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Disney Puts Pedal to Cars Merchandising Metal

The all-media screening for Cars 2 is tonight at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood, and those parking their less colorful vehicles across the street at Hollywood & Highland have the power of merchandising to thank for this summer’s eve screening. The numbers, per today’s LA Times piece by Dawn C. Chmielewski and Rebecca Keegan, are simply staggering:

In the five years since its 2006 release, Cars has generated global retail sales approaching $10 billion, according to Disney. That ranks the Pixar film alongside such cinematic merchandising standouts as Star Wars, Spider-Man, and Harry Potter, as well as its own paen to playthings, Toy Story, according to researcher NPD.

According to last week’s toy industry webcast by Disney Consumer Products Chairman Andy Mooney, the 300+ toys and lesser number of other related items spun off from Cars 2 make this the “largest consumer products program in Hollywood history.” So forget about all that 3D hoopla; the real money is in 300T.

Think about it for a second; a single animated feature, released in 2006, still grossing in the neighborhood of $2 billion annually in non-broadcast ancillary revenues. It’s part of the reason why, on your future deathbed, you may find yourself hollering at a grandchild to turn down that “Shrek 25 racket.”

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