Well, that didn't take long. With "The Lion King" back on store shelves today, Disney executives are likely a bit bummed the theatrical re-release gravy train for the movie is coming to an end. Taking in about $80 million dollars in the past few weeks, everyone has been blown away by the 3D re-release of the film. Powered by its long absence on DVD thanks to Disney's practice of super limited release windows for their movies on home video, coupled with a drought of family fare in September, the studio raked in much more than anticipated in what was likely originally envisioned as just an expensive marketing gig for the new BluRay/DVD release. But they recognize a cash cow when they see it, so get ready Moms and Dads, because there are more on the way.
Disney/Pixar have announced that they're going into the vault and dusting off "Beauty And The Beast," "Finding Nemo," "Monsters Inc." and "The Little Mermaid" all for 3D releases over the next few years. You get what you ask for people.
First up will be "Beauty And The Beast" arriving on January 13, 2012. Unlike, "The Lion King," this was just reissued in a brand new spiffy edition last year, but it's all about release dates. January is completely dry of any other new family films, so Disney will likely still make a mint on this one from parents who need to park their kids somewhere out of the house for a couple of hours. Smart play. Replicating "The Lion King" date almost exactly, "Finding Nemo" will swim into theaters on September 14, 2012 and again (at least so far), it's the lone family movie in sight, and again, even though it's on DVD, it's something to give the kids to do.
Continuing the January/September format, "Monsters Inc." will hit on January 18, 2013 and will serve as a good refresher before the prequel "Monsters University" lands on June 21, 2013. Finally, "The Little Mermaid" will come ashore on September 13, 2013.
We don't expect Disney to be alone in mining their catalog to squeeze more money out of existing titles. "Ghostbusters" is already returning this month in a very limited run and of course, George Lucas will continue taking money from gullible "Star Wars" fans as he begins his rollout of the revamped films to theaters next year, with one arriving annually. So get ready America, a lot of movies you own on DVD are headed back to the cinema.