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Licensing International Expo 2009 offers sneak peeks at new films from Fox, Pixar, DreamWorks Animation and Universal Studios

Licensing International Expo 2009 offers sneak peeks at new films from Fox, Pixar, DreamWorks Animation and Universal Studios

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Did you ever wonder what it might be like to be able to see into the future?  Well, as I wandered up & down the aisles at Licensing International Expo 2009, I got a little taste of what that must feel like. As I came upon promotional display after promotional display for motion pictures that would be " ... coming soon to a theater near you."

In some cases, I was only able to look a few days ahead. Take -- for example -- "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen." Which opens on June 24th.

Transformers Sequel 2009 Licensing Show
Photo by Jim Hill

In other cases, I was able to peer several weeks into the future. Like with "G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra." Which bows at your local multiplex on August 7th.

GI Joe 2009 Licensing Show Las Vegas
Photo by Jim Hill

Or -- in the case of "Astro Boy" (which premieres on October 23rd) -- I could see a full four months ahead.

Astro Boy 2009 Lciensing Show
Photo by Jim Hill

But the real thrill of attending Licensing International Expo 2009 was this event was where the studios try to get buyers interested in productions for 2010 and beyond. So while Fox may have been talking up "Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakuel" last week ...

Alvin and the Chipmunks Squequel 2009 Licensing Show
Copyright 2009 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation &
Bagdasarian Productions, LLC. All Rights Reserved

... (Which -- when this Betty Thomas movie bows on Christmas day -- will feature the big screen debut of CG versions of Brittany, Eleanor and Jeanette. AKA the Chipettes) ...

Alvin and the Chipmunks new girl characters 2009 licensing show
Copyright 2009 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation &
Bagdasarian Productions, LLC. All Rights Reserved

... What Fox's Licensing Department was really trying to get toy manufacturers & t-shirt makers excited about was the fact that they were now working with Walden Media to produce the third film in "The Chronicles of Narnia" series, "The Voyage of the Dawn Treader." Which is expected to sail into theaters just in time for the 2010 holiday season.

Narnia Dawn Treader 2009 Licensing Show Las Vegas
Photo by Jim Hill

And speaking of the 2010 holiday season, that's when Sony Pictures Animation expects to roll out its live action / CG "Smurfs" movie. Which this studio hyped last week by building a human-sized Smurf house right there in the middle of the convention center at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino.

Smurf Village 2009 Lciensing Show Las Vegas
Photo by Jim Hill

2010 looks to be a very big year for CG. What with DreamWorks Animation's "How to Train Your Dragon" swooping into cinemas next March ...

How tto Train Your Dragon 2009 Licensing Show
Copyright 2009 Dreamworks Animation LLC. All Rights Reserved

... while the fourth film in the "Shrek" series -- "Shrek Forever After" -- premieres on May 21, 2010.

Shrek Four Ever Licensing Show 2009
Copyright 2009 Dreamworks Animation LLC. All Rights Reserved

Seven weeks later, Universal Studios rolls out its first 3D CG animated film, "Despicable Me." Which will feature Steve Carrell as the voice of Groo, a would-be super villain who plans on stealing the moon.

Despicable Me 2009 Licensing Show
Copyright 2009 Universal Studios. All Rights Reserved

And speaking of comic super villains ... Next November, DreamWorks Animation releases "Oobermind." Which will feature Robert Downey Jr. as the voice of a super villain who doesn't know quite what to do with himself after he accidentally kills his archrival, Uberman.

Oobermind 2009 Licensing Show
Copyright 2009 Dreamworks Animation LLC. All Rights Reserved

Then comes 2011, when the studios start to get serious about super heroes once more with the fourth installment of the "Spider-Man" film series as well as 20th Century Fox's reboot of its  "Fantastic Four" film franchise. Which will reportedly feature an all-new cast as well as a far darker take on this classic Marvel comic.

Fantastic Four Logo 2009 Licensing Show Las Vegas
Copyright 2009 Columbia Pictures Industries,
Inc., MARVEL & Marvel Characters, Inc.
All Rights Reserved

As for Mouse-related movie news coming out of this year's Licensing Show ... According to some folks I spoke with at Classic Media (i.e. the company that actually licenses the rights for The Lone Ranger), Walt Disney Pictures & Jerry Bruckheimer Films appears to have finally chosen who will helm the epic western that they're hoping to have in theaters by the Summer of 2011. And that would be Mike Newell, the director of "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" as well as the upcoming "Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time."

