By Brennan Dube | @Brennan_Dube71R
Disney has always been a successful studio. It has often branded itself through the heart of a child in terms of things little girls and boys love even when they grow up, whether it be Disney Princesses or Mickey Mouse. Over the last several years, however, Disney has not just been an insanely successful studio. It has also built a machine that has made it the most successful studio in the history of film, and 2019 will be the year Disney completes its takeover of the industry.
Disney owns a surplus of other film studios such as Pixar, Lucasfilm, Marvel and 20th Century Fox (this $71 billion-dollar purchase happened earlier this year). By owning these widely successful studios, Disney is able to expand its scope of the film industry. Pumping out franchises like The Avengers or Star Wars, they add to Disney classics that are still popular today. This machine that Disney has built over the past several years will come into full swing in 2019 as many of its great animated classics will get a live-action remake. Moreover, some of the greatest sci-fi franchises are entering a year that will forever change their paths. All of this lining up in 2019 means Disney will capitalize on the year like never before.
Marvel and Star Wars
Let’s break it down. Infinity War saw tremendous success this year and marched its way toward being the fourth highest grossing film of all time with tons of fan and critics praise. The film ended on a cliffhanger and the sequel drops on May 3, 2019. Also, Captain Marvel hits theatres March 8th and the sequel to the Tom Holland led Spider-Man film drops in July of next year. That is three mega Marvel movies all coming out in 2019. In other words, Disney will be looking at a full wallet.
Moving forward from this, despite the box office bomb that was Solo, the Star Wars saga will continue to dominate the screens when the 9th film in the main series and the end of this trilogy hits theatres in December of next year. Ignoring Solo, the other three Disney-released Star Wars films have all smashed the 1-billion-dollar mark. In fact, The Force Awakens is the third highest grossing film of all time. Expect Star Wars IX, directed by J.J Abrams, to be another huge sensation.
Disney Live-Action Adaptations
Riding off the success of the live-action adaptation of The Jungle Book, Disney has decided to release a whole slew of live-action versions of their classic hits in 2019. The first, Dumbo, will release in March. The movie has received considerable praise for its early trailers and A-list cast. The next film is the live-action adaptation of Aladdin, which will land in May. Finally, in terms of live-action adaptations of Disney animated classics, The Lion King will also have its film hit the big screens in 2019 as it is slated for a summer release. The trailer dropped just last week and already has over 50 million views on Walt Disney Studio’s YouTube channel.
While there are a few out there that are not big fans of the live-action adaptations, viewing them as cheap, tacky or just plain old money grabs, the films will have undeniable success. The live-action adaptation of The Jungle Book, which came out in 2016, earned just shy of a billion dollars. In addition, the Beauty and the Beast adaption garnered over $1.26 billion in earnings when it came out in March of 2017. Even Maleficent (a live-action take on Sleeping Beauty) earned over $700 million when it came out in 2014, despite scathing reviews.
A Multigenerational Effect?
It’s safe to say that these three films will be major successes based on nostalgia alone. Kids that went to see these films originally may now be taking their kids. Not to mention, they also may take their parents who took them to see these originals.
Live-action adaptations of absolutely classic films like The Lion King are a way to artistically revamp the story and tap into the generational nostalgia, which will guarantee a boatload of cash. If these films follow the success of The Jungle Book and Beauty and the Beast, which early tracking shows they might, they could earn up to a combined $3 billion dollars. Even that estimate may be conservative, depending on who you ask.
Pixar will also release a film next year, the fourth installment to a familiar franchise that involves talking toys. Yes, that’s right: Toy Story 4 is coming out in June of next year. If it is anything like Toy Story 3 in terms of success, it will gross a lot of money. Toy Story 4 comes at a perfect time, ten years after the last film. When Toy Story 3 came out in 2009, it seemingly came out at a perfect time as well; the kids that adored the first two were grown up, with older kids perhaps having their own. Ten years after Toy Story 2, the third movie grossed a little over $1 billion at the box office. Toy Story 4 can definitely do the same, if not maybe even better.
Taking It Home: Frozen 2
That isn’t it, however. In terms of animation, Disney will also be releasing a highly anticipated sequel to Frozen. When Frozen came out in 2013, it didn’t only lead to an onslaught of catchy songs, but also several trips to the theatres. Frozen ended up being the highest grossing animated film of all time with total earnings at $1.29 billion dollars. Frozen 2 will come six years after its predecessor and if the success of the first is any measure, it definitely has potential to make a huge box office take.
2019 is going to be an epic year for movies and an absolutely golden one for Disney. The only question is, will fans be coming out to see these movies again and again? Will the average family make a trip to the theaters for all three live-action Disney classic adaptions, as well as Toy Story 4 in between?
I think it’s safe to say there’s a potential for a film to take a hit due to the sheer number of them due for release. I predict Dumbo, if any, will take this hit; Aladdin, Toy Story, and The Lion King seem to have nostalgic ties to more people. However, Dumbo will be the first film to release of those films listed. This is a smart release slot and the best move Disney could have made regarding their scheduling.
The Disney takeover is almost complete; in 2019, Disney will take in record numbers from moviegoers. Let’s just hope these films deliver in giving us the perfect dose of nostalgia, fresh feeling and quality that I believe we all want to see.
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