"Toy Story 3" tops film merchandise shipments

Mon Jun 21, 2010 8:58pm EDT
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By Paul Bond

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - "Toy Story 3" is not only a box office hit but a merchandising behemoth as well.

Panjiva, a company that tracks international trade, has calculated that the Pixar picture has moved more merchandise than any other recent movie -- and that it's not a terribly close contest.

Toys, furniture, scooters, calculators and other such stuff emblazoned with images from the $110 million weekend champ Disney/Pixar's latest hit was packed into 724 massive cargo containers shipped to the U.S., according to Panjiva.

Panjiva looked at the 40 biggest films from the past 18 months, then checked incoming shipments of merchandise related to those titles using the official bills of lading. That means items manufactured in the U.S. are not counted, including 12 million McDonald's restaurant drinking glasses promoting "Shrek Forever After," though they were recalled anyway.

The majority of movie-related merchandise comes from China, said Panjiva CEO Josh Green. Besides the Shrek glassware, a notable exception was "Iron Man 2" bed sheets that came from Pakistan. "Iron Man 2," in fact, was second to "Toy Story 3" in the merchandising contest, scoring 474 shipped containers.

Proving there's not necessarily a correlation between volume of merchandise and box office performance, "G.I. Joe: The Rise of the Cobra" was third with 403 shipments, even though the movie grossed a disappointing $150 million domestically. And after that is "The Princess and the Frog" with 321 shipments and $103 million at the domestic box office.

Rounding out the top 10 are six movies that easily outperformed "G.I. Joe" and "Frog." "Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs" accounted for 248 shipments, followed by "Shrek Forever After" (230), "Monsters vs. Aliens" (182), "Avatar" (175), "How to Train Your Dragon" (174) and "Star Trek" (143).