IMAX says it is making this move in response to customer demand. Viewers are beginning to shy away from 3-D films and their higher price tag. Production studios are also moving in that direction. Warner Brothers has already decided to release Blade Runner 2049 exclusively in 2D. With Disney releasing some of its biggest hits in the next few years (e.g. Avengers, Star Wars, etc.), the question is where Disney will fall on this spectrum.
Listen to the full episode of this week’s podcast below:
Will Disney Still Make 3-D IMAX Movies?
This leaves an open question as to how studios will react to this shift by theaters. Disney has an agreement with IMAX through 2019 to make sure some of its biggest films are played on the biggest screen. It will be telling if Disney releases any of the upcoming Marvel films exclusively in 2-D.
One thing that is certain is that Disney won’t fight against audience trends. In fact, The studio recently showcased a new infrared facial recognition technology that it is using to try and zero in on what audiences want. This new technology is being used on test audiences and allows them to recognize more than 16 million facial expressions. The hope is that this technology will lead to a more accurate read on the reaction of a test audience than the standard forms that are filled out.
This new software could allow Disney to test reactions from audiences on a 2-D vs 3-D presentation and then release the film in the optimum format for viewer enjoyment. And whether in 2-D or 3-D, the end goal for both theaters and studios should be viewer enjoyment.
New Thor: Ragnarok Trailer Brings the Laughs
Speaking of enjoyment, the new Thor: Ragnarok trailer debuted at Comic-Con and has received rave reviews. Without a doubt, this is the most excited I have ever been for a Thor movie. And I can’t believe we still have three full months to get through before it hits. Director Taika Waititi estimates the film will be about 100 minutes long, which would make it the shortest film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Ragnarok is also Marvel’s last chance to have a one billion dollar movie this year. Four out of the past five years, Marvel has had at least one film make one billion dollars at the global box office. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 tapped out around $850 million and I don’t think Spider-Man: Homecoming will have the legs to reach one billion.
It’s not the end of the world if Marvel doesn’t have a billion dollar film and it says absolutely nothing about fan appetite for superheroes (although I’ sure some analyst will say it does.) In the end, it just means Marvel took a year off before they inevitably destroy the box office with Avengers: Infinity War next year.
Fans Too Critical for Avengers: Infinity War Trailer
In an interview with Comicbook.com, Co-Director Joe Russo told us why we haven’t seen a full trailer for Avengers: Infinity War yet. After mentioning a few things about making sure special effects were just right, he went on to say:
There are certain things in this footage at Comic Con that works for a specific Comic Con audience. But when we go wide to a wide audience, we have to make sure that footage works for a wide audience.
Ed and Kristin pointed out that this is likely a move by Marvel to protect the film. Fans can ruin a movie in YouTube and Facebook comments. Those who may have been interested in the movie could easily be swayed to stay home based on the reaction of a few anonymous posters.
It’s a real danger studios are having to work around these days and it will be interesting to see how the Russo brothers navigate this challenge. That said, I can’t wait to see the Infinity War trailer when it does hit.
Saving for Disney World
Fans were shocked to find out that Disney ended its “Disney Vacation Account” program. The program allowed customers to save for Disney vacations directly with Disney. In return, Disney would give a $20 bonus for every $1,000 a customer saved, effectively a 2 percent interest rate. Disney closed the program over a lack of participation.
There seemed to be a misunderstanding among fans that this program didn’t cost Disney anything. In fact, Disney would have had all of the same expenses of an online banking institution, (e.g. staff, SEC filings, interest payouts), and none of the profit on interest from loans to recoup those dollars. Without enough participation to bring in new guests, Disney was basically spending a lot more to get the same guests it always received.
What Makes a Disney Legend?
Disney Legend Marty Sklar passed away this week. He was literally one of the men who built the Disney company with his bare hands and fans owe him a great deal of thanks. However, his death made me contemplate the term “Disney Legend.”
At the D23 Expo this past year we saw Oprah Winfrey, Stan Lee, and Whoopi Goldberg confirmed as Disney Legends. We talked about it before, but it didn’t really bother me until I saw Marty Sklar’s obituary name him as a Disney Legend.
I felt insulted that the contributions Oprah has made to Disney would even be described as similar to the contributions of Sklar. He is on an entirely different planet in terms of importance to Disney. But I’ve also been hit with a startling realization in the form of Fred MacMurray.
Disney Legend Fred MacMurray
Fred MacMurray was the first Disney Legend. Walt Disney personally cast Fred in the Studio’s first live-action comedy, The Shaggy Dog. And while Fred was important to Disney, it’d be hard to say that he built the studio. In fact, he is best known as the widower father Steve Douglas in My Three Sons from 1960 to 1972.
Were he confirmed today, I’m sure Fred would be in that “Oprah category” of Disney legends. We Disney fans would scream, “What makes him A Disney Legend over Ollie Johnston?” But Disney had selected a panel of who’s who at the company to make the choice, and for whatever reason they chose MacMurray. Marty Sklar was on that panel.
So if MacMurray was a good enough Disney Legend for Sklar, maybe Oprah can be good enough for me. Regardless of how you feel about the others, we did lose a true Disney Legend.
The Lion King will be Available on Digital and FandangoNOW on August 15, followed by the Blu-ray™ and DVD release from Disney on August 29.
Get tickets to the evening under the stars at Ticketmaster or at The Greek Theatre box office.
Marvel gets tax credits to produce Captain Marvel in CA.
Cast list for Wrinkle in Time
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/lists/a-wrinkle-time-cast-characters-whos-who-1022153 (and if you are looking for Who’s Who? That would be Mindy Kaling. Couldn’t resist the joke – Ed)
Also Captain Marvel won’t be in Infinity War.
Disney’s new “reality” experience.
Check out Disney’s influence on the Minimum Wage in Orlando