I'll be honest, that title was to catch your attention. Now let's get to the meat and potatoes of this piece. The question I have is why did it take Pixar so long to create a sequel?
I mean, you have your Syndromes/Buddies out there geeking out over Disney. How many Tumblr posts have you seen that features characters such as Edna or perhaps you remember one of Samuel L. Jackson's famous lines, "Where is my supersuit, woman?"
My theory, Incredibles was released at the wrong time. Oh sure, Superhero movies were 'meh' back in the day. You had Spider Man 2, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Phantom of the Opera, Shrek 2 and many other tough competitors. This was way before the Marvel Cinematic Universe became such a hit. So what made Pixar reluctant to create an Incredibles Sequel in the time that the Marvel and DC feud burns on the silver screen? What's stopping Disney from having the Incredibles crossover with the Avengers?
Well there are many reasons and let's go back to the time the Incredibles was released. It was a successful stand alone film for its time. At the time it was the highest grossest Pixar film harvesting an amount of $70,467,623!!! Toy Story 3 beat it with $110,307,189, no surprise there. But let's think about that now, why did Toy Story fare so well? Was it the nostalgia? Was it the assurance that Toy Story is a beloved franchise so the company saw security in making another sequel? The answer is all of the above.
I attended a seminar recently with a manager of Enzian Theaters and the methods the theater goes about making money is no different than Disney's. They'll show old movies so that adults can go? Think about this Disney geeks, how many of you are going to make your kids watch Incredibles, Lion King and every Disney classic you grew up with? This is what Enzian Theater plays off of. They not only play new movies for the exciting new movies coming up, but they're also playing old movies so that adults will take kids to go see them. For the adult, they've seen it several times but for the children it's their first. Enzian not only makes money off of new movies, but they also make money off of the old ones so that families will gift their kids with an incredible movie they grew up with.
Walt Disney had a similar approach to business. When he made animated feature films, he wasn't just going directly for the kids he was also trying to have the adults enjoy his work. Adults will be reluctant to take a kid to something they don't enjoy. However if both kids and adults enjoy it, then the adult will be more than likely to go. Before Despicable Me flooded our markets with Minions, I talked to many adults that were reluctant to give it a chance. I was even reluctant about it, being that I lost faith in children's entertainment. However once the Minions took over the market, I just had to fulfill my curiosity.
When I fulfilled my curiosity on the minions, that cost me money that went to DreamWorks off of Despicable Me 2 box office tickets. Me going to Universal Studios and riding Despicable Me the Ride also indicates to DreamWorks that the franchise is still popular. (2 hour waits, people!!!) That also caused me to download the Despicable Me Minion Run app, which also caused me to (to my shame) purchase some bonuses for the game. This also caused me to go back and purchase the first Despicable Me so that I knew what happened before. So what am I saying? DreamWorks has made a ton of money just off of me alone, not to mention that my mother has also purchased Despicable Me merchandise. My friend purchases the soundtrack from the movie while my other friend buys a Minion phone case. DreamWorks knows what it's doing.
So wait, what does this have to do with the Incredibles? How much Incredible merchandise do you see going around? How popular were kid's movies in 2004? Pixar observes its audience, unlike some companies...EA Games!
But Pixar actually observes its consumers and despite the 97% praise on Rotten Tomato and the Box Office success, the rest didn't fare so well. The following after the Incredibles is what warrants a sequel for movies, ladies and gentlemen. The Incredibles Video Game only rated at an average of 63 % for gaming critics. Aren't movie-to-video game adaptations supposed to be horrible anyway? According to expert marketers, the toys didn't even fare as successful as the movie. They spent $60 million in television advertisement and yet little return. I mean, they did their job, they advertised for the movie, right? The problem is that when the movie comes out of theater, what would warrant a sequel is following after. The following didn't come up until the kids who watched it got old enough to make a Tumblr and create intelligent posts. Let's talk about a movie, some kids or adults just can't let go.
Think about how many times you heard Let it Go or Do you want to build a Snowman? Think about how many little girls you've seen dressed as Elsa for Halloween. Only one year...ONE YEAR after Frozen came out, they already got a short movie. Now they're talking about a sequel and a ride at Disney world only two years after the movie came out! They even got an appearance in Once Upon a Time after barely being part of the Disney franchise! How insane is that? Actually, it's not insane. Disney recognized an immediate following after the movie. The large following after Frozen clearly resonated with the audiences who watched it...all over the world! Now that's the crazy part.
Over $1,000 of Frozen costumes were sold on E-bay! Disney records over 500,000 shipments of Elsa and Anna dolls! Market analyst Sean McGowen compares this sudden rise of marketing to the 1980s Cabbage Patch Kid craze. Disney had to even post a 5 item limit on its stores to prevent their Frozen stock from being sold out. Wow, when Disney is having to cut you off from a Disney Princess purchase, that's saying something!
Incredibles didn't flood the market like Minions or the Ice Queen herself, so what happened? My theory is timing. I believe that the Incredibles would still receive the same critical reception or even a higher praise with double the profits if it were to be released around today. Films such as Big Hero 6 are stand-alone Disney films that performed tremendously even in the face of Frozen. It won an Oscar for being the Best Animated Film of the Year. That says monuments of how the movie is.
So if Incredibles were to be released around this time, it would be a good change of pace as opposed to the modern day heroes we're getting. The movie even makes light of the super villains' monologues like Frozen ridicules the tropes Disney princess movies are guilty of. This movie is a unique blend of spy action, family, action and of course our favorite, super heroes. I believe this movie would have blown up the market with merchandise and a huge following.
I'm just saying if Marvel can make movies out of talking trees, raccoons, a hero with a ridiculous name like Ant-Man and bring back Spider-Man for a third time; I'm pretty sure The Incredibles would be among the comic titans of Batman, Spider-Man, Superman, Captain America and so on.
So in my opinion, Incredibles would have been more successful if they released it at a later date as opposed to the time it was released. However I am glad we're getting a sequel and let me know what you think in the comments below!!!