Monday, January 14, 2013

Disney Updates Their Schedule

Walt Disney Pictures announced some new additions to their upcoming schedules and also moved a few releases.

For starters, the fifth installment in the Pirates of the Caribbean series will open on July 10, 2015. This is a return to the series' usual spot, only At World's End and On Stranger Tides were late May releases. As for the film itself, I can take it or leave it. I felt that On Stranger Tides was less convoluted than At World's End, but I thought it was just bland and lacked any punch. If the fifth installment restores some of the franchise's lost luster, I'll check it out.

Maleficent also moved. It was originally scheduled for release on March 14, 2014. It now opens on July 2nd. This way, it won't go head to head with DreamWorks' Me and My Shadow.

Brad Bird's cryptic upcoming project, 1952, is now penciled in for December 19, 2014. It will also be the director's first 3D film, but will they film it in 3D? Or will it be another post-conversion job? Speaking of 3D, the two Marvel Cinematic Universe films opening in 2014 will also be in the format: Captain America: The Winter Soldier (opens April 4th) and Guardians of the Galaxy (opens August 1). I assume both will be post-conversion 3D like the other MCU films.

The Muppets II was initially announced for a December 20, 2013 release; the same day as Saving Mr. Banks. Thankfully Disney moved the sequel to March 21, 2014. This way, it can probably outgross its predecessor and be a big hit. Why the first one didn't do so well is beyond me.

We got no word on other 2014/2015 releases. There's still no date for the Phineas and Ferb film adaptation; I just hope it isn't in limbo at this point. The untitled Walt Disney Animation Studios film (to be released on November 7, 2014) remains, well... Untitled. Star Wars Episode VII has no date either, but this is understandable. The usually May spot will dominated by The Avengers 2 among other releases. Hopefully we'll find out what's coming in 2016 in the coming months be it one of the new projects Disney green lit or the third Tron film.

Most of this is all good news, but part of it isn't. In fact, the last change is pretty bad news. The planned 3D re-release of The Little Mermaid is no longer a reality. I was hoping to see the 1989 classic on the big screen, but it seems as if Disney has lost faith in the 3D re-release routine. I believe they went about it the wrong way; releasing films that weren't out of reach to theaters and hoping they would replicate the success of The Lion King 3D.

I've been saying it for a while: The 3D re-releases of Beauty and the Beast, Finding Nemo and Monsters, Inc. didn't make big bucks because they weren't out of reach. The Lion King was vaulted in January 2005, so the re-release came at the right time. Beauty and the Beast and Monsters, Inc. were available when the 3D re-releases hit theaters. Finding Nemo was vaulted in January 2010, but literally everyone and their brother has a copy of Finding Nemo. Of course those re-releases wouldn't match The Lion King 3D's $93 million domestic total.

All I can say is: Disney, you are making a mistake. Big time.

Update: Brad Bird confirmed on Twitter that 1952 being in 3D is a rumor.


  1. I'm majorly disappointed (though not entirely shocked) to see The Little Mermaid 3D shelved! I was really looking forward to seeing that in cinemas - silver lining: this might mean the Blu Ray'll come out a bit earlier?

    Not shocked to see The Muppets II move either.

    1. The Blu-ray of "The Little Mermaid" will probably come out the day a Platinum/Diamond Edition usually comes out: The first Tuesday of October.

      "The Muppets II" now has room to breathe, and I saw the move coming since I didn't think Disney would release it the same day as "Saving Mr. Banks". Now it can have most of April to itself and make more money than its predecessor.

  2. I think Disney should re-release Aladdin. To my knowledge, Aladdin has never had a re-release and it's about time, it was the highest grossing film of 1992 and the film was vaulted in 2007, so it's valuable. Or is Robin Williams still sore about the marketing thing?

    I think the untitled November 2014 film may be "King of the Elves", and hopefully "Big Hero 6" comes out in 2015 (which I hope has the same animation style as the comic books)

  3. Shame that Little Mermaid 3D got cancelled, I would've loved to have gone and seen it. I'll probably get the 3D Blu-ray when it's out, but that still doesn't equal the experience of watching it in the theater.

    Really looking forward to all the future MCU releases and Muppets 2, I'll be there opening day for each of them.

  4. I think the reason the films are faltering in their 3D re-release is because they're only being released in 3D. I only saw Nemo in 3D and that was because of a) it had Partysaurus Rex attached and b) it had been re-rendered. I don't like 3D and I'm not going to go see something in the format unless like Nemo it's offering something new and I can't see tha any other way. Plus it really seems like a souless cash grab to other people especially in the age of home video.

  5. My guess why The Little Mermaid 3D got cancelled: It's not a CAPS movie, made entirely hand-drawn, not digitally, and the studio had difficulty converting it to 3D.