‘Thor: Ragnarok’ Pushes Disney to $5 Billion Worldwide in 2017 Box Office

“Thor: Ragnarok” has pushed Disney past the $5 billion mark at the 2017 worldwide box office for the third year in a row.

Disney said Thursday that it’s become the first and only studio to have reached this threshold for three consecutive years. The current totals are $1.76 billion domestically and $3.24 billion internationally.

Disney-Marvel’s “Thor: Ragnarok” is expected to surpass $800 million globally on Thursday. Of the 17 films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it is the seventh to reach this milestone and the third to do so this year.

Disney also noted that it’s responsible for four of the top nine highest-grossing films of the year, including “Beauty and the Beast” with $1.26 billion ($504 million domestic and $759.7 million international); Marvel Studios’ “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” with $863.6 million worldwide; and “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales” with $794.8 million worldwide.

Other major titles include Pixar’s “Cars 3” ($383.5 million global) and “Coco” ($178.9 million global) as well as two 2016 titles — Lucasfilm’s “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” with $309.3 million during 2017 and Walt Disney Animation Studios’ “Moana” with $252 million during 2017.

Disney’s final release of 2017 is “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” which is opening day-and-date in most of the world on Dec. 15. Early tracking has estimated that the ninth “Star Wars” movie will open at around $200 million domestically in its first weekend.

From Variety

 

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Disney Casts Chinese Actress Liu Yifei in Live-Action ‘Mulan’

Disney has enlisted a Chinese actress to star in the title role of its live-action version of “Mulan.”

Liu Yifei, who also goes by Crystal Liu, will play the legendary Chinese warrior in the 2019 epic, Walt Disney Studios announced Wednesday.

Niki Caro, who directed “Whale Rider,” “North Country” and Disney’s “McFarland, USA,” will helm the project, Disney said, and Jason Reed, Chris Bender and Jake Weiner will produce. “House of Flying Daggers” and “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” producer Bill Kong will be executive producer.

The upcoming film is inspired by the “Ballad of Mulan,” in which a young woman impersonates a man to take her father’s place in the army, and Disney’s 1998 musical adaptation of the poem, which grossed more than $120 million at the domestic box office and $304 million worldwide. Music from the animated film also earned an Academy Award nomination.

Well known in China as a model and singer, the 30-year-old Yifei has appeared in “The Forbidden Kingdom” with Jackie Chan and “Outcast” with Nicolas Cage. She also stars in this year’s Mandarin-language fantasy adventure movie “Once Upon a Time,” which is not to be confused with ABC’s fantasy series that also featured a Mulan character played by Jamie Chung.

The studio searched for a year to find the right Mulan and considered nearly 1,000 candidates for the role, the Associated Press reported.

While several studios have faced stark criticism for whitewashing their films, Yifei’s racially sensitive casting was lauded on Twitter, much like the studio’s casting of a Middle Eastern actor for the lead role in its live-action “Aladdin” earlier this year. Many also voiced support for the diverse, star-studded cast of Disney’s live-action “The Lion King” adaptation, announced earlier this month.

From the Los Angeles Times

Disney’s ‘Prince Charming’ Movie Lands Writer-Director Stephen Chbosky

Stephen Chbosky, whose drama Wonder opens this weekend, has signed on to tackle a Disney fairy tale.

The writer-director will pen, with an eye to helm, Prince Charming, the studio’s reimagined take on the fairy and folk tale trope.

The movie reunites Chbosky with David Hoberman and Todd Lieberman of Mandeville Films/TV, who produced Wonder. Hoberman and Lieberman are producing Prince Charming along with Tripp Vinson.

Matt Fogel wrote the initial script for the project, which is a revisionist take on the character popularized in Disney’s own fairy tale movies such as Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella. The story takes a look at the iconic prince from the point of view of his brother, who never quite lived up to the family name.

Chbosky wrote the book and then subsequently penned and directed the film adaptation of The Perks of Being a Wallflower, the acclaimed 2012 teen drama the starred Logan Lerman, Emma Watson and Ezra Miller. He also worked on Disney’s live-action Beauty and the Beast (which also was produced by Mandeville) as a writer.

