Well, it's finally begun. I knew it would happen eventually, but now it's official.
After a strong opening weekend, Cars 2 TANKED. It immediately began plummeting disastrously off the top-grossing movie charts and has been declared Pixar's first critical bomb.
This is it, folks, the beginning of the crowd's finally realizing that the Emperor isn't wearing anything after all. It has taken over a decade and a half, but finally people are beginning to realize that Pixar is not the be-all-end-all talent that the press has been proclaiming them to be.
When I had to see it (and believe me, I wish to make it clear that I did not pay money to see this stupid movie -- that was someone else's responsibility, thank God), I honestly didn't think it was any better or worse than all of the rest of Pixar's junk; it was simply more of the same.
What happened is that people are finally wisening up. The calculated focus-grouped formula is finally beginning to stop working. And I personally think that one of the many reasons why critics for ages have all praised these things is because all the peer pressure made them feel forced to participate in proclaiming them masterpieces; they didn't want to appear as fogyish as they are. It certainly would not have been the first time this has happened with anything related to Hollywood (remember the fight over the "hot" script to Radio Flyer?).
I can't recall the source off the bat, but I read today somewhere some newspaper critic bemoaning that they "hope Pixar isn't succuming to the same sequel-itis that plagued Disney sequels". Uh, guess what? They've been doing that for years now! It's just that no one has wanted to admit it! What they've been doing is what every other studio often attempts to do when it decides to pull the insane stunt of "creating one movie a year": release sequels to keep output appearing while at the same time producing the next "real" project in the shadows. It doesn't work, and is always the kiss of death for any studio attempting to "keep up appearances", as the saying goes.
So now that critics and more of the general public are suddenly starting to realize that saying Pixar isn't perfect won't make them uncool after all, let's all watch and see what happens. Pixar may wobble back and forth for a little while with "Oh good, another hit! See? It was just a one-time fluke" and "What, again? Another bomb? Pixar, what happened to you?" before the dust finally settles and folks realize that they've been had.
But one thing's for sure: as far as the press is concerned, Pixar now finally has a chink in their armour. And that's never a good thing for any marketing franchise, which is what Pixar really is after all.