Disney’s 2015 Movie Slate Features 12 Movies, Including ‘Star Wars’ and More Marvel


Walt Disney Studios cemented its 2015 slate earlier this week and it could be a huge year for the studio. There are two Marvel movies on the way and the studio also has the first Star Wars movie in a decade and two new Pixar movies.

While the blockbusters are getting the most attention, Variety notes that the studio does have a few smaller releases ready to go. There will be another Disneynature movie on the way, Monkey KingdomMcFarland, USA will be 2015’s mid-budget sports movie, following in the footsteps of Million Dollar Arm.

Disney will also release another live-action version of an animated classic, Cinderella, which stars Lily James in the title role.

Marvel will begin the summer blockbuster season with Avengers: Age of Ultron on May 1. Then, Brad Bird’s highly anticipated Tomorrowland will open on May 22. The second Marvel movie is Ant-Man, due out on July 17.

Pixar has two films, after not releasing any in 2014, and both are original stories. Inside Out will be out on June 19 and the long-delayed The Good Dinosaur finally hits the big screen on Nov. 25.

This year’s Dreamworks release will by Steven Spielberg’s untitled Cold War thriller, which stars Tom Hanks.

Last but not least, this year will see the first Lucasfilm releases since Disney bought the studio in 2012. The George Lucas-written animated film Strange Magic opens on Jan. 23. Star Wars: The Force Awakens is due out on Dec. 18.

Here’s the full list of Disney’s 2015 releases:

Jan. 23: Strange Magic (Lucasfilm)
Feb. 20: McFarland, USA (Disney)
March 13: Cinderella (Disney)
April 17: Monkey Kingdom (Disneynature)
May 1: Avengers: Age of Ultron (Marvel)
May 22: Tomorrowland (Disney)
June 19: Inside Out (Pixar)
July 17: Ant–Man (Marvel)
Oct 9: The Jungle Book (Disney)
Oct. 16: The Untitled Steven Spielberg Cold War Spy Thriller (DreamWorks)
Nov. 25: The Good Dinosaur (Pixar)
Dec. 18: Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Lucasfilm)

An Afternoon Under the Sea: Celebrating 25 Years of The Little Mermaid


Event Date: Saturday, November 15

Location: The Walt Disney Studios

In 1989, Disney made its first animated musical fairytale since Sleeping Beauty, and it became a cultural phenomenon, jump-starting what many fans call “The Second Golden Age of Animation.” It’s been 25 years since audiences first met Ariel, Prince Eric, Flounder, and Sebastian, and to celebrate, D23 Members are invited to an afternoon under the sea to experience the film with its creators, and take home a little piece of its history.

Take a seat in the historic Walt Disney Studios Main Theatre, and don’t worry about needing a snack: Each ticket includes a bottle of water and popcorn to enjoy during our screening of the film on the big screen. The film’s directors, Ron Clements and John Musker, will make a special appearance to discuss the creation of The Little Mermaid, and take a look back at 25 years of it being part of our world.

To commemorate the occasion, every guest in attendance will receive a limited-edition reproduction of a color model cel from the film, straight from Disney’s Animation Research Library. This will not be sold in stores, and is being created especially for D23 Members and their guests at this event.

Guests will also have the opportunity to shop at the Disney Studio Store and purchase items only available on the Studio Lot!

Available Exclusively to Gold and Silver Members

You will be required to show your D23 membership card.


Commemorate the film’s 25th anniversary with a screening at The Walt Disney Studios, a discussion with directors Ron Clements and John Musker, and a limited-edition gift!


$30 per person. Tickets available October 24 at 10 a.m. PT, please check here for the link.


Screening begins at 2 p.m., please arrive at The Walt Disney Studios to check in no earlier than 1 p.m.

