Why Olaf’s Frozen Adventure is Really Being Removed from Coco Screenings

Olaf’s Frozen Adventure, one of Disney’s less lauded short films, will soon be leaving theaters after screening in front of Pixar’s Coco, the animated film inspired by Mexico’s Day of the Dead. Yet while some have suggested it’s a direct response to poor audience reactions, EW has learned that isn’t the case.

Olaf’s Frozen Adventure was always promoted and scheduled as a limited run, EW has confirmed, with its theatrical play slated to conclude next week, as has recently been reported.

Mashable was the first to report that Olaf’s Frozen Adventure would end its theatrical run Dec. 8. The outlet reported that Disney had “directed theaters … to remove the deeply unpopular 22-minute Frozen short” from future screenings.

In addition, a user on Reddit, identifying as a movie theater worker, claimed to have received a note from Disney regarding the decision. “Please note that the run of Olaf’s Frozen Adventure playing before Coco will end after 12/7,” the alleged note stated. “Starting on Friday 12/8 no more Olaf shorts should be up on screen. With the extra 22 minutes of running time back, we would appreciate if you could get in an extra show if possible.”

In light of the information provided to EW, the alleged note appears to be more of a reminder and less of a notification of removal. “This was always promoted as a limited run so it’s not really a story — the end of our Olaf theatrical play is coming next week,” a Disneyrepresentative told EW. “All our ads and messaging called it as such.”

Featuring the return of Olaf (voiced by Josh Gad), the short — which is the first from Walt Disney Animation to be screened in front of a Pixar film — sees the snowman from Frozenon a search for holiday traditions for Anna (Kristen Bell) and Elsa (Idina Menzel). While most Pixar shorts run around 10 minutes, this Disney Animation work runs for more than 20 minutes.

Mashable called the pairing of Olaf’s Frozen Adventure with Coco, which received glowing reviews and recently won Best Animated Film from the New York Film Critics Circle, “culturally tone-deaf.” Other critics have echoed the sentiment.

“We are creatures of habit, and Olaf’s Frozen Adventure eventually feels like the grinning house guest who won’t leave, even though the party was supposed to clear out long ago,” reported The Washington Post. “As each successive song in the four-tune reel cues up, moviegoers’ reactions can be heard to switch from laughing irritation to growing mockery to outright anger.”

From MSN/Entertainment Weekly

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Disney Shelves ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’ Film ‘Gigantic’

Gigantic, Disney Animation’s original feature project that was to have been released in 2020, is being shelved.

The project was being developed as an updated take on the Jack and the Beanstalk fairy tale, in which Jack befriends a female giant.

Inside Out co-writer Meg LeFauve and Nathan Greno (Tangled) were directing the project while Frozen songwriters Robert Lopez and Kirsten Anderson-Lopez were to have written songs for the film.

But according to the studio, creative walls were being hit.

“It’s impossible to know when we begin a project how the creative process will unfold, and sometimes, no matter how much we love an idea or how much heart goes into it, we find that it just isn’t working,” said Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios president Ed Catmull. “With Gigantic, we’ve come to that point, and although it’s a difficult decision, we are ending active development for now. We are focusing our energies on another project that has been in the works, which we’ll be sharing more about soon, now set for Thanksgiving 2020.”

Details regarding the new project were not revealed, although insiders said it would be an original feature.

Animation is known for its long development process and it is not uncommon for projects to be put on the shelf or to morph from one concept to another. It is also not the first time Disney Animation or its sister company Pixar have taken projects off the schedule either to further work on them or shelf them indefinitely. King of the Elves and Newt were titles that had been actively in the works in the last decade that are now inactive.

Disney Animation next has Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2 which opens Nov. 21, 2018 and Frozen 2for Nov. 27, 2019.

From The Hollywood Reporter

Sing-Along Version of Disney’s MOANA Sails into Theaters January 27th

The epic journey continues for MOANA fans as Walt Disney Animation Studios introduces an all-new sing-along version of the hit, critically-lauded comedy-adventure MOANA coming to theaters nationwide Jan. 27, 2017. Additionally, the original theatrical version of the film will release digitally Feb. 21 and on Blu-ray March 7.

