Disney has a moneymaker with their Princess line. It is shocking the number of 2-8 year old girls who wear their favorite princess' outfit while at Disney. They also print money with the old Walt Disney catalogue of characters. Anyone see a glaring hole in their marketing?
I propose a hero line. Like the princess line including pre-'90s old classics, Disney could include Buzz + Woody from Toy Story, Pirates of the Carribean + the "Cars" characters (boys love pirates + cars), creating a series of movies geared towards boys with set heroic male leads that get the girl. Full costumes to buy, action figures, comic + cartoon tie ins.
They really missed the boat with the "John Carter" movie, which was perfect for that 5-12 year old boy demographic and could have kickstarted the hero line. The best way to market "John Carter" would have been to start an action-adventure cartoon of "John Carter" in 2006. Cartoons are much cheaper. Have it be the "John Carter Adventures" where his origin/arrival on Mars is never told. The origin story would become the big movie pitch. With 5 years of build up, Disney would have 5 years of marketing the JC idea + a built in audience of young boys. The cartoon is built in advertising. The cartoon would also foster for several years a legion of boys who will be excited about the movie. This broadens the target market for the movie by having some fo the boys who were 9-12 when the cartoon started still be movie ticket consumers in their teens for a movie really geared towards younger boys. JC was a slam dunk for pre-teen boys. It's Star Wars on Mars. Disney fumbled the ball. If Disney can get teens girls to go nuts over the crap tween singers they create, imagine a marketing campaign for a big budget sci-fi film that has a 5 year build up with great source material.