Disney Delays Mulan Release…Again! This Time Indefinitely

The ongoing coronavirus pandemic continues to affect movie release dates. Yesterday Disney announced that it’s reshuffling much of its schedule, delaying Mulan indefinitely and pushing back planned Avatar and Star Wars films.

After a couple of delays, Niki Caro’s Mulan remake was scheduled to be released to theaters on August 21.  It originally had a March release date.

In a statement, a Walt Disney Studios spokesperson said –

“Over the last few months, it’s become clear that nothing can be set in stone when it comes to how we release films during this global health crisis, and today that means pausing our release plans for Mulan as we assess how we can most effectively bring this film to audiences around the world.” 

On social media, Cameron shared a letter to Avatar fans, revealing that not only did the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic delay live-action filming in New Zealand, but it also halted soundstage work in Los Angeles.

“There is no one more disappointed about this delay than me,” Cameron wrote. “But I am buoyed by the incredible performance of our cast and the extraordinary work that Weta Digital is doing bringing the world of Pandora and the characters of the film to life.”

The three untitled Star Wars movies have also been pushed back one year and are now scheduled for December 2023, 2025, and 2027.

Disney has shifted a few of its planned theatrical releases to its streaming service, Disney+, including Artemis Fowl and the filmed Hamilton movie (which was originally supposed to hit theaters in 2021), as the coronavirus pandemic continues to keep movie theaters closed. For now, the studio seems committed to releasing some of its big-budget films like Mulan in theaters, even if they have yet to set a date.

Notably absent from Disney’s release date announcement was the much-delayed superhero film The New Mutants, which has already been pushed back multiple times since its original 2018 date. (It was finally supposed to hit theaters in April 2020 but was rescheduled for August once the pandemic broke.) As of right now, The New Mutants is still set for Aug. 28, 2020, making it Disney’s next planned theatrical release.

Walt Disney World Announces Details and Opening Dates for Disney Parks Experiences

For some time we’ve known that Walt Disney World Resort is probably undergoing its most significant period of growth in quite some time.  Today, Disney Parks, Experiences and Products Chairman Bob Chapek made public some exciting updates on a few of the experiences currently in development across the resort.

Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway will be opening on March 4, 2020, at Disney’s Hollywood Studios!  On Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway, you’ll step through the movie screen and join Mickey, Minnie and friends like never before – bursting into a world where mouse rules apply.

Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser will begin “transporting” guests to a galaxy far, far away in 2021!  In this new type of immersive vacation, guests will become the hero of their own adventure in an experience that surrounds you 24/7 in Star Wars storytelling.

Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure will open summer 2020 in the France pavilion at Epcot. Today Disney shared the image above showing Disney Imagineers at work creating the immersive attraction. The attraction brings guests on an adventure with Chef Remy through Gusteau’s restaurant.

Mickey Shorts Theater in Disney’s Hollywood Studios will show an original short film in the style of the popular Disney Channel animated series “Mickey Mouse,” and will feature photo-opportunity locations for guests.  Today Disney shared a rendering that shows the interior of the theater, including fun Mickey Mouse-themed seats.

Disney’s DuckTales World Showcase Adventure is coming to Epcot!  Guest are now invited to join Scrooge McDuck, Donald, Launchpad, Webby and the nephews in search of priceless treasure. Using the Play Disney Parks mobile app, guests will take a trip around World Showcase discovering exotic destinations, exciting mysteries, and maybe even a few thieves, villains and supernatural guardians of ancient artifacts.

Epcot will debut three new films on Jan. 17, 2020:

“Awesome Planet” in The Land pavilion showcases the Earth’s beauty and diversity in a 10-minute film featuring spectacular imagery, in-theater effects and an original musical score from Academy Award-winning® composer Steven Price.

“Beauty and the Beast Sing-Along” in the France pavilion is directed and produced by Don Hahn, producer of the animated and live-action “Beauty and the Beast” films, and invites guests to participate in a twist on a tale as old as time. It also features narration from Angela Lansbury, who played Mrs. Potts in the original film. The new sing-along will run in rotation with “Impressions de France,” which will receive an upgrade to 4K projection.

