So far in 2017, Disney has released five movies: “Beauty and the Beast” in March, “Born in China” (through Disneynature) in April, “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” and “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales” in May and “Cars 3” in June.
But now Disney has a giant, gaping hole in the 2017 calendar. They don’t have a movie scheduled to open until “Thor: Ragnarok” on November 3. Between “Cars 3” (which opened on June 16) and “Thor 3”, there is a span of 19 weeks – four and a half months without a film coming from Disney.
And we’re not talking about simply a live-action film from the core Walt Disney Pictures. Those are actually rare these days. Disney also distributes LucasFilm and Marvel movies, regular and Disneynature documentaries, Pixar, Studio Ghibli and Walt Disney Animation Studios films, Touchstone Pictures releases and even 3D re-releases.
But there’s nothing represented on the calendar between now and Nov. 3.
There originally was something: an untitled fairy tale set to be released this Friday, July 28th. Disney execs never divulged much of the project – and it was still on the calendar in early spring. But I had a feeling it had to be taken off soon. Disney movies require months, even years of marketing (the studio just unveiled a scene from the live-action “Lion King” at their D23 Expo – and that’s not opening until July 2019). Disney moved that “untitled fairy tale”, temporarily to next August. No announcement on it was made at D23, and this title could very well be moved again.
There hasn’t been a 4-month-plus gap in between Disney movies in the past 10 years. However, the closest occasions have come recently. In 2015, there wasn’t a Disney-distributed release in between “Ant-Man” (July 17) and “Bridge of Spies” (October 16): three months. And there was another three-month span from “Rogue One” this past Dec. 16 to “Beauty” on Mar. 17.
A few years ago, Disney announced plans for 3D re-releases of Pixar’s “Ratatouille” and “The Incredibles”. With “The Incredibles 2” set to open next June, The Mouse House could repeat their “Toy Story” strategy by re-releasing the original “Incredibles” in 3D sometime in September or October, with a special look at the sequel.
Three problems stand in its way:
1) The 3D conversion might not even be done
2) No one is spending money on 3D versions of films these days
3) Disney movies require much more than 6 or 8 weeks marketing
But then again, if the studio had the foresight to realize their July 28 Fairy Tale wasn’t going to happen, “The Incredibles 3D” could’ve been announced in February or March and slated for July, August or early to mid-September – and some families and diehard fans of the original probably would’ve gone to it.