Former NASA astronaut Buzz Aldrin (2nd R) and his wife Lois Aldrin pose with characters Buzz Lightyear (L) and Woody (R) at the world premiere of Disney Pixar's "Toy Story 3" at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood, California June 13, 2010. (Photo : REUTERS/Danny Moloshok)
"The Dark Knight Rises" might be taking all the film industry's attention at the moment, but another giant may be set to take over soon.
Rumors have begun circulating the internet that animation giant Pixar is preparing sequels to their "Toy Story" and "Finding Nemo" franchises.
The rumors went ablaze when actor Tom Hanks, who plays cowboy Woody in "Toy Story", stated in an one year old interview with BBC that "Toy Story 4" was being worked on and those comments revived this week when a book catalog was found reading, "Three new Toy Story toons are in development to support franchise publishing in 2012. 'Hawaiian Vacation' released with 'Cars 2' in theaters and on DVD. 'Small Fry' released theatrically with 'The Muppets,' and all will begin airing on the Disney Channel in early 2012."
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"Toy Story 3" won an Oscar for Best Animated Feature and took in over $1 billion worldwide.
Earlier in the week, news broke out that "Finding Nemo" would join "Toy Story," "Cars," and "Monsters Inc." as the only Pixar films to get the sequel treatment. "Nemo" director Andrew Stanton was apparently being asked to direct the film.
Sequels have become increasingly common for the animated giant who has authored such original classics as "The Incredibles," "Wall-E," and "Up." However, its original properties have not garnered the box office receipts of the aforementioned franchises.
"Wall-E" which won the best animated feature Oscar in 2008 brought in $223.8 million in its theatrical run in the US. Compare that with "Toy Story 2" ($245.85 million in 2000) and "Toy Story 3" ($415 million in 2010). 2003's "Finding Nemo" brought in a whopping $339 million and is still Pixar's second highest grossing film to date. When adjusted for inflation it is Pixar's best moneymaker, followed by the two Toy Story sequels. Pixar's latest original property "Brave" has only brought in $197 million in its current theatrical run and is the tenth highest grossing of Pixar's 13 films.
The only Pixar sequel to fail at the box office was "Cars 2," which grossed $191 million during its 2011 theatrical run. However, that film also received the poorest reviews of any Pixar film.
Pixar is currently working on the prequel to "Monsters Inc." entitled "Monster's University." The original film grossed $255 million in 2001 and remains Pixar's fifth highest grossing film of all time.