“Canada Far and Wide in Circle-Vision 360” in the Canada pavilion is an update to the previous “O Canada!” film with new scenes, a new musical score by Canadian composer Andrew Lockington and new narration by award-winning actors Catherine O’Hara and Eugene Levy.

Space 220 Restaurant will be debuting this winter!  Space 220 is a new table-service restaurant at Epcot that will be located next to Mission: SPACE. When guests enter the restaurant, they will step into a special space elevator that will take everyone 220 miles above the earth’s surface and offer incredible celestial views.

Regal Eagle Smokehouse: Craft Drafts & Barbecue will be the new fast-casual restaurant that’ll open this winter at The American Adventure in Epcot serving classic barbecue and home-style craft brews. Regal Eagle will celebrate American backyard barbecue with flavors from different regions around the United States. This is a restaurant that I’m really looking forward to eating at.  This is a restaurant that many people have longed for for some time.

Roundup Rodeo BBQ Restaurant will be coming to Toy Story Land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in 2020 and invites guests to a rootin’, tootin’ rodeo right in Andy’s backyard! This immersive restaurant will provide yet another unique, fun, family-friendly dining experience that could only be had in Toy Story Land.

 

 

Reservations for Access to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disneyland to Open May 2

Earlier today Disney announced on the Disney Parks Blog that beginning May 2 at 10 AM (Disneyland Time), guests will be able to start making reservations to visit Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disneyland.

Specific details on how to make reservations will be available on the Disney Parks Blog and Disneyland.com on May 2 at 8 AM PT.

In order to be able to make a reservation guest will have to be staying in a Disneyland Resort hotel.

As Disney has stated…

Guests staying at a Disneyland Resort hotel between May 31 and June 23, 2019 will receive a designated reservation to access Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge during their stay. One reservation per registered Guest. Each Guest is required to have valid theme park admission. If the hotel reservation is cancelled, the Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge reservation will be cancelled. Access to certain experiences in the land are subject to capacity and other factors. Additional restrictions apply.

While Disney has not officially stated on the Disney Parks Blog, reports are stating that Disneyland will restrict guests with free Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge reservations to a 4-hour time limit during the initial “soft opening” period.

Disneyland has stated that no stand-by visitors will be permitted to enter Galaxy’s Edge.

As stated by Jeffery Epstein of D23 –

“So please don’t lurk around the entrance like a Jawa trying to hawk a droid.”

After June 23 reservations will not be required and Disneyland has not specifically mentioned how crowds will be handled for this highly anticipated land, though there has been rumored to be some sort of FastPass system that will be implemented.

If you have any questions on regarding Galaxy’s Edge during the initial opening period, I would suggest contacting Disneyland or checking out the Disney Parks Blog for more information.

Disney to Launch Disney+ November 12th

Earlier today at Disney’s 2019 Investor Day, Disney announced that they will be launching Disney+ in the United States on November 12, 2019. The subscription VOD service will cost $6.99 per month or $69.99 per year.

The streaming service will represent Disney’s most aggressive move into the video-streaming market. By pricing it well below Netflix’s $12.99 per month Disney is apparently betting that it can drive up its customer base with its mix of content that appeals to multiple demographics which includes Marvel, Star Wars, Pixar and Disney brands.

In the announcement Disney CEO Bob Iger stated, “This is our first serious foray in this space, and we want to reach as many people as possible with it.”

I don’t know about you, but I’m excited about this and they basically have my money for Disney+. November cannot come soon enough.

Disney Announces Oga’s Cantina Coming to Galaxy’s Edge

Disney has given us another glimpse into what Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will be like yesterday when it announced that Oga’s Cantina will be coming to Galaxy’s Edge in 2019.

According to Scott Trowbridge of Walt Disney Imaginering, “Visitors come to this notorious local watering hole to unwind, conduct shady business, and maybe even encounter a friend…or a foe. Run by an intriguing alien proprietor, Oga Garra, the cantina adheres to a strict code of conduct that tries to keep its unruly patrons in check. But with a history of being a smugglers’ safe haven and a popular stopping point for those seeking to avoid the authorities, you can bet that the cantina has a story or two to tell.”

