An article in Monday’s Wall Street Journal deemed Cars 2 a Hit Already–in Stores. The article made it clear that the franchise earns an obscene amount of money for Pixar’s parent company, Disney, and that basically means they’re going to continue making sequels and spin-offs until the cows come home (or until kids stop buying crap related to the film, whichever comes first).
Below are some of the key facts and financial figures from the WSJ piece:
* Disney believes it is on track to sell more tie-in merchandise with Cars 2 than any single previous film. The current record holder, Toy Story 3, sold $2.8 billion (yes, with a B) worth of merchandise last year.
* A yearly average of $2 billion worth of Cars merchandise has been sold since the release of the first Cars in 2006.
* Disney Consumer Products initially wondered what everyday products for boys could be branded with Cars before they realized, “All of them,” in the words of division chairman Andy Mooney.
* Cars earned $2.5 billion in revenue last year making it was the sixth most valuable character franchise in 2010. The top five were Mickey Mouse ($9 billion), Winnie the Pooh ($5.7 billion), Disney princesses ($4.4 billion), Toy Story ($2.8 billion), and Barbie ($2.7 billion).
* Disney’s average royalty rate for products licensed with the Cars characters is estimated to be between 10-13%.
* The new Cars has an estimated production cost of just under $200 million, which is slightly cheaper than Toy Story 3‘s production cost.
* The “World of Cars Online” role-playing game launched last year is considered to be a flop, and in the words of Bob Iger, needs “retooling.”