Box Office: ‘Cars 3’ Beats ‘Wonder Woman’ With $53.5M

Despite signs of franchise fatigue, Pixar and Disney’s Cars 3 dominated the road at the North American box office over the weekend.

The threequel opened to an estimated $53.5 million from 4,256 theaters, enough to beat ruling champ Wonder Woman. It is anticipating a brisk Sunday, thanks to Father’s Day (the movie is skewing slightly male). Overseas, Cars 3 debuted to $21.3 million from its first handful of territories for a global start of $74.8 million.

Make no mistake, Wonder Woman continues to impress, falling a scant 30 percent in the U.S. to $40.8 million for a domestic cume of $274.6 million. The Warner Bros. movie, directed by Patty Jenkins, enjoyed one of the best third weekends in history for a superhero film. Internationally, Wonder Woman‘s hold is almost as good, earning another $39.5 million for a foreign total of $297.2 million and worldwide tally of $571.8 million.

In the coming days, Wonder Woman will eclipse 2008’s Mamma Mia! ($609.8 million) to become the top-grossing female-directed live-action film of all time, not accounting for inflation.

Cars 3 nabbed an A CinemaScore. That means all 18 Pixar films have received some variation of the top grade. It is also the 16th Pixar movie to open at No. 1.

At the same time, Cars 3 came in 19 percent behind the $66.1 million domestic debut of Cars 2 in 2011, which went on to earn $562.1 million worldwide. The original Cars, which hit theaters in 2006, opened to $60.1 million in its North American bow before topping out at $462.2 million worldwide. Overall, Cars merchandise is a huge revenue generator for Disney.

The threequel follows the legendary Lightning McQueen (voiced by Owen Wilson) as he’s pushed out of the sport he loves by a new generation of blazing-fast racers. He enlists the help of a young female race technician (voiced by Cristela Alonzo) to help him get back in the game.

“We are thrilled with this start and look forward to the balance of the world opening up. Cars continues to be an important franchise for the company and the reaction to this new story and characters is very gratifying,” said Disney’s distribution president Dave Hollis. “Pixar’s consistency is an extraordinary competitive advantage in today’s world. ”

From The Hollywood Reporter

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Walt Disney Animation Studios and Pixar Animation Studios Announce Panels for D23 Expo

The creative minds behind your favorite animated films are back at D23 Expo for a weekend full of amazing announcements, presentations, displays, and giveaways.

You can find Pixar Animation Studios and Walt Disney Animation Studios on the show floor all weekend long in one amazingly animated booth, featuring artist demonstrations, autograph signings with top filmmakers, fan giveaways, and unbelievable interactive displays celebrating the latest films, including Cars 3, Coco, Olaf’s Frozen Adventure, and Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2.

And of course, both studios will take the stage throughout the weekend in several can’t-miss panels:

John Lasseter at Expo

Friday, July 14

Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios: The Upcoming Films, Hosted by John Lasseter (2:30 p.m., Hall D23) –– Join host John Lasseter, chief creative officer of Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios, as he presents Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios: The Upcoming Films. Watch never-before-seen footage from Pixar’s upcoming feature Coco and Walt Disney Animation’s Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2, and be prepared for surprise announcements, musical performances, and appearances by star voice talent. Cell phones, cameras, and all recording devices will be checked for this presentation.

Disney Princesses at Expo

Saturday, July 15

The Power of the Princess (10:30 a.m., Stage 28) –– Join hosts Walt Disney Animation Studios animators Amy Smeed and Kira Lehtomaki as the voice actresses behind some of your favorite Disney heroines––Jodi Benson (Ariel), Ming-Na Wen (Mulan), Anika Noni Rose (Tiana), and Auli‘i Cravalho (Moana)––take the stage to share stories from the sound booth and beyond.

Creating the Worlds in Pixar’s Universe (12:15 p.m., Stage 28) –– Pixar production designers and artists will literally take guests behind the scenes on a visual tour of the amazing worlds created in Pixar films––from oceans and outer space, to mountain tops and “monstropolises.”

Olaf’s Frozen Adventure: A Sneak Peek at the New Frozen Short Film (2:30 p.m., Stage 28) –– Be among the first to see exclusive and behind-the-scenes footage from Walt Disney Animation Studios’ newest Frozen holiday short film event, the highly anticipated Olaf’s Frozen Adventure. The film, which features the talents of the original Frozen cast, as well as brand-new songs, is directed by the Emmy®-winning team Stevie Wermers-Skelton and Kevin Deters (Prep & Landing) and produced by Oscar®-winning producer Roy Conli (Big Hero 6, Tangled).

The Evolution of Pixar’s Characters (6 p.m., Stage 28) –– Pixar characters are full of personality––from the waves in their hair to the shoes on their feet. Join some of the legendary Pixar artists behind its most memorable characters as they share what it’s like to draw these loveable characters to life.

Bambi

Sunday, July 16

Bambi’s 75th Anniversary (11:30 a.m., Walt Disney Archives Stage) –– Celebrate the 75th anniversary and Walt Disney Signature Collection release of Bambi with personal stories from the voice cast, anecdotes behind the making of this film and its exquisite hand-drawn artwork, and much, much more.

“Cars 3” Tour Plans Schedules a Pit Stop at Disney Springs

The third installment of the popular “Cars” film franchise is set to arrive in theatres on June 16th in 3D, but fans can get an early glimpse of the story, which stars longtime favorite Lightning McQueen alongside new characters Cruz Ramirez and Jackson Storm, when the “Road to the Races” nationwide tour kicks off March 23-26, 2017 at Disney Springs Marketplace.

Expect fun activities for the whole family, plus an extended “sneak peek” of the film when the tour rolls into town. While I’m personally most excited for photo opportunities with the three life-size character cars, there are plenty of other ways to enjoy the event.

Alamo Rent A Car will sponsor a giant color mural; Coppertone will encourage guests to take part in a racer pit crew tire-changing activity and a fun photo opportunity; Crest and Oral-B will pass out prizes from the Piston Cup prize wheel (I hope I win a new toothbrush!) and will offer fans the chance to create a digital postcard with Lightning McQueen; at the Dole Refueling Station, you can sample high-octane smoothies; Mattel plans to present an interactive play area; and last, but not least, NASCAR will be on hand to share the history and science behind their iconic brand.

During your visit, keep an eye out for “Cars” merchandise and special menu items at select food and beverage locations, plus a DJ dance party with tracks that will make you want to rev up your engine.

Ready to race over to take part in the event? The tour, located at Disney Springs in the former Marketplace Bus Loop near Once Upon A Toy, opens to the public on Thursday, March 23 at 12:00 p.m. and will run until 7:00 p.m. that evening. On Friday, March 24, and Saturday, March 25, join the fun from 11 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. And on the final day, Sunday, March 26, guests can enjoy the experience from 11:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.

Disney•Pixar Announces Release Dates Through 2019

Disney_Pixar

Disney•Pixar fans, rejoice! We’ve finally gotten release dates for the upcoming films, including a few hotly anticipated sequels—Cars 3, Toy Story 4, and Incredibles 2—and Coco, a new story about a spirited 12-year-old boy named Miguel, who somehow finds himself in the fantastical realm of dead.

Disney-Pixar-slate-through-2019

Let the countdown begin.