Disney says Go Big or Go Home – Fewer Sequels, More Cross Marketing

Sandra Bullock had a banner year in oh-nine with The Blind Side and The Proposal. The latter only cost $40million to make, and raked in an impressive $315million worldwide. That’s no Avatar, but still with results like that, there is going to be a sequel in the works right?

Well that’s how it works isn’t it? Apparently not how Disney rolls lately.

NYMag says:

The studio behind the original hit has told the producers that it’s not interested in making a follow-up to one of its biggest 2009 hits. It’s all part of Disney’s new edict to make, essentially, only two kinds of films: The $150 million-plus blockbuster with lots of CGI and merchandising (i.e., anything that was once a ride at Disneyland or already a Disney title; anything old or new from Pixar; or a major character at Marvel Studios, for which it paid $4 billion last year) or the $30 million project with young, cheap, on-the-cusp movie stars. (Think Freaky Friday, a Disney-associated title which the studio is talking about making yet again, just seven years after the Lindsay Lohan remake.) “Everything in the middle,” says one producer on the Disney lot, “is toast.”

I like this approach for a couple reasons.

First, it means that films with a good showing wont be forced into unneccessary sequels unless they see serious return on investment. They are not concerning themselves with just boxoffice for cash, they want to be able to sell merchandise. Well as much as Bullock made for an appealing hardass executive with a hidden creamy center, she wouldn’t do well on a lunchbox, or toy. So they are letting it exist on its own as a complete project and looking forward.

So instead of just beating the dead horse trying to bleed the boxoffice of another round like Miss Congeniality 2, or Legally Blonde Even Blonderest, they are satisfied with telling stories that have an end, that stand on their own. Films that don’t cost a lot to make that could potentially have a big return at the boxoffice.

Of course this doesn’t rule out sequels, as it seems they are more than willing to mine and market the crap out of anything that can earn them the duckets. Cars might be widely considered the least favourite of Pixar’s stellar lineup, but even after 4 years since the film was released they are STILL able to sell toys based on the franchise. So of course they are getting a sequel. To sell more toys.

So we will continue to get the same magic from Pixar and Disney, with less dead horse beatings, and more toys. All things we already see from Disney, with some nice stand alone complete stories in the middle.

This all seems like a very sensible plan for the House of Mouse, after spending almost $10billion acquiring Pixar and Marvel in the last decade.

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