Fans are invited to warm up those vocal cords and set sail with an all-new sing-along version of “Moana” launching in more than 2,000 theaters nationwide on Jan. 27 and exclusively at Hollywood’s El Capitan Theatre on Jan. 20.

“Moana” audiences were swept away by the film’s original songs and score from a dynamic team that includes Tony®-, Emmy®- and Grammy®-winning songwriter Lin-Manuel Miranda (Pulitzer Prize- and Tony-winning “Hamilton,” Tony-winning “In the Heights”), Mark Mancina (“Tarzan,” Broadway’s “The Lion King”) and Opetaia Foa’i (founder and lead singer of the award-winning world music band Te Vaka).

The sing-along version of “Moana” includes the full feature film with on-screen lyrics, so audiences can belt out the words to their favorite songs, such as the Golden Globe®-nominated “How Far I’ll Go.” Moviegoers can check local listings for showtimes and theaters; the sing-along run will vary by location.

Walt Disney Animation Studios’ 56th animated feature opened domestically on Nov. 23, 2016, BECOMING the No. 2 Thanksgiving debut ever with $82 million. The film continues to delight audiences around the globe, earning more than $225 million domestically and $450 million worldwide to date. The film has a 95% score on Rotten Tomatoes and an “A” CinemaScore.

“Moana” has received, thus far, nominations for BAFTA, PGA, Golden Globe® and a Critics’ Choice Movie Award for best animated feature. The film’s uplifting soundtrack has dominated the music charts for more than six weeks, peaking at No. 1 on the iTunes Albums chart; it is currently No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Album Sales chart and No. 2 on the Billboard 200 album chart. The soundtrack is available wherever music is sold and at streaming services.

At Hollywood’s El Capitan Theatre, the “Moana” sing-along will begin Jan. 20, one week prior to the nationwide opening. Daily showtimes are at 9:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Tickets are available at El Capitan Theatre (6838 Hollywood Blvd.), by calling 1-800-DISNEY6 (347-6396) or online at http://www.elcapitantickets.com.

Audiences can soon enjoy the original theatrical version of the film at home and packed with a variety of bonus extras when “Moana” arrives on Digital HD/3D and Disney Movies Anywhere (DMA) on Feb. 21, and on Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray, Digital SD, DVD and On-Demand on March 7.

From Broadway World

‘Moana’ Rules Box Office with 2nd-best Thanksgiving Weekend Ever

Walt Disney Co.’s “Moana” sailed to a hit $81.1 million at the box office over the five-day holiday weekend.

The estimated gross is the second-best five-day Thanksgiving opening of all time, behind Disney’s own “Frozen,” which opened to $93.6 million in 2013. Disney has come to dominate the Thanksgiving release window; “Moana” now means Disney has the top six five-day debuts for the holiday of all time.

Thanksgiving week helps draw in multiple generations of moviegoers, said Dave Hollis, Disney’s executive vice president of distribution. “It gives us that big burst,” he said. “Frozen” became its own juggernaut in 2013, coasting on strong weekends for months to a domestic haul of $400 million.

On This Day in Disney: Fun and Fancy Free Premieres

In the early ’40s, Disney was working on two full-length animated feature films, Bongo and Mickey and the Beanstalk. When war broke out at the height of their development, it was decided to create a “package feature,” combining the two stories in a single film, Fun and Fancy Free, which was released on this day in 1947.

The package feature format helped Disney to provide entertaining films throughout the war, allowing audiences an escape from the realities of the world’s problems if only for a short while. Jiminy Cricket returned to the screen, with Cliff Edwards reprising his role as the cricket’s voice, and served as the guide between segments of the lighthearted film. His opening number, “I’m a Happy Go Lucky Fellow” was actually written for him to sing in Pinocchio.

The story of Bongo was told through song by Dinah Shore, a very popular singer at the time. At one time during the early stages of Bongo, thought was given to developing the film into a follow up to Dumbo using some of the same settings and supporting cast. The animation segments were tied together with live-actions ones, featuring popular ventriloquist Edgar Bergen and his puppet characters Charlie McCarthy and Mortimer Snerd. The trio was joined by Disney starlet, young Luana Patten, all of whom are worked into the story of Mickey and the Beanstalk. At one point, Foulfellow and Gideon were considered for the villains who swindle Mickey out of his cow, but the animated due did not make it to the final film. Billy Gilbert was an actor and comedian known for his comedic sneezes, but his voice work for Disney spanned epic proportions. Not only was he the voice of the Willie the Giant in Mickey and the Beanstalk, but he also was Sneezy the Dwarf in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

Wreck-It Ralph 2 Officially Announced by Disney

He’s gonna wreck it! Again!

