Why Is Pixar Making "Cars 3" After The Poorly-Reviewed Second Film Disappointed at the Domestic Box Office?

Posted 2:02 PM August 28th, 2015 by Senh Duong
Pixar's "Cars 3"

Since it's a boring weekend at the box office, I'll write about Pixar's puzzling decision to manufacture another "Cars" movie, despite objections from critics.

The first “Cars,” directed by Pixar head John Lasseter and released in 2006, disappointed critics with a 74% score on Rotten Tomatoes; although that's a solid score, reviewers (and audiences, for that matter) were accustomed to near perfect films that lie in the 90% range from the revered animation studio.

When Pixar went ahead with “Cars 2,” film fans were wondering why. The first one wasn’t considered a favorite by many. Like I mentioned in one of my "Inside Out" articles, this franchise started Pixar's downward slide in quality.

In terms of box office, "Cars" is in the middle of the pack in the studio’s library, finishing its domestic theatrical run at $244M.

Pixar pointed "Cars'" detractors to its annual $2B merchandising revenue. Yeah, that’s two billion good reasons to produce a sequel.

As a result, “Cars 2” was released in 2011, and critics weren’t as kind this time. At 39%, it received the first Rotten score from Rotten Tomatoes for Pixar. At the domestic box office, it also disappointed, grossing $191M, $53M less than the first.

When I saw the poster for “Cars 3” on the internet from the D23 Expo, Disney’s biennial convention for fans of all things under their umbrella, I was again wondering why?

Other than two billion good reasons, a closer look will show hundreds of millions of additionally good reasons.

Although the globe-trotting second installment didn’t take home as much gold as the first domestically, it more than made up for it globally by collecting $560M; that’s $100M more than the original. That alone is good enough to greenlight a third film. Like "Terminator Genisys," the overseas market saved it.

Since the release of “Cars 2,” Disney spun off two “Planes” movies that combined for nearly $400M in worldwide ticket sales on a combined budget of just $100M. That’s hundreds of millions more reasons to crank out even more “Cars.”

There you have it. Hundreds of millions of good reasons on top of the billions of good reasons for “Cars 3.”

(Box office figures from BoxOfficeMojo.com)

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