Disney made over $7 billion this year at the box office, which is practically unheard of. At the beginning of the year, ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ was still doing well. That was followed by the one-two Marvel punch of ‘Black Panther’ and ‘Avengers: Infinity War’, not to mention the quieter success of ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’. On the animated side, ‘Incredibles 2’ from Pixar and Disney’s own ‘Ralph Breaks the Internet’ was also smashes, and the studio is wrapping up the year with the well-received ‘Mary Poppins Returns’. But there have been a few duds this year, including ‘A Wrinkle in Time’ and ‘The Nutcracker and the Four Realms’.
Disney’s film production president, Sean Bailey reflected on these expensive missteps:
“A Wrinkle in Time was an ambitious swing. I’m grateful for Ava [DuVernay] and the cast. Ultimately my assessment is that it’s a really hard piece of source material to adapt. We didn’t quite get there. Nutcracker is another hard one. Neither the book nor the ballet really has a strong narrative throughline, so we tried to bring together the most beautiful global artists and thought that would be a really wonderful thing for families to go experience. We tried really hard, and we were wrong.”
It probably didn’t help that ‘Nutcracker’ came out way too early for a Christmas movie, at the beginning of November. And while ‘A Wrinkle in Time’ lost money, it didn’t lose as much as ‘The Nutcracker and the Four Realms’ and another Disney flop that wasn’t mentioned, ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’. Speaking of wrong opening dates, ‘Solo’ was the first of Disney’s ‘Star Wars’ movies to open in summer instead of around Christmas and they may have played a part in its poor performance.
But both ‘A Wrinkle in Time’ and ‘The Nutcracker and the Four Realms’ were essentially new concepts, even though they were adaptations. Next year, it looks like Disney is playing it safer, with live action versions of ‘Dumbo’, ‘The Lion King’ and ‘Aladdin’, animated sequels ‘Toy Story 4’ and ‘Frozen 2’, Marvel entries ‘Captain Marvel’, ‘Avengers: Endgame’ and ‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’ and of course ‘Star Wars: Episode IX’, which returns to a winter release. ‘Jungle Cruise’ is the latest movie based on one of Disney’s theme park rides, with Dwayne Johnson starring, so that should be a solid bet.
The one upcoming Disney movie that looks really iffy is ‘Artemis Fowl’, which, like ‘A Wrinkle in Time’ is an adaptation of a YA novel.
What Disney movies are you most anticipating for 2019?
Source: The Hollywood Reporter