In describing the cantina, Trowbridge added, “Oga’s Cantina is the kind of establishment that attracts some of the most interesting and disreputable characters in the galaxy. And you never know when a stormtrooper or a familiar face will show up. Patrons of the cantina come from across the galaxy to sample the famous concoctions created with exotic ingredients using “otherworldly” methods, served in unique vessels. With choices for kids and libations for adults, the cantina will make for a great stop!”

According to the announcement, the musical entertainment will be provided by an old friend of ours, RX-24, the former StarSpeeder 3000 pilot droid from Star Tours. Captain Rex has re-envisioned himself as the cantina’s quirky and talkative DJ.

Trowbridge encourages guests to be ready to listen to some unique music, taste the best drinks in the galaxy, and be surrounded with a colorful cast of characters.

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge promises to be a totally immersive experience and Oga’s Cantina certainly seems to be following that promise, making it what seems like a must-see experience for guests.

Oga’s Cantina will be coming to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge in 2019 at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World.

Star Wars: Galactic Nights is Returning to Disney’s Hollywood Studios

For all you Star Wars fans out there, Disney recently announced that the one-night special event Star Wars: Galactic Nights will be returning to Disney’s Hollywood Studios on May 27th.

For those that are unfamiliar with the event,  Star Wars: Galactic Nights is an exciting Star Wars-themed event held at Disney’s Hollywood Studios after park hours, 7 PM to Midnight.  The event celebrates all that is Star Wars  with themed entertainment, special photo opportunities, event-exclusive merchandise along with food and beverage, and of course encounters with rarely seen characters that guests can only experience during this special hard ticketed event.

Specific examples of what guests can experience during Star Wars: Galactic Nights include –

  • Star Wars: Galactic Destinations Projections Transform The Hollywood Tower Hotel– Visible on the Sunset Boulevard area of the park the facade of the Hollywood Tower Hotel will transform via stunning projection technology to showcase familiar locations from across the galaxy. Favorite film moments, special effects, lighting, and of course the stellar Star Warscinematic score supports each galactic location moment all night long. Star Wars Galactic Destinations is currently an event exclusive.
  • Existing Star Wars Entertainment Will Debut New Enhancements – The park’s existing Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular fireworks and the Star Wars: A Galaxy Far, Far Away stage show will both debut new saga elements for the first time during Star Wars: Galactic Nights.
  • Special Photo Ops – Throughout the park, guests can step into immersive and iconic scenes from their favorite Star Wars films in a series of incredibly detailed photo locations. These special photo ops will only be available at Disney’s Hollywood Studios during Star Wars: Galactic Nights
  • Character Encounters – Expect to encounter Star Wars characters from throughout the galaxy. Guests will also be able to view an Imperial Stormtrooper March with Darth Vader.
  • Exclusive Food & Beverage offerings – Taste your way around the galaxy with specialty food and beverage offerings created for Galactic Nights. Inspired by the stories and iconic characters of Star Wars, these tasting-sized sips and bites bring a delectable addition to this event.
  • Enjoy park attractions – Select attractions will be open to all guests – and some may even offer a special Star Wars twist on May 27 only.

Did anyone else notice that this last point is very close to the release of Solo: A Star Wars Story?  I wonder what guests will get to experience?

This event is something that I’ve always wanted to do, but haven’t had the chance to.  It sounds like a lot of fun.

What I really like about this event is that it seems to have something for any Star Wars fan, from the guest just discovering Star Wars, the casual fan and including the die-hard Star Wars nerd…it has everything.

I consider myself a Star Wars fan, though not an uber-fan.  I love the movies and the attractions and experiences in the parks that are tied to Star Wars.  If I could attend I’d love to experience the character encounters, but the things that excite me the most are the entertainment and the food…which is like an attraction…right?

Are you going to this event?  What excites you the most?

