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Not All Sequels Created Equal

by Sara Koepsel, Intern, Strategic Marketing Movie sequels can be a hit or a miss. Pirates of The Carribbean, Scary Movie, Home Alone, Terminator, and The Bourne Identity are all classic examples of movies that spawned sequels which both young and old consumers have enjoyed (or not enjoyed) over the years. When consumers learn of a sequel to a movie, it is safe to say there is little surprise. There is money to be made, merchandise to sell and collect, and box office records to break or disappoint.  However, there are always exceptions. In this case, it is Pixar's Toy Story 3. In recent weeks there have been numerous articles in Newsweek, Entertainment Weekly, and Brandweek, to name a few, all discussing the opening of the movie, released several years after the previous sequel. The marketing opportunities were endless; apparel, stuffed animals, furniture, school supplies, social media fan groups and partnerships with fast-food chains. One ABC News article describes how the Pixar movie has 'moved more merchandise than any other recent movie.'? While Entertainment Weekly says 'many of those 20-somethings who watched Toy Story in elementary school, came back to see the next installment.'? And the $41 million dollar opening day put the sequel at the top spot for Pixar. However, all the headlines and hype go back to a single point: a great product (a movie) launched years later, goes to show how strongly the relationship between consumer and character (or brand) can be. Whether it is a classic movie or a favorite candy bar, this blockbuster example proves that sequels and product extensions can be successful if there is lasting attachment and emotion.

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