Disney mines fairy tales for box-office gold
DISNEY'S production line for the coming years will see the company doubling down on a strategy of dusting off animated classics for live-action remakes or reboots that has so far netted more than US$2 billion (S$2.7 billion).
The latest offering, The Jungle Book, debuted on Friday. It has extended Disney's winning streak, grossing more than US$300 million worldwide over the weekend and trouncing rivals in North America.
Over the coming months, Alice Through the Looking Glass and Beauty And The Beast will fill cinemas and the wallets of shrewd studio executives, with several more adaptations reportedly in the pipeline.
Even casual moviegoers will have spotted that Disney's back catalogue of fairy tales has been raided in recent years for moneyspinners like Alice In Wonderland, Cinderella and Maleficent, which made a combined US$2.5 billion.
Shawn Robbins, a senior analyst at BoxOffice.com, said it was "not a stretch of the imagination" to envisage the company revisiting most of its classic animations.
The Hollywood trade press have been buzzing with rumours and half-confirmed stories about Dumbo, Pinocchio, Cruella, Genies - a riff on Aladdin - and many other fairy tales which could make it once again to the big screen.
Disney declined to comment on its long-term strategy but analysts say the writing is on the wall for the future.
"In Disney's case, the appeal of remakes to moviegoers is still in its prime. Twenty years from now, that may not be the case. Twenty years after that, who knows?" Mr Robbins told AFP.
The Jungle Book's director, Jon Favreau, told AFP that modern-day Disney was merely following what the likes of its co-founder Walt Disney and Star Wars director George Lucas had always done.
"Take old myths, old stories, old archetypes, old characters and do it using cutting-edge technology," noted Favreau, 49.