The Lion King became the surprise hit of the year as the top film in a record breaking September at the US box office. The film has taken more than $80 million since the 17 year old film was released in a new 3D conversion.
Could re-releasing old films be the saviour of 3D films following dwindling interest from the general public? More likely that people just wanted to see a Disney renaissance classic on the big screen again.
The Lion King was already the highest grossing 2D animation of all time and this re-release comes at the perfect time for nostalgic young parents whose children are the perfect age to appreciate the animated animal greatness. If it’s nostalgia that people want the house of mouse are giving the people what they want.
Over the next couple of years Disney and Pixar are set to release four classic films starting with Beauty and the Beast in January 2012.
Then it will be Pixar’s turn with Finding Nemo taking the September slot in the hope that it can emulate this year’s success.
January 2013 will see Monsters Inc back in cinemas just in time to build buzz for the release of the prequel Monsters University later in the year. That will be follwed by The Little Mermaid which will be released in June of 2013.
The most recent Disney princess movies have been critical successes but with their long production schedules and large budgets they haven’t made as much as might have been expected. The hand drawn The Princess and the Frog took just over $265 million world wide from a $110 million budget.
The computer animated retelling of Rapunzel, Tangled, faired far better taking almost $600 million but that was from a budget in excess of $260 million.
Despite the costly 3D conversion process this could prove to be a very smart move by Disney. With regular animation in the cinemas it will remind the public exactly what they do best, perhaps paving the way for a whole new batch of Classics.
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