Disney-Pixar plans a second sequel to the animated “Cars” movie, according to Variety and many other media outlets, although we’d long reported it would happen.
Disney CEO and chairman Bob Iger made the announcement during the annual Walt Disney Co. shareholders meeting Tuesday in Portland, Ore. However, author Michael Wallis, a Route 66 consultant to the first “Cars” film and voice of the Sheriff of Radiator Springs in it, hinted of the sequel more than a year ago and essentially confirmed it by August during a radio interview.
The original “Cars” in 2006, which primarily took place in the fictional Route 66 town of Radiator Springs, ignited the biggest revival for the real-life Route 66 since the publication of Wallis’ best-selling “Route 66: The Mother Road” in the early 1990s. “Cars” was based on many real-life people, towns, and landmarks on Route 66.
Wallis said during the radio interview the new “Cars 3″ film goes back to Route 66 and includes Route 99, a historically significant highway in California.
Iger offered no time frame of when the third “Cars” film would be released, nor was there any such information on Disney investors website.
The first “Cars” movie, released in 2006, grossed more than $460 million worldwide. The international spy caper that was “Cars 2,” released in 2011, wasn’t as well-received but grossed more than $500 million.
Beyond the box office, “Cars” films spawned more than $5 billion in merchandising sales — by far the most at Pixar. That’s an impressive figure, especially when one considers other Pixar films — especially “Toy Story” — come loaded with marketing potential. Cars Land — Disney’s theme park in California — also has been massively successful since it opened in mid-2012.
I’ve emailed Wallis to ask for more details. I’ll pass them along here later, if he has any.