NOTE: Available only to D23 Gold and Silver Members in good standing. Members may reserve a space for themselves and one (1) guest. There are a limited number of spaces available. D23 Members will be required to provide their membership number when reserving a space. Entrance may be provided only with a valid photo ID AND D23 MEMBERSHIP CARD. D23 Members who do not bring their membership card may not be admitted to the event. Ticketed members who do not attend the event forfeit their place as well as all experiences, benefits, and gifts associated with the event. If you wish to request sign language interpreting services for this event, please submit your request to GuestRelations@D23.com at least two weeks prior to the event date. All D23 Special Events are subject to change without notice. Tickets are non-refundable and non-transferable.

Disney DVD’s Land in Amazon Jail Over Fee Dispute

Courtesy of The Disney Blog
Courtesy of The Disney Blog

From the Chicago Tribune

Amazon.com blocked the pre- order option of Walt Disney hit movie “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” and other titles in disk form, repeating a tactic used in disputes with publisher Hachette and Warner Bros.

“Maleficent,” another Disney summer blockbuster, also isn’t available for DVD pre-order on Amazon’s website. The world’s largest online retailer still offers both movies in pre- order on its online streaming service.

Amazon’s clashes with media companies have intensified in the past months as the Seattle-based company seeks to use its heft in markets from books to home video to demand better terms from its vendors. While the dispute with Time Warner’s Warner Bros. is getting resolved, the spat with French publisher Hachette Book Group is escalating.

“They are squeezing studios on DVD pricing, understandable given their market position,” said Michael Pachter, an analyst at Wedbush Securities who rates Amazon the equivalent of a hold. “Disney can’t cut them off, and Amazon can cut Disney off, so I would say Amazon has the leverage.”

Home Media Magazine reported the disappearance of the pre- order option for some Disney DVDs, also including “Muppets Most Wanted” and “Million Dollar Arm,” last week. When Amazon removed pre-orders for Warner Bros. titles from mid-May to late June, it was the first time it used the tactic during negotiations with a movie studio, Home Media Magazine said.

Paul Roeder, a spokesman for Burbank, Calif.-based Disney, declined to comment. Amazon didn’t return calls seeking comment.

Studios count on the home-entertainment market, including DVD sales from Amazon, to help deliver profits. In fact few films reach profitability in theaters because studios split ticket sales with exhibitors.

“Captain America” is the top-grossing movie in U.S. and Canadian theaters this year, with ticket sales of $259.5 million, according to researcher Box Office Mojo. “Maleficent” is fourth.

Among the Warner Bros. pre-orders that Amazon blocked for about a month earlier this year were “Transcendence” with Johnny Depp and “The Lego Movie,” the second top-grossing movie this year. Those titles are now available.

In digital-book sales, Amazon dominates with a 60 percent share of the market, according to Forrester Research. The online retailer also helped pioneer the e-book market with the introduction of the Kindle device in 2007.

Last week, Amazon made its case for lower book prices in its standoff with Hachette, saying that sales of titles go up when prices are cut, based on data gathered on its website. For every copy of an e-book that sells at $14.99, Amazon would sell 74 percent more e-books if priced at $9.99, the retailer said.

A letter signed by more than 900 authors was published in The New York Times on Sunday, urging readers to tell Amazon Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos what they think of the disagreement over the price of digital books. Amazon had itself asked readers to contact Hachette CEO Michael Pietsch last week.

“Just as paperbacks did not destroy book culture despite being ten times cheaper, neither will e-books,” Amazon said in a letter on its website, readersunited.com. “We will never give up our fight for reasonable e-book prices.”

Amazon also appealed directly to authors in a letter last month, offering them all of the proceeds from the sale of any e- book during the dispute.

Walt Disney Archives Introduces a New Exhibit on the Walt Disney Studios Lot

Walt Disney Archieves Logo

Since 1970, the Walt Disney Archives has built up an astonishing collection of all things Disney. Recently, after a small renovation of its Frank G. Wells Building facilities, the Archives staff had the chance to refresh its exhibit spaces to showcase more of its diverse collection, including items that have been tucked away for awhile.