Disney announced Thursday that a sequel to its 2012 film Wreck-It Ralph is officially in development over at the studio’s animation arm, slated for release on March 9, 2018. The sequel was unofficially announced earlier this spring by star John C. Reilly, who voices the titular not-so-bad bad guy.

In Wreck-It Ralph 2, Reilly will once more return to voice video game villain Wreck-It Ralph, who in the first film had to reconcile his archetype of arcade boss with his real desire to become a hero. Concept art released during the announcement on Facebook Live shows Ralph going digital, standing with sidekick Vanellope over billboards parodying Google and Amazon.

“It’s top secret but I’ll tell you this much… Ralph leaves the arcade and wrecks the Internet,” Reilly teased. “What could go wrong?”

Rich Moore, who directed the first film (and recently guided Zootopiato its billion-dollar box office), will co-direct the sequel with Phil Johnston, who co-scripted the original (with Frozen’s Jennifer Lee).

Though recent Disney Animation Studios pictures have been heralded as unprecedented successes, Ralph also made an impressive showing when it hit theaters in November 2012. The movie, released in 3D, pulled in $189 million domestically and just under $500 million worldwide, becoming the 12th-highest grossing film of that year.

From Entertainment Weekly

‘Zootopia’ Zooms Past $1Billion Worldwide

Disney Animation Studios’ Zootopia has crossed the $1 billion mark at the global box office, becoming the second film of 2016 to achieve the milestone after fellow Disney title Captain America: Civil War.

Zootopia is only the fourth animated title in history to reach $1 billion after Disney Animation’s Frozen ($1.277 billion), Illumination Entertainment’s Minions ($1.159 billion) and Pixar’s Toy Story 3 ($1.063 billion), not accounting for inflation.

Zootopia

Zootopia, has grossed $337.2 million domestically and $662.8 million internationally.

Disney now boasts 11 of the 26 films that are members of the elite billion-dollar club.

Netflix Exclusive Disney Movie Deal in U.S. Kicks In This Fall

Netflix’s exclusive deal with Disney for pay-TV window rights to the Mouse House’s movie titles in the U.S. will commence in September.

Under the pact — signed three and a half years ago — Netflix will become the exclusive U.S. pay-TV home of the latest films from Disney, Marvel, Lucasfilm and Pixar, chief content officer Ted Sarandos wrote in a blog post Monday. Currently, Starz has the “pay one” output rights to Disney titles in the States.

Netflix’s U.S. rights cover Disney movies starting with 2016 theatrical releases, which means American streaming subs will not have access to “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” Instead, Starz will have streaming rights to the blockbuster space epic in the U.S.

Zootopia

Disney’s 2016 movie slate includes “Zootopia” as well as “The Jungle Book,” “Captain America: Civil War,” “Alice Through the Looking Glass,” “Finding Dory,” Steven Spielberg’s “The BFG,” “Pete’s Dragon,” “Doctor Strange,” “Moana” and “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.”

“The 2016 (Disney) releases will start rolling on in September and we’ll share specific dates/titles closer to their premiere on the service,” a Netflix rep said.

Meanwhile, Netflix also disclosed that several older Disney titles will be leaving the service in June. Those include “Hercules” (June 1) as well as “Mulan” and “Hunchback of Notre Dame” (June 24); Disney movies that will remain include “Tarzan,” “Robin Hood,” “Lilo & Stitch” and “Emperor’s New Groove.”

Emperor's New Groove

In Canada, Netflix’s output deal with Disney began with 2015 releases after the previous agreements for the pay-TV window with Corus Entertainment and Bell Canada expired (which means subs in the Great White North will have access to “Force Awakens”).

Star Wars Force Awakens

From Variety

Disney’s ‘Zootopia’ Opens Big With $73.7 Million Debut

Disney’s “Zootopia” scored the fourth biggest March opening, debuting to $73.7 million over the weekend.

