"Toy Story 3" Vs. "Shrek"...Let the Games Begin
By CBS News' Karina Mitchell
Move over, Shrek. "Toy Story 3" is making its way to the big screen and, if speculation is to be believed, the toys are set to make a whole lot of green for their creators.
Sixteen years after the adorable toys first made their debut, and 11 years after the sequel, the third installment of Pixar's fantastical toy adventure is set to open across the country June 18. However, that is just the beginning of the media and marketing frenzy.
Walt Disney Co. says it estimates retailers will sell more than $2 billion worth of "Toy Story 3" merchandise this fiscal year.
"We're more than halfway through the year so we feel pretty comfortable with that number," said Andy Mooney, head of Disney's consumer products division. "It would most likely be our biggest event property ever."
Some financial analysts say that figure is overly ambitious and is roughly in line with the turnover that Disney's consumer division makes annually. Still, there seems to be little dispute that these toys are set to become a merchandising bonanza. Combined merchandising, including toys, apparel, stationery and books has so far reaped more than $9 billion in global retail sale for the franchise, according to Disney.
So what do fans have in store for them in the latest caper, which is also rumored to be their final big-screen adventure?
Eleven years after we last caught up with them, Woody (Tom Hanks), Buzz (Tim Allen) and the whole gang are back. Andy (John Morris), their owner, is heading off to college and Woody and Buzz are worried about their future. Andy plans to put the toys in the attic, but after his mother accidentally throws them away, the toys end up being donated to Sunnyside Daycare.
The toys make new buddies like Mr. Pricklepants (Timothy Dalton) and Lots-o'-Huggin', a pink teddy bear and a suave doll named Ken (Michael Keaton) who falls in love with his idea of a dream girl - who else but Barbie (Jodie Benson). Everyone is having a good time at daycare, except for Woody, who wants to go back to Andy. Instead, he ends up in the hands of another little girl, whose toys warn Woody about the dangers of Sunnyside. Chaos ensues when the toys get mad at the tiny tots at daycare, who just don't want to play fair! Woody and Buzz are as endearing as ever, and a cast that includes a who's who of big names, helps bring this animated tale to life.
2010 is shaping up to be a big year for animation with the release of "Shrek Forever After" and "Toy Story 3" virtually back-to-back. It will be interesting to see which of the two go out with the biggest bang in their finales. Disney executives are already saying they are not ready to pack away the toys just yet, though. In the works is a plan to make as many as four short "Toy Story" cartoons annually to keep the toys and the brand alive. Sounds like they may just have a game-winning idea on their hands.
With the recent Memorial Day box office coming in as the lowest grossing in a decade, Hollywood hopes upcoming releases pull the summer season out of its slump.
One movie sure to draw in the crowds is the latest installment of the "Twilight" saga. Check out this week's "Showbuzz" for a sneak peak of what to expect in "Eclipse", as Edward, Bella and Jacob return to the big screen, falling ever deeper into a perilous love triangle. Look for the fan frenzy to fire up soon; the franchise releases the explosive triquel June 30.
That's all the buzz for now. Be sure to check out the "Showbuzz" next week for more exciting summer blockbuster news.
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