Is Disney Already Worried About the Attendance for ‘Cars’?

Disney currently appears to be throwing up a last-minute Hail Mary to entice audiences this weekend to attend ‘Cars 2’ in 3D. After watching the percentages of folks attending 3D screenings diminish in favor of 2D over the last two months (especially with Disney’s own ‘Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides’), it’s no wonder why the studio would push ‘Cars 2’ in 3D especially hard.

Beginning September 16th, Disney will re-release ‘The Lion King’ on 3D screens for a short two-week run prior to the October 4th street date of the remastered ‘Lion King’ on Blu-ray and Blu-ray 3D. Audiences who choose to see ‘Cars 2’ in 3D will be rewarded by being among the first to see footage from ‘The Lion King’ in 3D. The first four minutes of ‘Lion King’ will be shown before every 3D showing throughout this weekend.

While the first ‘Cars’ movie opened to $60.1 million back in 2006, ‘Cars 2’ is only expected to bring in between $50 to $55 million. Taking into account the low box office prediction and the fact that the film currently ranks under 40% on Rotten Tomatoes, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Disney would put extra advertising and incentives into the 3D release of ‘Cars 2’.

After hearing this news about the ‘Lion King’ footage, I’m beginning to suspect that Disney knew all along that ‘Cars 2’ is not the type of high quality movie we expect from Pixar. Hence the extra fanfare.

Within the last few weeks, it was announced that ‘Cars 2’ would feature the teaser trailer for Pixar’s next original film, ‘Brave’ – as if we go to the theaters to see trailers that can be watched for free online. Months ago, Disney began releasing images from the new Pixar short that plays before ‘Cars 2’, the ‘Toy Story’ mini-movie ‘Hawaiian Vacation’ featuring all of the good guys from ‘Toy Story 3’. Since when did Pixar begin promoting its shorts?

While Disney should be promoting ‘Cars 2’, instead it’s promoting everything that you get to see on the big screen before ‘Cars 2’ actually begins. Even if you disagree with my negative review, it seems like even Disney knows that it is putting out a terrible film that needs all the promotional help it can get.


  1. nah , i think it’s just you. pixar/disney has always inserted a preview or teaser in front of a movie they are selling. they have moved it to the theaters. honey i shrunk the kids had a rodger rabbit short and they promoted that.

  2. EM

    Disney is a perpetual synergistic publicity machine. Watching Disney Channel is like watching ads for ads for ads, “ad” infinitum and beyond.

  3. Jane Morgan

    Cars made $462 million at the box office, and $10 billion in merchandise.

    Cars 2 is just a commercial for the new toys / Cars Land.

    • I was actually they didn’t save this movie until 2012 and instead do ‘Brave’ this year. That way they could’ve opened Cars Land with a giant ‘Cars 2’ premiere extravaganza. And cross-promoted the crap out of everything.

  4. EM

    I wish Disney were finding better incentives…

    This may be a minority opinion, but I don’t care for The Lion King and plan not to see it ever again. That said, I thought the 3D conversion looked good. I would consider paying for the novelty of seeing that process applied to a Disney cell-animated feature I actually give a fig about, such as Snow White or Sleeping Beauty.

    I haven’t had much interest in Brave, and the teaser failed to change that. The 3D forest looked excellent. However, there was a sore contrast between the forest and the cartoony human figure. Still, I’ll keep an open mind.

    “Hawaiian Vacation” was a fun reunion (I was impressed that all the voice roles were reprised by the same Toy Story 3 actors, many of whom were carryovers from the earlier features), but the movie felt empty. I would have preferred something more original (I know, a funny complaint from a guy going to see a sequel in the first place). I appreciate the left turns that Pixar’s pre-feature shorts tend to take, such as the trippy 2D/3D “Day & Night” that accompanied Toy Story 3.

  5. I saw Cars 2 this weekend in 3D.
    I saw trailers for Alvin and the Chipmunks, Puss in Boots, Smurfs, Brave, and the Toy Story 3 short. No Lion King anything.
    (I saw the movie at Cinemark Egyptian on a huge screen. and arrived early)

    I liked the movie fine.(39 yo Male)
    Not nearly as bad as everyone on Rotten Tomatoes is saying.
    The animation quality was stellar!

    My wife, kids, and parents also saw it in 3D this weekend and loved it.
    The ONLY trailer they had was for Smurfs. Then the toy Story 3 short and Cars 2.

    I also recall seeing promos for all of the Pixar shorts attached to the movies, so I think your just not paying attention.

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