When Pixar and Disney announced that they were releasing a third installment in the mediocre Cars franchise, no one cared much except for six year old boys. After the crash and burn that was Cars 2, we all would have preferred a sequel to A Bug’s Life.
But then, one of the greatest marketing techniques I’d ever seen hit the Internet last November, and we were introduced to a grittier, darker, dirtier Cars moment than we’d ever thought possible. It was 50 seconds of Lightning flipping and crashing and spinning out of control. The promo ended with the words: “From this moment, everything will change.” And it did.
Suddenly, the general public did a 180, and everyone began anticipating this Pixar version of Days of Thunder.
As of this writing we are just a little more than a week away from the release of Cars 3, but I have five reasons why I believe it will not only be the best in the franchise, but rank above average in the entire Pixar collection.
Five Reasons Cars 3 Will Be Successful:
1. It feels Pixar
We were blown away by Lightning’s crash. But if anything told us the final cut is going to be something worthwhile, it was the latest trailer released last month. It absolutely gushes with that Pixar touch: the humor, the looks, the energy. If there’s anything we appreciate about Pixar, it’s that they don’t capitalize on pop music and cartoony slapstick like their competitors do, and this trailer is no exception. If anything, it promises to be the deepest and most (ahem) moving of the Cars movies, and likely has something for everyone.
2. Mater takes a backseat
I’m surprised no one’s pointed it out yet, but Pixar is doing something quite revolutionary with this movie. Mater the Tow Truck is supposedly John Lasseter’s (Pixar’s chief creative officer) favorite character. They are taking the extremely profitable character and essentially giving him the boot (or tire), and cutting his screen time down significantly. This is good news for the rest of us Mater haters, since we definitely won’t be looking at another Cars 2 fiasco. Later Mater! (We still love you, John!!!)
3. John Lasseter’s words
Long before we even got to see Lightning’s epic crash, Lasseter told Screen Rant: “It’s a very emotional story. It’s a little bit more akin to Cars 1, where you get into a deep emotion with [Lightning]. It’s really a special story. It’s very emotional and his relationship with Doc Hudson, and his memory of Doc Hudson.” Let’s be honest, if there’s anything we want most from a Pixar movie, it’s the feels, and this one is sure to have plenty of them.
4. Cruz Ramirez
Skid-mark my words, this is the new character everyone will be talking about this summer. This is also the character who replaced Mater as Lightning’s sidekick. Pixar and Disney are taking possibly one of the largest gambles they’ve ever made, and I feel like it’s going to pay off by the car load. The final trailer itself hints that Cruz (voiced by Cristela Alonzo) has a lot to offer, as well as a very emotional backstory (think Jessie from Toy Story 2). We’re not quite sure where Sally Carrera is during all of this, but it’s clear the heart of the story is going to rest with Lightning and Cruz.
5. The Inspiration for Cars 3
The writers for Cars 3 tackled both ends of the professional spectrum. They interviewed and studied retired NASCAR drivers in order to truly understand the emotion and frustration that comes with retiring and aging. They also studied earlier greats like Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant. On the other end of the spectrum, writers took struggling up-and-coming comedian Cristela Alonzo and gave her center stage to be the voice for everyone working to aspire to rise through the ranks of their profession.
I predict Cars 3 will rank higher than any Cars movie on Rotten Tomatoes, earning a score of at least 82% from critics, and 89% from general audiences.
Opening weekend, Cars 3 will just barely bring in $70-80 million landing it between The Incredibles and Monsters, Inc. The reason for this generous estimate is because of its sequel power and the payoff for the brilliant marketing campaign the film’s been riding on.
And the total worldwide box office prediction, when it’s all said and done, will bring in $340 million thanks to a solid story, relatable characters, and word of mouth. This would land Cars 3 in between Pixar favorites Finding Nemo and Inside Out.
Share this and like us and let us know your thoughts! Do you plan on seeing it? Will my predictions be right?
Andrew is an author, publisher, and movie connoisseur. He loves anything that involves good storytelling and has entertainment value. He lives in Kentucky with his wife, two adopted kids, and foster child.