Walt Disney Company and its subsidiaries are working overtime to stuff the 2015 movie theater schedule. Marvel, Pixar, and Lucasfilm will each release two blockbuster movies, ending with the highly-anticipated Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Disney will compliment the line-up with five of its own films, including two live-action reboots of classic animated favorites.
According to Forbes Magazine, the Disney’s full schedule run down goes as follows.
January 23 –Lucasfilm’s Strange Magic
February 20 —McFarland, USA
March 13 — Cinderella
April 17 — Monkey Kingdom
May 1 — Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron
May 22 —Tomorrowland
June 19 — Pixar’s Inside Out
July 17 — Marvel’s Ant–Man
October 9 —The Jungle Book
October 16 — DreamWorks’ Untitled Steven Spielberg Cold War Spy Thriller
November 25 — Pixar’s The Good Dinosaur
December 18 — Lucasfilm’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Forbes described the jam-packed schedule as the “year of the mouse.”
It’s a strong showing from every major corner of Walt Disney’s entertainment empire, which has rapidly expanded in the past decade. In 2006, Disney bought Pixar, the animation studio that created Toy Story, Finding Nemo, and most recently, Monsters University, adding the creative talent of John Lasseter and his team to Disney’s assets.
Disney then went after Marvel comics, giving them hundreds and hundreds of heroes and villains to work with. Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy was the high-grossing movie in the U.S., according to the Daily Mail, proving that even Marvel’s minor comic series can be box-office gold.
Then, in 2013, there was Walt Disney Company’s most controversial buy – Lucasfilm. Controversial because Disney almost immediately gave the greenlight for a new set of Star Wars films without George Lucas, although he did give his approval in the end.
But that’s all just history now.
The real question is, will the “year of the mouse” mean good movies?
Each of the companies is following its tried-and-true path to success. Marvel’s making superhero movies, Pixar is making touching computer-animated films, and Lucasfilm is making Star Wars.
Walt Disney Studios will make two live-action films based on animated classics, the Jungle Book and Cinderella, a formula that seemed to work fine for Maleficent. And one movie based on part of Disneyland, Tomorrowland, follows in the footsteps of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies.
With almost all the movies having a successful predecessor of sorts, the “year of the mouse” also promises to be a year of minimal risk for the studios.
Even Steven Spielberg’s still-untitled spy thriller seems far from being a wildcard. According to UPI, the film is starring Tom Hanks as real-life cold-war negotiator James Donovan, who secured the release of spy plane pilot Francis Gary Powers from the Soviets. Given the films director, star, and story, it seems like another sure bet.
All-in-all, it looks like it will be a good year for the Walt Disney Company.