Synopsis for Han Solo Movie Released….And “I Have a Bad Feeling”About This Movie

A few days ago Disney and Lucasfilm released the synopsis for the upcoming Han Solo movie ‘Solo:A Star Wars Movie’. That synopsis summarized the movie by saying –

Board the Millennium Falcon and journey to a galaxy far, far away in Solo: A Star Wars Story, an all-new adventure with the most beloved scoundrel in the galaxy. Through a series of daring escapades deep within a dark and dangerous criminal underworld, Han Solo meets his mighty future copilot Chewbacca and encounters the notorious gambler Lando Calrissian, in a journey that will set the course of one of the Star Wars saga’s most unlikely heroes.

Wow…I don’t know about you but that just doesn’t excite me much.

When Disney and Lucasfilm announced this movie I was a excited because I thought there was so much potential for the story. Then last summer, with less than a year before the film’s release the film’s directors Chris Miller and Phil Lord were fired, I got really nervous. Soon after that I felt a bit better when Lucasfilm hired director Ron Howard to take over the film.

Since then we have not heard much of anything. We have not seen any stills or a trailer. Now, I can give Howard a bit of a break on some of this because I’m sure he’s been very busy with reshoots and editing to get the film done by the May 25th release date that Disney and Lucasfilm are sticking to. What we have gotten is a bland, vanilla synopsis that doesn’t appear to excite a lot of people.

Yes, as Star Wars fans we’ve always wondered how Han and Chewie met and the history of Lando and Han. But I think we all were expecting or at least hoping for something more than the backstory of Han Solo.

I’m really hoping that the synopsis is the backbone of the film’s story…and not THE story.

From what we’ve gotten, there’s potential for the movie to be good or it could be really bad. I don’t think I’m the only one that’s nervous about this movie. Of all of the movies Disney is releasing in 2018 this movie is the one I’m most curious about, the most hopeful about, and the most nervous about.

At this point I’m not expecting great, but I am hoping for good….and that might be good enough for many fans. Though I’m not entirely confident about the idea that it will be good.

That bad feeling I mentioned earlier?  It’s a feeling of nervousness and unease.

What do you think?

‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ Delivers Second Largest Opening Ever

The Force dominated at the box office as Disney-Lucasfilm’s “Star Wars: The Last Jedi  opened with a stellar $220 million weekend at 4,232 North American sites — the second-highest opening weekend of all time.

“Star Wars: The Last Jedi” trails only the $248 million launch of 2015’s “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.”

The tentpole opened with $104.8 million on Friday (including $45 million from Thursday night previews) for the second-best opening day of all time, followed by $64 million on Saturday and a projected $51.3 million on Sunday. With international grosses hitting $230 million, “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” totaled $450 million worldwide.

“Star Wars: The Last Jedi” has become only the fourth movie to top $200 million domestically in its opening frame, joining 2015’s “The Force Awakens,” 2015’s “Jurassic World” with $208.8 million, and 2012’s “The Avengers” with $207.4 million. It will finish the weekend 29% above the “Star Wars” spinoff “Rogue One,” which opened with $155.1 million on the same weekend a year ago.

“Truly in a class by themselves, the movies of the “Star Wars” franchise continue to re-write the history books as to what is possible in terms of box office performance,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at comScore.

“‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ posts the second biggest preview gross, the second best single day gross ever recorded and if that were not enough, the second biggest opening weekend ever in North America, joining the elusive $200 million club with a knockout of a movie that is proving to be both catnip to the critics and moviegoers alike over what has become the strongest moviegoing weekend of 2017,” he added.

Audiences surveyed by comScore’s PostTrak gave stellar marks to the tentpole with 66% calling it “excellent” and another 23% rating it “very good.” A total of 79% said they would “definitely recommend” the movie.

The stellar performance comes three days after Disney announced it was spending $52.4 billion to acquire 21st Century Fox assets — a move that will make the company the undisputed leader in box office share in coming

Domestic tracking for “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” has remained in the $200 million range since Nov. 22, when first estimates emerged. “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” wound up its domestic run with a record-setting $936.7 million and $2.07 billion worldwide. “Rogue One” went on to gross $532.2 million by the end of its domestic run and $1.03 billion worldwide.

