It looks like $500 million is on the menu for the hit Disney/Pixar animated feature Ratatouille. The film hasn’t even opened in a number of countries and it’s less than $20 million from the half billion mark. Sure there isn’t the huge merchandise opportunities like Cars brought the mouse house, but any way you look at it, the box office is boffo!
$60 million of the overseas total has been generated in France. According to the New York Times the film is even making a difference in the cultural bias against Disney felt by many in France
More unexpected has been the healthy response to the Paris opening of
the Broadway production of “The Lion King” on Oct. 4. The French have
historically greeted Broadway-style productions, with the exception of
“Les Miserables,” with upturned noses.
But ticket sales for “Le
Roi Lion” have been brisk enough to support an open-ended run,
according to a Disney spokesman. Even Disneyland Resort Paris is
starting to sizzle: the park, celebrating its 15th anniversary, is
achieving attendance records, with more than 6.1 million visitors in
the first half of 2007, up 11 percent from the first half of 2006,
according to regulatory filings.
This can only be a good thing for Disney and Disneyland Paris. If the trend continues, then the Pixar purchase was clearly worth every penny.