There’s been some reasonable cynicism lately when a clearer and clearer picture of Pixar’s intention to make a number of sequels to its popular films emerged, with Cars 2 being the first real manifestation of that (considering Toy Story is kind of its own beast, with a long pause between movies). Considering Pixar has long done well by breaking the pattern of most other film studios, this was kind of distressing.. Never losing an opportunity to make clear the difference between their studio and the one that Lasseter built though, Dreamworks has made their plans clear and they include enough sequels to boggle the mind, and totally show the Toy House how it’s done.
The info comes from an Empire interview with Jeffrey Katzenberg- the studio has apparently mapped out the various “chapters” of all of their franchises and all told, they see something like nine sequels being released to franchises they’ve already got going, in the form of two more Madagascar flicks (one coming soon), two more How To Train Your Dragon movies, and possibly five more Kung Fun Panda films.
This came as a response to a question about the conclusion of the four title deep Shrek franchise, to which he responded,
“So today I can tell you pretty succinctly where Madagascar goes. Ultimately they will come back to New York, and they will come to terms with that, which they will do in this next chapter. Because of the way that movie concludes there’s probably one more for them… there’s probably a fourth there. Kung Fu Panda actually has 6 chapters to it, and we’ve mapped that out over the years. How To Train Your Dragon is at least three: maybe more, but we know there are a least three chapters to that story. There are actually 8 books.”
So they’ll be taking their big money makers down the same path as Shrek (likely a path of diminishing returns), with Kung Fu Panda specifically a target for a ton of sequels. Hell, it’s a shame for Dreamworks that its domestic gross was less than half of their most successful film’s (Shrek 2), or I’d say they had the makings of their own James Bond-style decades long franchise. As it is, the plan is clear… take these franchises and milk them for all their worth, and then a little bit more. Pixar’s handful of sequels seems downright indie in comparison.