Is The Princess and the Frog Disney’s next Franchise?

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Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Iger takes the 1980s idea of synergy that was perfected by the early Eisner and Wells administration to the next level with his concept of the Franchise.

I’m not talking Kevin Garnett for you NBA fans. Nor is it like Subway where where you sell the concept to others to develop for you. It’s more about finding a tent pole that’s tall enough and strong enough you can hang a tent big enough to cover nearly every aspect of your company (I don’t think I’ve seen any Princess Tiana tie-ins for ESPN… yet) and increase their sales as well.

Based on what I’m seeing in terms of merchandise and in park tie-ins, I think Iger has identified The Princess and The Frog as the next franchise for Disney. A story in the Orlando Sentinel, (full disclosure, I was interviewed for the piece), discusses how much Disney is counting on the frog princess to make it a few bucks

Mitchelson, the Deutsche Bank analyst, said the ancillary potential of The Princess and the Frog is so large that the best measure of its success won’t be box office results — it will be consumer-product sales.

“To the extent that The Princess and the Frog is only considered modestly successful from a film point of view, that doesn’t  mean it won’t be quite successful from the perspective of broadening the princess franchise,” he said.

A good point. It’s been 12 years since the last Princess was introduced, and that’s only if you include Mulan among the princesses. I personally classify her as a hero, along with Pocahontas.

Disney’s most recent franchise consumer products producer was ‘Cars’. While not a critical box office hit, Cars made somewhere north of $4 billion in merchandise sales for the mouse house. I don’t think we’ll see quite that much with Princess Tiana merchandise alone, but when you add in increased sales of other princess merchandise, you might get close.

As evidence, at the Magic Kingdom last night I again saw little girls already wearing the Princess Tiana dress even before the movie has been released. Princesses of all colors too as is befitting a movie that really is an American story.

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8 Responses to Is The Princess and the Frog Disney’s next Franchise?

  1. Neil Trama says:

    I certainly hope the movie is a success but let’s not forget the old jinx of opening the attraction before the film. Could spell trouble.

  2. Shanna says:

    But.. isn’t everything Disney does a franchise?

  3. Will The Princess and the Frog be Disney's next Franchise a la The Lion King, Cars, or Pirates? http://is.gd/4Tpzv Discuss.

  4. Pingback: Patches the Cat

  5. John Frost says:

    Jim, if you’re looking for your comment, please email me. The email you provided before bounced. I want to post your comment, but need to verify something first.

  6. Ben A says:

    My 4 year old already has her eyes on a Princess Tiana doll for Christmas! So it looks like I’ll be doing my part in supporting Princess “The Franchise” Tiana in her pursuit as a bonafide Disney princess. :)

  7. Steve says:

    I think I know what you mean… I just saw a Geico commercial with the frog in it… this may be the next big thing for Disney – licensing their characters in a franchise-type method to expand their horizons.

  8. YouMakeAMeCrazy says:

    To say “Cars” was “not a critical box office hit” is a gross distortion. It was the 55th highest grossing movie (US) of all time, and the 84th top grossing movie (worldwide) of all time. That is, it was, worldwide, the 84th highest money maker of all movies ever released. Ev-er. Checking the US list, the first Disney Princess on the list would be Jasmine, coming in with Aladdin at #76. Critics also overwhelmingly favored it (rottentomatoes gave it 75% fresh).

    If Tiana and the gang best Cars, they will have done something no Disney Princess has ever even dreamed of doing. And, dang it, more power to them . . . I hope they pull it off. But tentpole franchise? It’s possible, but there’s no history of princesses doing anything of the kind.

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