Upon entering the Archives Reading Room, the first thing you’ll notice is a detailed recreation of an animator’s office from 1940—the year The Walt Disney Studios debuted its new Kem Weber-designed facility. Complete with original furniture, the display brings the best of the then-new studio to life. Objects in the Archives’ merchandise display were also refreshed.

While a few key items, like the first version of the Mickey Mouse watch, remain from the pre-renovation display, there is now an assortment of popular Mickey Mouse Club and early Disneyland merchandise prominently showcased, as well. Keep your eyes peeled; you may recognize something from your own collection! Also added to the Reading Room displays are items that Walt featured in his formal and working offices through the years. These include a Praxinoscope (an early animation device from 1879 that Walt favored so much he used it on the Disneyland television series), and the Disney family crest that the master showman had on display in his working office. The original watercolor painting of Walt used for the December 27, 1954 cover of Time magazine, painted by one of the publication’s most prolific artists, Boris Chaliapin, is also on display.

Inside the Archives isn’t the only place where some recent changes have occurred. New displays in the Frank G. Wells Building lobby include an exhibit dedicated to “Disney’s Sporting Life,” featuring props, costumes and set decorations from some of Disney’s most memorable sports-related productions. This unique display includes Dean Jones’ racing costume from The Love Bug (1969), a polo shirt worn by Denzel Washington in Remember the Titans (2000) and a costume worn by Suraj Sharma inMillion Dollar Arm (2014). Another exhibit, “Disney Music Makers,” features musically related props and instruments from several Disney properties that will surely pull at the heartstrings of fans of all ages. Jimmie Dodd’sMickey Mouse Club “Mousegetar” can be found alongside musical objects from Captain EOHaunted Mansion andBedknobs and Broomsticks, to name just a few. Also on display in the lobby is an exhibit celebrating Donald Duck’s 80th anniversary. Consisting of vintage character merchandise, production artwork, and ephemera, this display showcases everyone’s favorite irascible fowl. D23 Members will have the rare opportunity to see this new exhibit and enjoy a two-and-a-half-hour tour of The Walt Disney Studios and Walt Disney Archives, hosted by D23 and the Archives staff on November 8. For this particular tour that will celebrate the holidays, you will also see a piece of Disney history from The Santa Clause. The Archives staff invites you to visit these exciting new displays and hopes to see you real soon!

‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ Rockets to $94 Million Domestic Debut


“Guardians of the Galaxy,” Walt Disney Company’s offbeat space adventure featuring extraterrestrial misfits and a talking raccoon, made $94 million in ticket sales this weekend, setting a record for an August film opening.

The film’s strong beginning, however, isn’t likely to jumpstart a lackluster summer box office season.

The 3D movie, which stars lesser-known characters in Disney’s Marvel comic book universe, added $66.4 million from international markets, for a global debut of $160.4 million, Disney said on Sunday.

“Guardians” outgunned last weekend’s leader, the science-fiction thriller “Lucy” that collected another $18.3 million in sales at domestic theaters, according to estimates from Rentrak.

“Lucy” stars Scarlett Johansson as a woman with a super-powered brain.

“Get On Up,” a biography of the soul singer James Brown, was third with $14 million in its first weekend in theaters.

“Guardians” stars an ensemble cast that includes Zoe Saldana, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper and Chris Pratt. After positive reviews, the film was the year’s biggest Thursday night opening with $11.2 million in sales starting with 7 p.m. shows.

Even before the film’s opening, Walt Disney said it was planning a sequel for release in July 2017.

Head of distribution for Walt Disney Studios Dave Hollis attributed the strong performance of “Guardians” to a combination of momentum started by “Transformers: Age of Extinction” in June, skillful marketing, and strong reviews.

“It starts with a great movie, and certainly the marketing was inspired,” Hollis said.