Lone Ranger 2009 Licensing Show Las Vegas
Photo by Jim Hill

As for the eagerly anticipated sequel that was originally supposed to have been Walt Disney Pictures & Jerry Bruckheimer Films' tentpole release for the Summer of 2011 (i.e. "Pirates of the Caribbean 4"), that movie first slid to Holiday 2011 and is now tentatively slated for release in the Summer of 2012.

Which -- I know -- will depress a lot of you "Pirates" fans out there. Having to wait a whole 'another year before you then get to see Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow again. So let me try & cheer you up by revealing that -- in addition to "Toy Story 3" and "Cars 2" -- Pixar Animation Studios has yet another sequel in the works.

"Which Pixar picture?," you ask. Well, though the buyers who attended these particular preview sessions were first sworn to secrecy by Disney officials, several immediately reached out to me afterwards to say how thrilled they were to learn that Pete Docter will be following up "Up" with a sequel to "Monsters, Inc."

As for the proposed storyline of this yet-to-be-officially-announced Pixar sequel ... Sorry. But I'm not able to see that far into the future. Not yet, anyway. Maybe after I attend Licensing Expo International 2010, I can then share a few more tidbits about this "Monsters, Inc." follow-up.

You thoughts?

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  • PingBack from http://www.ramasscreen.com/2009/06/08/monsters-inc-2-is-happening/

  • That "4" poster isn't for the Fantastic Four, it's for Spider-Man 4. It's the same font, same background and it has the webbing.

  • Yeah, he mentioned both movies, MK, didn't he?

    Anyway, Monsters, Inc. 2?  Really?  No offense, I thought the movie was good, but I can't say I'm excited about a sequel.  Same with Cars, for that matter.  The Pixar films that I felt had really strong characters that I would love to see again are WALL-E, Ratatouille, and the Incredibles.  (And Toy Story, of course.)  Instead we get Cars and Monsters, Inc.?

  • I've been hoping for a sequel to Monsters, Inc.  To me, the most clever and entertaining Pixar film yet.

  • I am excited for a Monsters, Inc sequel, but I am waiting for an Incredibles one more.

    I think it is odd that Fox is rebooting Fantastic Four so soon. I hope they get Doctor Doom right this time.

  • Your story was featured in DisMarks! Here is the link to vote it up and promote it: http://dismarks.com/Media/Confirmation_of_Monsters_Inc_sequel

  • Oh Oh!  I thought Lasseter knew better than to resort to making sequels. This does not bode well for Pixar!!

  • God, they're like someone made Richard Simmons furry porn. One more at Jim Hill Media....

  • I feel betrayed. The one studio willing to do something original, sometimes very very original, has now caught the dreaded Hollywood sequelitis.

    Maybe you can comment, Jim on why this is?

    If I were to make a guess, I'd say that movies about Rats in the Kitchen, trash compacting robots and old men learning to live again are not bringing in the marketing goodies. As evidence, I stopped at the local Disney store today and checked out all the cool "UP" toys. Well, actually, there weren't any cool up toys, just some very bad dog plushes nobody would buy and a bag with a picture of the old man on it.

    Also, isn't Chris Sanders helming "How to Train Your Dragon"? He disappeared from his website just about the time Bolt went to the theaters.

  • Pixar has an excellent track record with sequels.  What's the problem?

  • The problem is that movies today are like going into a book store and finding that there's only 6 book titles, but wtih 20 volumes behind each of them. Originality has a quality all it's own. How great, and unusual these days is it that you don't know what to expect when the curtain goes up on "UP". Cars 2? TS3? MI2? I think we've got those worlds pegged at this point.

  • ADD: What if Pixar had done TS3 instead of Monsters Inc? What if they had done TS4, instead of Wall-E?

    What great new movies won't get made because Pixar is starting to do sequels?

    ((Sorry for the extra post.  I would have prefered to post this first, but thought of it after the post.))  

  • And one movie isn't exactly a "track record".

  • (Beats head repeatedly on keyboard)

    Look at the Chipettes! They look awful! Not that Alvin, Simon, and Theodore look much better...

    And Alvin STILL doesn't have his hat! Cheeses me off...

  • This is a great blog. I have to put a bookmark on it and come back again!

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