Wonder is the adaptation of the R.J. Palacio young adult novel that tells the story of a boy born with a facial deformity who enters fifth grade. The movie, which stars Julia Roberts, Owen Wilson and Jacob Tremblay, has been receiving strong reviews.

From The Hollywood Reporter

Disney Announces Marvel Super Heroes Come to Disneyland Paris in Summer 2018

At Comic Con in London, Vice President Franchise Creative and Marketing for Marvel Studios, Dave Bushore and Creative Director of Disneyland Paris, Mark Huffman announced that the Marvel Super Heroes are coming to Disneyland Paris in the summer 2018 from June 10 to September 30.

Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, Spider-Man, Star-Lord and Black Widow will appear for the first time exclusively at Disneyland Paris in summer 2018 in a special Marvel Summer of Super Heroes season. Your favorite heroes will be featured in the Walt Disney Studios Park for exciting meet & greets and breathtaking, epic shows.

But that’s not all for Marvel fans at Disneyland Paris. Disneyland Paris is also re-imagining from October 2018 one of its Resort Hotels into a universe that would make Tony Stark proud. Disney’s Hotel New York – The Art of Marvel will transport guests to the action-packed, inspiring world of Super Heroes including Iron Man, The Avengers, and Spider Man among others, and will open within 2020.

Don’t miss Marvel Summer of Super Heroes and join some of your favorite characters at Walt Disney Studios Park. It will be THE big event of 2018 and will close out what has already been an unbelievable celebration of Disneyland Paris’ 25th Anniversary.

Disney Plans to Produce Original Content for New Streaming Service

Everybody is getting into the streaming business. Not content to sit back and let Netflix have all the fun, Disney is getting ready to launch their own streaming service. And just like Netflix, they now plan to create their own original movies and TV shows. Get the details on the Disney streaming service below.

Breaking up can be hard. The seemingly tranquil relationship between Disney and Netflix is nearing its end, and we’re all about to become children of this divorce, pulled in two directions by our streaming parents. In August, Disney CEO Bob Iger announced that Disney would be forming their own streaming service, and promptly pulling their content off of streaming platforms like Netflix. Iger called the move “a strategic shift in the way we distribute our content,” although later he walked things back slightly and said that while Disney’s own films were definitely expected to move to their new streaming service, the fate of Star Wars and Marvel films was still being determined. That changed rather quickly, however, when Iger later confirmed that Marvel and Star Wars titles would move as well.

Now Iger is doubling-down on the Disney streaming service, giving more details as to why Disney is making the move (via Heroic Hollywood):

“[W]hat we’re doing is we’re taking product out there direct-to-consumers, a sports product in 2018 and a Disney-branded product in 2019. And we’re doing that because we experienced and see a huge disruption in the media business. It doesn’t take a genius, I think, to conclude that the media business today doesn’t look anything like the media business even five years ago. At some point, we felt it would be necessary for us to not only be disruptive but to disrupt our business ourselves. The decision to do that came when we felt we were no longer seeing a speedbump of disruption, which is basically something that occurs, changes things a bit and we react to it. What we were seeing instead was real, profound and permanent change.”

And that’s not all. Just as Netflix has grown their brand by producing their own TV shows and movies, so shall the Disney streaming service. Per Iger:

“We’ll make original films for the platform, probably about five a year. Those will be made specifically for the platform. And we’ll do the same for television. We’ll make original TV series; we’ll take Disney Channel series and move them eventually to this platform. And we’ll also fill it in with shorts and other library product. So it’ll have thousands of hours of Disney, Marvel, Pixar and Star Wars-branded product on it.”

Iger claims the streaming service will produce at least five new films per year, along with original series. The Disney streaming service is expected to go live some time in 2019, which gives Netflix plenty of time to send a really nice Edible Arrangement to the Disney offices with a card begging them not to go.