Directed by Rian Johnson, “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” picks up where “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” left off. It stars returning cast members Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, and Andy Serkis. New stars include Kelly Marie Tran, Laura Dern, and Benicio del Toro.

The weekend was the third-largest of all time in overall domestic moviegoing with $280 million, according to comScore, trailing only the first two weekends of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” Those weekends generated $313 million and $296 million in box office gross.

“Star Wars: The Last Jedi” also helped close the gap in 2017’s lag over last year’s total by a full percentage point. As of Sunday, this year’s total is $10.29 billion, off 2.9%.

Disney noted that it crossed the $2 billion domestic mark on Saturday, marking the third consecutive year that is has done so and making Disney the first studio to have achieved that record. It’s currently in first place in 2017 market share.

In three days, the domestic total for “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” has topped the entire 31-day domestic run of Warner Bros.-DC Entertainment’s of “Justice League.”

From Variety

The Saga Continues with OtterBox: Star Wars-Themed Cases

The Force is strong with this one. Defend iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus from drops, dings and galactic threats with Star Wars-themed Symmetry Series cases.

From Star Wars: A New Hope to Star Wars: The Last Jedi, OtterBox has a protective case designed for every Star Warsfan. Cases are also compatible with iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus.

Star Wars has awakened a new generation of enthusiasts and Symmetry Series cases featuring Star Wars designs provide the perfect companions for wherever your epic journey takes you,” said OtterBox CEO Jim Parke. “Now fans can express their inner Jedi while defending their devices from real-world pitfalls.”

Symmetry Series protects every fan’s device from the dark side of phone ownership with a slim and sleek form. The dual-density case slips easily in pockets while a raised beveled edge keeps the touchscreen tucked away from harm during drops. Star Wars afficiandos can show off their favorite icons and characters with the new designs on Symmetry Series cases.

Symmetry Series Star Wars Collection cases are now available at otterbox.com for iPhone 8 and iPhone 7, $44.95; and iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone 7 Plus, $54.95. For more information, visit otterbox.com. OtterBox is the “Official Protective Case” of Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort.

Rian Johnson to Create New ‘Star Wars’ Trilogy

The Walt Disney Co. announced Thursday that Rian Johnson will craft a new trilogy for the “Star Wars” universe, greatly expanding the director’s command over the ever-expanding space saga created by George Lucas.

The announcement, made by Disney chief Bob Iger on a call with investment analysts, constituted the most ambitious new foray into the “Star Wars” galaxy, moving well beyond the original nine-film framework imagined by Lucas. Disney also announced a live-action “Star Wars” series that will debut on its streaming service which is set to launch in 2019.

The new films will be separate from the Skywalker saga. “Johnson will introduce new characters from a corner of the galaxy that Star Wars lore has never before explored,” Disney said in a statement.

That Johnson will preside over a new “Star Wars” trilogy altogether confirms his status as the franchise’s new chief guardian. It’s a considerable amount of trust to be placed in the 43-year-old director of 2012′s “Looper,” even before audiences see his first “Star Wars” installment. J.J. Abrams, who kick-started the dormant franchise with “The Force Awakens,” is set to return for the untitled Episode IX — the third film in the current trilogy.

“He’s a creative force, and watching him craft ‘The Last Jedi’ from start to finish was one of the great joys of my career,” Lucasfilm’s Kathleen Kennedy said of Johnson. “Rian will do amazing things with the blank canvas of this new trilogy.”

Johnson will write and direct the first film in the trilogy, working with his producing partner Ram Bergman.

“We had the time of our lives collaborating with Lucasfilm and Disney on ‘The Last Jedi,’ ” Johnson and Bergman said in a joint statement. “‘Star Wars’ is the greatest modern mythology and we feel very lucky to have contributed to it. We can’t wait to continue with this new series of films.”

Iger also revealed that Disney is also planning series for its streaming service based on the 2011 Pixar film “Monsters Inc.” and the Disney Channel movie franchise “High School Musical.” Iger said he expects the service to be priced “substantially below” Netflix’s $10-a-month subscription price.

From CNBC