The animated story about a rabbit who joins the police force outstripped “Frozen,” the 2012 blockbuster that bowed to $67.4 million. With no major family film opening until “The Jungle Book” lands on April 15, “Zootopia” is well positioned to be the defacto choice for moviegoers with children for the next month. Disney did not release a budget, but most animated films cost in excess of $100 million. “Zootopia” screened in 3,827 locations.

“There’s an absence of competition,” said Dave Hollis, Disney’s distribution chief. “We are set up to have a big, big run.”

Overseas, where “Zootopia” has been playing for three weeks, the film added another $63.4 million to its haul, pushing its global total to $232.5 million. The film continues a sterling comeback run for Disney Animation, which had reached a creative and commercial nadir in the early aughts with the likes of “Home on the Range” and “Treasure Planet.” Since Pixar’s Ed Catmull and John Lasseter took the reins following Disney’s 2006 acquisition of their company, the animation arm has roared back to life, fielding hits such as “Frozen,” “Tangled,” and “Wreck It Ralph,” and winning Oscars.

“They brought a focus on quality,” said Hollis. “They recognize that quality is the best business plan.”

‘Zootopia’ Could Score $75M Weekend After Mammoth $19.5M Friday

With all of the talk about prime release dates and would-be blockbuster seasons, there is a long and healthy history of animated features kicking proverbial box office butt in the first few months of the year. We’ve got The LEGO Movie, the first two Ice Age movies, Rio and Rio 2Rango, and a bunch of DreamWorks Animation movies scattered around this general area (Monsters v AliensThe CroodsHow to Train Your Dragon) over the years. Due to happenstance or circumstance, Walt Disney hasn’t released an in-house major-league toon in this spot since Meet the Robinsons way back in 2007. And now, with basically every other animation distribution channel having its way with the pre-summer season, it’s time for the Mouse House to kick a little butt here too. Enter Zootopia, which may well be the fairest of them all.

Bolstered by clever marketing campaign (including viral posters that spoofed popular and Oscar-nominated 2015 releases), near-perfect reviews, and the good fortune of having an uncommonly crowd-pleasing trailer play on nearly every single theatrical print of Star Wars: The Force AwakensZootopia kicked off the month with a terrific $19.469 million Friday. The Friday figure includes $1.7m worth of Thursday previews, which is a record for a non-Pixar  Walt Disney animated feature. The hard Friday number is merely the second best in this relative calendar point for an animated film. It trails only Ice Age 2 ($21m back in 2006) and is ahead of Monsters v Aliens ($16.7m in 2009), The Lorax ($17.5m in 2012), and The Lego Movie ($17m in 2014) regarding animated openings for this period.

Now, where Zootopia ends up over the weekend is merely a point of math. Ice Age: The Meltdown and Rio 2 were a bit frontloaded, earning 3.1x their Friday figures while The Lorax  snagged just over 4x its Friday figuresas kid-driven matinee business exploded over Saturday and Sunday. So expect a weekend between $60 million and $78m, with the happy medium being $67.5m. Disney would love to best the $67.5m Fri-Sun opening weekend of Frozen (biggest Fri-Sun for a Disney toon), to say nothing of the $69m debut haul of The LEGO Movie or the $70m opening of The Lorax. Inflation notwithstanding, if they can hit $70.5m, they will have topped all but Monsters University ($82m), Inside Out ($90m), and Toy Story 3 ($110m) among Pixar openings.

If the Ginnifer Goodwin/Jason Bateman/Idris Elba animated film noir/race relations parable tops the $62.7 million debut of Inception, it’ll be among the ten biggest debuts for an original movie of all time. If it tops $70.5m, it’ll be the third largest behind Avatar ($77m) and Inside Out ($90m). Concerning animation, a $68m debut puts it 16th on the list of all-time animated debuts while a $70.5m debut puts it ninth and a $75m debut edges The Simpsons ($74m) for eighth place. So there’s a lot of wiggle room depending on that multiplier.

Either way, this is a fantastic opening for a terrific movie and a huge win for art and commerce. I wish the picture weren’t as painfully timely as it happens to be, but that won’t hurt its reception or its bottom line. Oh, and it crossed $100 million worldwide on Friday (including $12.3m in its first two days in China), so it’s got that going for it too.

From Forbes