Disney’s 2017 lineup just became even bigger.
Thursday, at the company’s annual shareholder meeting, CEO Bob Iger announced “Star Wars: Episode VIII” will be released May 26, 2017.
The addition of “Star Wars” to the summer schedule is huge. It gives the Mouse House two big releases for the month of May. A followup to “Guardians of the Galaxy” is set to debut at the top of the month.
May will be the start of a huge summer 2017 for Disney, one which should definitely be envied by other studios.
In February, Marvel Studios and Sony Pictures announced a huge partnership that will allow Spider-Man to appear in future Marvel movies. The deal included a new Spider-Man movie that will hit theatres July 28, 2017.
With Spidey and “Star Wars” in the summer lineup, Disney’s 2017 has the possibility of becoming one the studio’s biggest years — if not the best — at the box office.
That’s saying something because 2015 is expected to be a huge one for Disney, which owns Marvel.
The studio will release two of this year’s most anticipated films: “The Avengers” sequel “The Avengers: Age of Ultron,” and “Star Wars: Episode VII.”
The first “Avengers” film grossed over $US1.5 billion worldwide. “Star Wars” on its own has the potential of becoming the highest-grossing movie of all time. Analysts have predicted the sequel could hit $US2 billion at theatres worldwide. The Guardian made a case that “Episode VII” could be the first $US3 billion film. (For reference, 2009’s “Avatar” made $US2.7 billion worldwide.)
So how is 2017 shaping up?
The addition of Spider-Man gives Walt Disney Studios three Marvel movies in theatres that year. In general, the Mouse House puts out two per year.
Disney, which owns Lucasfilm, Pixar, and Marvel Studios under its umbrella of movie-making vehicles, will also put out a long-awaited “Toy Story” sequel. A fifth “Pirates of the Caribbean” film with Johnny Depp is also expected.
Here’s a look at Disney’s big movies for 2017 so far:
|Release date||Movie||Disney property|
|May 5, 2017||“Guardians of the Galaxy 2”||Marvel|
|May 26, 2017||“Star Wars: Episode VIII”||Lucasfilm|
|June 16, 2017||“Toy Story 4”||Pixar|
|July 7, 2017||“Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales”||Disney|
|July 28, 2017||untitled Spider-Man movie||Marvel / Sony Pictures|
|Nov. 3, 2017||“Thor: Ragnarok”||Marvel|
Another Pixar movie, currently untitled, may be released in November.
The Street’s Chris Katje predicts three of those, “Toy Story 4,” “Spider-Man,” and “Star Wars,” will be at least $US1 billion movies.
The “Spider-Man” estimate may be a bit high considering the two most recent films featuring the hero each failed to crack $US800 million at the box office. (The highest-grossing “Spider-Man” movie is 2007’s critically panned “Spider-Man 3,” with $US890 million.)
With five Spider-Man movies between 2002 and 2014, it is unclear how receptive people will be to a third Spider-Man reboot in such a small time period.
However, fans are pretty excited for Spidey’s triumphant return to Marvel. After the announcement was made, Marvel became a trending topic on Twitter, with the hashtag #WelcomeHomeSpiderman becoming a favourite on the social media site.
If anyone is able to bring the webslinger back to the big screen, it’s Disney’s well-oiled Marvel Cinematic Universe.
One thing’s for sure, Disney’s lineup is going to be incredibly tough for other studios to compete with. If it all pans out, the company could have four billion-dollar movies come 2017.
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