The Summer of Disney - Why 2019 belongs to the House of Mouse
1 May 2019
Disney’s recent acquisition of 21st Century Fox has solidified the company’s reputation as an unstoppable force of nature, with many now wondering just what Disney’s cinematic output will look like in the years to come. To that end, I simply ask these same folks to draw their attention to 2019’s release schedule which, with the exception of a few entries from other production houses, reads like a plan for Disney’s world domination.
Let’s start with the live-action remakes of some of Disney’s most beloved properties. At this point, a fair amount of you will have taken a trip down to the cinema to see Tim Burton’s take on Dumbo – the daring little elephant who could. With such a high-profile director at the helm, and an A-list cast featuring the likes of Colin Farrell and Michael Keaton, Dumbo’s production budget soared to an estimated US$170 million, and yet it’s just one of three live-action remakes we can expect this year.
Towards the end of May, audiences will once more get to plunge into the Cave of Wonders when Guy Ritchie’s Aladdin hits the scene. At this point, Disney’s latest take on the classic tale is sure to attract audiences out of sheer curiosity to see how Will Smith’s interpretation of the Genie stacks up against the much-lauded performance of Robin Williams.
Just under two months later, we’ll be walking back through the gates of the Disney castle, this time to revisit the Pride Lands and see John Oliver take on his toughest role yet – a talking hornbill. Jon Favreau’s The Lion King seems destined to make us blubber yet again at the now beloved, Shakespearian-inspired tale of a young cub on his quest to be king. The fact that Mufasa’s original voice actor – James Earl Jones – will be reprising his role, means that it’s already got my money.
Three tent-pole films (four if you count Maleficent: Mistress of Evil, but it’s a sequel so we don’t), and yet we haven’t even broached the year’s biggest feature. I don’t think it’s hyperbolic to say that Avengers: Endgame will be the highest grossing film of 2019. Just like Infinity War before it, Endgame is prepped and ready to decimate the box office. Thanos himself would be impressed.
Over these next few months, there are very few films poised to take down the unprecedented line-up from the House of Mouse. Rocketman, the upcoming biopic of legendary musician Elton John, could disrupt Aladdin’s release (with both films opening just two days apart), but Detective Pikachu could be the sleeper hit that Warner Bros is most definitely hoping it’ll be. One thing is for certain, the future is paved with Disney dollars, and we’re just along for the ride.