Disney had marketed the film’s lighter moments in trailers and commercials, including a machinegun-firing raccoon, to expand its popularity beyond traditional Marvel movie fans.

The movie features a soundtrack of music from the 1970s, including the songs “Hooked on a Feeling” and “Spirit in the Sky.”

“Transformers: Age of Extinction,” another Marvel film, just passed $1 billion in global box office returns, according to Paramount Pictures.

“Guardians” performance, which beat Hollywood forecasts of a $65 million to $80 million opening, are not likely to energize the summer box office, however, as ticket sales are currently running 18 percent behind last year, according to Rentrak.

“It doesn’t end it but it’s certainly a step in the right direction,” said Rentrak’s senior media analyst Paul Dergarabedian about the slump.

It only gave the overall summer box office a two percent lift, he said.

“Hercules,” starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson as the legendary muscle man, was fourth for the weekend with $10.7 million.

“Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” was fifth with $8.7 million. The film has totaled more than $189.3 million in sales in U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Rentrak.

‘Maleficent’ is the Top Grossing Non-Super Hero Movie of the Year


Movie-going audiences don’t seem to be growing weary of super hero movies, since they keep turning out in droves to see movies like ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’ and ‘X-Men: Days of Future Past’.  One fierce contender though managed to distinguish herself from the spandex fest, Angelina Jolie as Disney’s classic evil fairy ‘Maleficent’.  The movie has now crossed the $600 million mark, making it the highest grossing, non-super hero movie of 2014 so far, besting hits like YA adaptations ‘Divergent’ and ‘The Fault Of Our Stars’ and even the well-received ‘Godzilla’ reboot.

‘Maleficent’ has hung in there and continued to draw viewers while other movies have come and gone.  Keep in mind, grosses are drawn from all territories, which could point to Angelina Jolie being one of the few movie stars that is guaranteed to draw viewers, world wide.  Internationally, a lot of films rely on bankable stars to drive ticket sales.  Is Jolie’s undeniable star power the only factor?  Perhaps not.  The story of ‘Maleficent’ builds upon Disney’s popular classic ‘Sleeping Beauty’.  Surely that helped sell the film to many, just as Disney’s ‘Once Upon A Time’ draws viewers to that hit show by drawing from Disney’s vault of popular hits.

The film’s writer, Linda Woolverton is certainly benefiting.  It seems highly likely that Disney will be building on ‘Maleficent’ with additional films and will probably turn to Woolverton to script them as well, just as she is currently working on a follow-up to 2010′s Tim Burton-directed ‘Alice In Wonderland’ entitled ‘Through The Looking Glass‘.

Disney Developing Live-Action Version of ‘Dumbo’

Dumbo (1941) Directed by Ben Sharpsteen  Dumbo

Get ready to see some elephants fly.  Disney has begun developing a live-action adaptation of the 1941 animated classic Dumbo about a baby circus elephant who magically learns to fly with the help of his jumbo ears. The movie will be penned by Transformers writer Ehren Kruger and will add an additional family story line to the film that parallels Dumbo’s in the original tale.

Dumbo is just the latest live-action adaptation of a Disney animated classic to come from the Mouse House after Maleficent opened last month and upcoming titles like CinderellaThe Jungle Book and Beauty and the Beast all currently being adapted. One would assume though that the character of Dumbo itself is still likely to be created with the help of CG animation technology.

D23 Announces Mary Poppins 50th Anniversary Celebration

Mary Poppins Opening Credits

Mary Poppins had its practically perfect premiere on August 27, 1964, and D23 is celebrating 50 supercalifragilisticexpialidocious years since its debut with a celebration at the place it was made: The Walt Disney Studios! Dressing up is encouraged, whether you’re a sooty chimney sweep, a rosy-cheeked nanny, or even a dancing penguin!


It’s a jolly holiday with a screening, rarely seen footage, a Walt Disney Archives exhibit, and an exclusive pin!