From SlashFilm

Disney Releases Updated Film Release Schedule…Aladdin and Star Wars Episode IX Get Release Dates

A dream is a wish your heart makes, and today, Walt Disney Studios made kids’ and parents’ dreams come true when it announced the release dates for 20 (!!!) upcoming films, including the live-action Aladdin and the highly anticipated Star Wars: Episode IX. 

Mark your Disney princess calendar, because here are all of the upcoming House of Mouse film releases through the end of 2019. Bibbidi-bobbidi-boom!

Thor: Ragnarok: November 3, 2017
Coco: November 23, 2017
Star Wars: The Last Jedi: December 15, 2017
Black Panther: February 16, 2018
A Wrinkle in Time: March 9, 2018
Dolphins: April 20, 2018
Avengers: Infinity War: May 4, 2018
Untitled Han Solo Project: May 25, 2018
The Incredibles 2June 15, 2018
Untitled Christopher Robin Project: April 3, 2018
The Nutcracker and the Four Realms: November 2, 2018
Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2: November 21, 2018
Mary Poppins Returns: Decembe 25, 2018
Dumbo: March 29, 2019
Untitled Toontown Studios Film: April 12, 2019
Live-Action Aladdin: May 24, 2019
Toy Story 4: June 21, 2019
Artemis Fowl: August 9, 2019
Nicole: November 8, 2019
Star WarsEpisode IX: December 20, 2019

From PureNow

Ewan McGregor to Star in Disney’s ‘Christopher Robin’

Ewan McGregor is in talks to star in Disney’s Christopher Robin.

Disney’s live-action film, which will be helmed by World War Z and Quantum of Solace director Marc Forster, centers on the child from the A. A. Milne’s Winnie the Pooh stories — but he’s all grown up.

McGregor will play the adult Christopher Robin, who’s lost his sense of imagination and is a businessman focused on work and success.

The studio also is bringing in Oscar-nominated screenwriter Allison Schroeder (Hidden Figures) to take a new pass of the script. Alex Ross Perry wrote the screenplay, with Tom McCarthy working on a later draft.

Milne’s Christopher Robin was inspired by and named after his own son, Christopher Robin Milne. He wrote about the character in two books, Winnie-the-Pooh (1926) and The House at Pooh Corner (1928), and other poems. Disney adapted the tales into several animated projects, including the 1988 series The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh and the 2011 animated film Winnie the Pooh.

The Jungle Book producer Brigham Taylor is producing the project.

McGregor was most recently seen in Danny Boyle’s T2 Trainspotting and Disney’s live-action Beauty and the Beast with Emma Watson. He stars in the third season of FX’s hit Fargo, which premiered April 19, playing twins Emmit and Ray Stussy. He’s also attached to Drake Doremus’ next film, Zoe, with Lea Seydoux. He’s repped by UTA, United Agents in the UK and Sloane Offer.

Schroeder wrote the script for Fox’s hit film Hidden Figures, which was nominated for three Oscars, including best adapted screenplay. She is repped by Verve and Good Fear Film + Management.

From The Hollywood Reporter

Disney Announces Release Dates for Frozen 2 and Live Action Lion King

The Walt Disney Studios has just updated its release schedule—which means it’s time for Disney fans to update their calendars!

Some release dates are simply worth melting for… Frozen 2 has been scheduled to open on November 27, 2019. Development of the sequel to the blockbuster film from Walt Disney Animation Studios was announced in March 2015, with the Oscar®-winning team of directors Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee and producer Peter Del Vecho returning to continue the adventures of the characters fans first fell in love with in 2012.

The Lion King, directed by Jon Favreau, will open in theaters on July 19, 2019. Actor James Earl Jones is reprising the role of Mufasa in the live-action reimagining of the Disney animated classic, and Donald Glover is voicing the adult Simba in the new film. The savanna and its amazing inhabitants will come to photorealistic life through technology that builds upon the innovative filmmaking audiences loved in Favreau’s adaptation of The Jungle Book.

Of course, those aren’t the only opening dates you’re going to want to circle in red. Take a look at this list for 2017 and 2018—and set those calendar alerts. There’s a lot of popcorn in your not-too-distant future, and there’s always room for surprises, too! Stay tuned to D23 for all of the updates about these films, and more to come in the future.

