.

Ed Catmull, president of Pixar Animation Studios, Walt Disney Animation Studios and DisneyToon Studios has said that creatively, it is important for the company to produce one original film a year, with a sequel planned for every other year.

But as Disney puts more emphasis on branded fare, keeping its popular characters fresh in moviegoers’ minds through new toons may be unavoidable.

This year alone, Walt Disney Co. chief Bob Iger has personally announced three new Pixar sequels — “Cars 3,” “The Incredibles 2” and “Toy Story 4” — during meetings with shareholders and Wall Street analysts.

“As you know ‘Toy Story 3’ was a tremendous success generating wide critical acclaim as well as more than $1 billion in global box office and almost $10 billion in retail sales demonstrating that these wonderful characters are clearly just as relevant and beloved as ever,” Iger said on Thursday.

But the focus for Disney isn’t just on the box office.

Disney is keen on exploiting Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm and Disney’s franchises through every division at the company. A sequel for “Cars” was greenlit, in part, because of robust sales of toy cars and other licensed merchandise tied to the film, especially among young boys.

“In fiscal ’14, we had 11 franchises drive more than $1 billion each in retail sales and more than half of them originated from our studio,” Iger told analysts. “We are releasing a total of 21 tentpole movies under our great banner brands over the next three years compared to only 13 in the last three. While there is no sure thing in a creative business, we believe the proven appeal of our brands and franchises reduces risk and maximizes our unique ability to create significant long-term value by leveraging successful content across our diverse array of businesses.”

Yet the box office can hardly be ignored, with sequels outperforming new films, thanks mostly to the established characters.

Pixar’s last three original movies, “Brave,” “Up” and “Wall-E,” earned a collective $1.8 billion worldwide. Its last three sequels, “Monsters University” (technically, a prequel) “Cars 2” and “Toy Story 3,” hauled in $2.3 billion.


More Biz

  • Delta Air Lines celebrates Grammy Weekend

    Halsey, Jonas Brothers, Zedd to Headline iHeartMedia Wango Tango Concert

    Jonas Brothers, Halsey, 5 Seconds of Summer, Zedd, Ally Brooke (with special guest Tyga), Ava Max, Fletcher and Tomorrow X Together will perform at iHeartMedia’s annual Wango Tango concert at the Dignity Health Sports Park in Los Angeles (formerly StubHub Center) on June 1. Freeform will broadcast a 90-minute television special on Friday, June 7 [...]

  • Prince Memoir, ‘The Beautiful Ones,’ to

    Prince Memoir, ‘The Beautiful Ones,’ to Be Released in October

    The memoir Prince was working on at the time of his death is coming out Oct. 29, according to the Associated Press. Publisher Random House confirmed Monday that “The Beautiful Ones” will combine Prince’s unfinished manuscript with rare photos, scrapbooks and lyrics. Announced just weeks before his 2016 death, the 288-page book, issued in partnership [...]

  • Abigail Disney on Bob Iger

    Abigail Disney Calls Bob Iger's $65 Million Compensation 'Insane'

    Disney chairman-CEO Bob Iger’s total compensation for Disney’s fiscal 2018 was a whopping $65.6 million. Abigail Disney, the granddaughter of Disney co-founder Roy Disney, calls that sum “insane.”  While speaking at the Fast Company Impact Council, the filmmaker and philanthropist insisted that this level of corporate payout has a “corrosive effect on society.” Disney took [...]

  • Contract Placeholder Business WGA ATA Agent

    Signs of Solidarity and Strain Emerge as Week 2 of WGA-Talent Agency Standoff Begins

    Hundreds of WGA members rallied solidly behind their union last week as the industry grappled with uncertainties spurred by the sudden break between writers and their talent agency representatives. But as the standoff heads into its second week, signs of strain among some WGA members are beginning to emerge. Shalom Auslander, author and creator of [...]

  • Woodstock 50 Festival Postpones Ticket On-Sale

    Woodstock 50 Festival Postpones Ticket On-Sale Date

    UPDATED: The troubled Woodstock 50 festival has run into more difficulties, as multiple sources told Variety late Friday that the April 22 on-sale date for the event has been postponed. Agents for artists scheduled to perform at the festival — which include Jay-Z, Dead & Company, Chance the Rapper, Miley Cyrus, Imagine Dragons and Halsey [...]

  • National Enquirer - Jeff Bezos

    Hudson Media CEO James Cohen Purchases the National Enquirer

    Hudson Media’s CEO James Cohen announced Thursday that he will purchase the National Enquirer as well as American Media’s other tabloids, the Globe and the National Examiner. With the purchase of the National Enquirer, which Cohen reportedly bought for $100 million, he plans to strengthen their collaborative efforts, documentary shows, weekly podcasts, and theme parks. [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content