$30 per person. Tickets available Wednesday, June 18 at 10 a.m. PT, check here for link.


Screening begins at 2 p.m., please arrive at the Walt Disney Studios to check in no earlier than 1 p.m.

D23-Exclusive Commemorative Gift
To commemorate the occasion, every guest will receive an exclusive pin(left). Inspired by part of the pass guests received at theMary Poppins premiere, this pin was created just for this celebration and will not be sold in stores.

Walt Disney Archives Exhibition
The Archives will also curate a special exhibit featuring pieces from the film. Guests will enjoy a screening of Mary Poppins in the historic Walt Disney Studios Theater, plus rarely seen footage of the film’s Hollywood premiere and video captured behind the scenes of the production.

NOTE: Members may reserve a ticket for themselves and one (1) guest. D23 Members will be required to provide their membership number when reserving tickets. Tickets may be picked up only with a valid photo ID AND D23 MEMBERSHIP CARD. D23 Members who do not bring their membership card may not be admitted to the event. Ticketed members who do not attend the event forfeit their place as well as all experiences, benefits, and gifts associated with the event. All D23 Special Events are subject to change without notice. There are no cancellations or refunds, and tickets are not transferable.

Walt Disney Studios Introduces Cinderella

Cinderella Movie Slipper

The story of “Cinderella” follows the fortunes of young Ella (Lily James) whose merchant father remarries following the death of her mother. Eager to support her loving father, Ella welcomes her new stepmother (Cate Blanchett) and her daughters Anastasia (Holliday Grainger) and Drisella (Sophie McShera) into the family home. But, when Ella’s father unexpectedly passes away, she finds herself at the mercy of a jealous and cruel new family. Finally relegated to nothing more than a servant girl covered in ashes, and spitefully renamed Cinderella, Ella could easily begin to lose hope. Yet, despite the cruelty inflicted upon her, Ella is determined to honor her mother’s dying words and to “have courage and be kind.”

She will not give in to despair nor despise those who mistreat her. And then there is the dashing stranger she meets in the woods. Unaware that he is really a prince, not merely an apprentice at the Palace, Ella finally feels she has met a kindred soul. It appears her fortunes may be about to change when the Palace sends out an open invitation for all maidens to attend a ball, raising Ella’s hopes of once again encountering the charming Kit (Richard Madden). Alas, her stepmother forbids her to attend and callously rips apart her dress. But, as in all good fairy tales, help is at hand, and a kindly beggar woman (Helena Bonham-Carter) steps forward and – armed with a pumpkin and a few mice – changes Cinderella’s life forever.

Adventures by Disney Announces Disneyland Trip for runDisney’s Avengers Weekend

ABD - Avengers Half

Disney and Marvel fans Assemble! Adventures by Disney just announced an exclusive, special departure that will propel you on a power-packed vacation of a lifetime. From November 10 – 16 of this year, the Adventures by Disney Southern California: Disney Backstage itinerary is packing extra might by providing you access to the inaugural runDisney Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon Weekend.

Not only will this trip include a rare, behind-the-magic private tour of The Walt Disney Studios, but you and your family can receive access to the Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon and 5K (currently sold out!), including two group pre-race runs and access to the nighttime ‘Pasta in the Park’ party. The trip will also take you on a tour of Walt Disney Imagineering and The Jim Henson Company, which are not regularly open to the public.

Let your Disney Side show with a two-day, VIP experience at the Disneyland Resort, with special FASTPASS service to multiple rides at Disneyland park and Disney California Adventure park. You will also get a private tour ofWalt Disney’s Disneyland apartment and the Disneyland Dream Suite.

This mighty seven-day, six-night itinerary will unleash your inner super hero for a magical family vacation of a lifetime. For more information on the other iconic and glamorous activities included in this trip, please click here, or call 1-800-543-0865 for dates, availability and to make reservations.

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