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  • 2011 Preview: Animation Streak Rolls On Sunstar
    2011 Preview: Animation Streak Rolls On
    A Box Office Mojo article about the upcoming animation movies.
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    from the article:

    While overall box office remained relatively stagnant from 2009 to 2010, animated movies hit record levels. Thanks primarily to Toy Story 3 and Shrek Forever After and surprise smashes Despicable Me, How to Train Your Dragon and Tangled, animation accounted for nearly $1.5 billion of 2010's business, up a massive 16 percent from 2009. With three major sequels, a prequel and a handful of other nicely-timed releases, 2011 animation has the potential for similar growth.

    Disney-Pixar's Cars 2 is well positioned to make truckloads of money. The first Cars grossed $244.1 million in 2006, which translates to nearly $300 million today adjusted for ticket price inflation. While it's definitely not Pixar's most beloved movie (it's B grade from Box Office Mojo readers puts it in a tie for last place with A Bug's Life), characters like Mater and Lightning McQueen have remained staples in toy stores (the first movie's merchandising might is allegedly one of the key drivers of the sequel) and on the Disney Channel. Cars 2 will ramp up the action quotient by getting the cars mixed up in the world of international espionage. Add in increased prices from 3D and IMAX theaters, and Cars 2 will aim to top the first movie's gross when it opens on June 24.

    It may not be as safe a bet as Cars 2, but Kung Fu Panda 2 (May 27) is also poised to cash in. The original Kung Fu Panda opened around the same time in 2008 and earned $215.4 million. Besides being one of DreamWorks Animation's highest-grossing movies ever, it was also one of the most well-regarded: Box Office Mojo users gave it a B+. This is DreamWork's third attempt at starting a franchise, after Shrek 2 and Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa. Shrek 2 saw huge gains over its predecessor, while Madagascar 2 lost some audience. Kung Fu Panda 2 will also boast the higher ticket prices of 3D and IMAX.

    The other two series continuations, Puss in Boots and Happy Feet 2, are more up in the air. Puss in Boots, which opens Nov. 4, is an origin story of sorts for the titular character, who made his first on-screen appearance in Shrek 2. This will be the first movie in the Shrek canon to be released outside of summer, and it's also coming on the heels of the least popular entry Shrek Forever After ($238.4 million). While Puss in Boots is a popular character, it's hard to imagine this movie resurrecting the series former glory without the help of Shrek, Donkey or Fiona.

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