DisneyStudios rebounds from the abrupt resignation of its chairman by elevating an internal talent to lead
the company’s live-action and animated feature labels, including Walt Disney Pictures, Touchstone, Miramax and Disney/Pixar.
Ross earned his promotion by proving to be a master brand builder at the Disney Channel and its myriad worldwide offshoots. His appointment signals the Mouse House plans to focus heavily, though not exclusively, on franchises that not only drive B.O. but can also generate biz for other divisions like TV, licensing and merchandising, homevid and online.
That’s a full day for most anyone, so let’s focus on that and conveniently forget he also gets saddled with
- the music group
- Broadway theatrical productions
- touring shows a la High School Musical and Disney on Ice
At the risk of trying to over simplify one of those problems, the box office, or B.O., may rid itself of some stink thanks to a franchise that is taking the plunge into S3D with both feet: Toy Story.
Opening in third place was Disney’s 3-D versions of its two Toy Story movies, which raked in $12.5 million. They are in theaters for a two-week limited run.
As the Hollywood Reporter explains, it may be a setup for the third installment due to arrive in 2010, but it did draw slightly more than the $10 million guess-timate. Variety builds on that, to add
If nothing else, the “Toy Story” double feature demonstrates that films produced with no thought of 3D can be adapted to it with great success; I’m sure that, after umpteen DVD and Blu-ray special editions, the arrival of “The Wizard of Oz” and “The Lord of the Rings” in 3D is only a matter of time
Yes, franchises such as Star Wars are already rumored to be in the works, and Disney/Pixar is sitting on re-watchable children fare just waiting for that stereoscopic treatment, such as
- Finding Nemo
- Monsters, Inc
Do you really think if the box office leader board has three (or two, depending on who you ask) S3D movies in the top ten, more you won’t be seeing more transfers sent out there? And later on, re-mastered onto Blu-Ray disc, for you to watch on your HDTV?
That’s a nice segue to another mile-stone from Disney this week. The Diamond Edition release of Snow White. This may well turn into a benchmark campaign for the Mouse House, welcoming copy cats left and right. It boasts, for Disney at least, the usual deluxe edition:
- Blu-Ray with re-mastered animation and sound
- standard DVD
- Digital copy on DVD
On top you may also pile on these interesting strategies:
- staggered release time between BD and DVD only packaging
- trade in of previously purchased edition
- fancy jewelry sweepstakes
The net effect is to provide one set for the entire family to enjoy, regardless of what their situation may be today, with the intent of upgrading at some point if need be, and also the ability to take it on the go. All that is missing is the one day pass to the theme park and the guarantee that you may trade up to the S3D version in a few months.
You have to hand it to Mr. Ross. With Toy Story, he’s setting up the future by re-inventing the past, bread and butter use of the Disney vault, only updated for the digital age:
- S3D re-release in theaters
- iPhone app
- ring tones
- mobile updates
He also has a nice pipeline to boost the box office release going forward, not to mention a new pool of talent to choose from (see Marvel acquisition). Looks like Mr. Ross has all the friends he needs.