Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Stealth Franchise

Hollywood Reporter's magazine says* this:

... [The first four Tinker Bell movies] ... each were made for $30 million to $35 million and together have grossed $225 million in U.S. DVD sales. ... Overseas, the films play in theaters, bringing their total DVD-plus theatrical gross to north of $335 million worldwide for DIsneyToon Studios. ...

"It's been a great driver across multiple lines of business for us," [says Disney exec Andrew Millstein.] "Even though it isn't the first thing people think about when they talk about franchises at the Walt Disney company."

Funny this should be a story in THR, even as Disney employees tell me the series of Tink movies is wrapping up. (Could they be wrong?)

A few years back, Toons people were saying there was going to be nine or ten Tinker Bell features. But then studio head Richard Ross pared the number back, and the total is now up to six. Now the Tinker Bell saga is allegedly ending, and though Disney still is involved in the direct-to-video biz, overall sales are a fraction of what they were in the glory days of video cassettes:

... "The Return of Jafar," the home-video sequel to "Aladdin," began selling in supermarkets and retail stores across the country Wednesday [May 18, 1994], and copies are flying off shelves faster than a magic carpet ride. "Jafar" moved 1.5 million cassettes in the first two days, out-pacing the early video sales of two recent Disney classic releases, "The Fox and the Hound" and "Pinocchio."

Industry experts predict that "Jafar," with a suggested retail price of $22.99, will eventually sell more than 10 million units to rank among the 10 top-selling videos of all time. This is for a musical that was made for a song in Disney's TV animation division, did not have the benefit of being seen in movie theaters first and has been received coolly by critics. ...

"Aladdin," the most successful animated film in movie history, has grossed $486 million worldwide in theaters. Disney's merchandising for "Aladdin" was greater than any previous Disney film, with a record 24 million videocassettes sold, a triple-platinum soundtrack album, 20 million story and activity books in print and a Sega Genesis video game with sales pushing 1 million copies. ...

If the unoccupied spaces inside DizToon Studios are any indication, the stealth franchise is spinning to its end. And the studio is moving on.

* THR doesn't say it on-line, so there is no link.


Kryzon said...

I'm a big fan of the Tinker Bell films and I want more. I'll do my part and buy the Blu-rays and DVDs.

What I don't understand is, if DisneyToon Studios don't have anyone else working on Tinker Bell features, who is going to receive the material produced by Prana Studios for The Legend of the Neverbeast -- the next installment in the series -- set for Spring 2015?

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