2017

May 5—Marvel Studios’ Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

May 26—Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

June 16—Cars 3

November 3—Thor: Ragnarok

November 22—Coco

December 15—Star Wars: The Last Jedi

2018

February 16—Black Panther

March 9—A Wrinkle in Time

April 6—Magic Camp

May 4—Avengers: Infinity War

May 25—Untitled Han Solo Star Wars Anthology Film

June 15—The Incredibles 2

July 6—Ant-Man and The Wasp

November 2—Mulan (Live-Action)

November 21—Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2

December 25—Mary Poppins Returns

‘Beauty And The Beast’ Ends Week Three With $920 Million

Another day, another Beauty and the Beast update. The Walt Disney blockbuster earned $3.2 million on its third Thursday, bringing its domestic total up to $407.3m in just 21 days. Presuming an over/under $25m fourth weekend, the film is looking at a 24-day total of slightly above $430m as it starts to lose theaters. But if that

But if that fourth-weekend drop is a little smaller than expected, it’ll be because 1,200 theaters will be getting a new Sing-Along version of the Emma Watson/Dan Stevens musical, just as Walt Disney did for Frozen and Moana.

Moana dropped just 8% on the weekend its sing-along version opened wide for a $2.4 million weekend. But, in that case, A) the film expanded by nearly 600 theaters and B) Moana was coming off a few Oscar nominations.

Back at the end of January 2014, Frozen fell just 2% on the weekend its “sing-along” version debut and bounced back from No. 4 to No. 2 in that weekend’s box office. It earned $8.9 million, outgrossing both new releases (That Awkward Moment and Labor Day) and giving it one final shot in the arm before The LEGO Movie blew into town. This time out, it’s one last ride before Fate of the Furious rolls into town.

So we’ll see how that plays out, as the Disney musical and DreamWorks Animation’s The Boss Baby fight it out for the (arbitrary) top spot. But either way, there isn’t that much more to offer until we get some solid weekend numbers as the $160 million-budgeted musical moves its way further up the all-time charts.

In terms of overseas muscle, the film earned another $6 million overseas to bring its foreign cume to $512.7m and its global cume to a whopping $920m thus far. As of this moment, it is the 22nd-biggest domestic grosser of all time (not accounting for inflation or 3D bumps) and the 41st-biggest global earner ever, just above Shrek 2 ($919m back in 2004 and in 2D).

There are no new overseas markets this weekend (South Africa is next weekend and Japan is the weekend after that), so it will need several more days to claw up to the $1 billion mark. Beyond that, it’s just a matter of seeing just how far it’ll go.

From Forbes

‘Beauty and the Beast’ Dominates for the 2nd Straight Week

Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” waltzed into the top spot at the box office for the second week in a row, earning an estimated $88 million, according to Box Office Mojo.

The live-action feature, starring Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Kevin Kline and Ian McKellen, has raked in more than $315 million in 10 days. In addition, “Beauty and the Beast” brought in more than $119 million overseas, bringing its worldwide total to more than $690 million.

“Power Rangers,” starring Naomi Scott, RJ Cyler, Ludi Lin, Becky G. and Dacre Montgomery, had an impressive opening weekend, earning an estimated $40.5 million for a second place finish. “Kong: Skull Island” took third place with a $14.4 million haul.

“Life,” released last week and starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Ryan Reynolds and Rebecca Ferguson, had a disappointing fourth place finish, taking in an estimated $12.6 million.

Here are the top 10 movies from Friday through Sunday, with estimated weekend gross ticket sales:

  • 1 – Beauty and the Beast, $88 million
  • 2 – Power Rangers, $40.5 million
  • 3 – Kong: Skull Island, $14.4 million
  • 4 – Life, $12.6 million
  • 5 – Logan, $10.1 million
  • 6 – Get Out, $8.68 million
  • 7 – CHIPS, $7.6 million
  • 8 – The Shack, $3.78 million
  • 9 – The LEGO Batman Movie, $1.97 million
  • 10 – The Belko Experiment, $1.8 million

From ABC News