Friday, November 12, 2010

A Tale of Two Sequels

It's true that both Kung Fu Panda and Cars are two of the most successful computer animated films to come out of a decade that was dominated by computer animation, and the two  juggernauts pioneering this relatively new industry are Dreamworks and Pixar.

With successful films like Antz, Shrek, Madagascar, Over the Hedge, the original Kung Fu Panda, and recent hits like How to Train Your Dragon, and Megamind, it's no question that Dreamworks Animation can produce good, quality films. So when Kung Fu Panda hit theaters, it was no shocker that it became a megahit, grossing $20.3 million its opening day and $60.2 million within its opening weekend alone. Kung Fu Panda went on to grossing over $631.7 million worldwide and became the highest grossing animated film of 2008, beating out Pixar's Wall-E financially.

Not only did Dreamworks' megahit bring home the bacon, but it also won over the hearts of minds of children and critics alike. Racking up an 88% on the Tomatometer, I think it's fair to say that most people really like this movie, but how will the sequel do?

Kung Fu Panda 2 is set for a release date of May 27, 2011. Will the sequel make more money like a good sequel is supposed to do? Will those people who didn't like the first movie not show up? Will that hurt the movie financially? And how will this sequel hold up against Pixar's next movie, also a sequel?

Pixar is well known for putting out one hit after the other, both financially and critically. Cars grossed over $60 million its opening weekend and went on to gross over $244 million worldwide, only making a profit of a little over $120 million. Nominated for two Academy Awards, including Best Animated Feature, Cars did not win a single one and even though it opened to mostly positive reviews, many critics agree that it doesn't live up to Pixar's best like Toy Story or Finding Nemo.

Cars has not been Pixar's most lucrative movie, so the fact that they are choosing to follow their most successful movie (Toy Story 3) up with is a sequel to it surprises me. However, I trust Pixar and I think this will be an interesting follow up.

Set for a release date of June 24th, 2011, can Cars 2 change the mind of all those negative Nancies? Will it become the highest grossing animated film of all time? Will it redeem the franchise and win the Oscar for Best Animated Picture?

Now this wouldn't be any fun if I didn't guesstimate which movie will do better. Hold on, let me think..... Hmmmmm...... No, no.......Maybe......No. Hold on, I'm still thinking... Okay. I have it now. I am assuming that Kung Fu Panda 2 will do better financially, but I predict that Cars 2 will do better critically. Why? Eh. It's just a hunch.

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