MickeyBlog News and Updates for August 5, 2018
We’ve got some movie news, some park news, and some restaurant news. It’s an unusually straightforward edition of MickeyBlog News! So, let’s get started with all the Disney news and updates!
Christopher Robin Does Okay
We’ve previously chronicled the staggering 2018 Disney movie lineup. This year alone, the Walt Disney Company’s entertainment division has released three (!) of the nine most successful movies of all-time…and it’s just the first week of August!
With so many desirable products, Disney simply cannot market all of them effectively. It’s a law-of-averages deal. In fact, from a business perspective, the company WANTS some of them to fail in order to get tax write-offs against the unprecedented box office performances of Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War.
I say all of this to cushion you for the disappointment of the latest Winnie the Pooh movie. The film opened to $25 million this weekend in North America, which is less than tracking data had suggested. It’s a frustration for the studio, as Forbes once ranked Winnie the Pooh as the top-earning fictional character back in 2002.
When Disney faced a lawsuit from the family of AA Milne, reports indicated that Winnie the Pooh is worth $6 billion annually. A few years later, Disney won the lawsuit, ending an 18-year dispute. Due to appeals, however, the character’s licensing was in question all the way up until 2013. Christopher Robin represents the first mainstream movie since this resolution, and Disney once had high hopes for the film.
Alas, Christopher Robin becomes the third box office letdown of the year for Disney, following A Wrinkle in Time and Solo: A Star Wars Adventure. The Winnie the Pooh offering had a production budget of $75 million, which is about what it should earn in North America. Its overseas prospects looked a little better last week before – and this is not a joke – China banned the film due to its perception as a symbol of anti-government resistance. That’s bizarre, right?
A Few Other Disney Movie Items
An amazing stat is that Disney currently claims $3 billion in domestic box office. The specifics of this involve a few milestones from this week. Black Panther officially became the third movie ever to earn $700 million domestically. Ant-Man and the Wasp reached $195.5 million as of Sunday and will soon become the latest Marvel Cinematic Universe title to pass $200 million, probably by Friday.
Internationally, The Incredibles 2 is the big story. It crossed the coveted $1 billion box office mark the other day. Only 34 films ever have reached this mark. Disney has three this year alone! Giving them credit for Star Wars, they own 18 of the 34 properties that have reached a billion and will gain another with Avatar once the Fox deal is completed next year.
Hollywood is all Disney these days.
If you’re worried about Christopher Robin, don’t be. The primary reason for the film’s release is reinvigorating the Winnie the Pooh brand. Merchandising sales drive many of Disney’s movie and television strategies. They’ll earn exponentially more from Winnie the Pooh toy sales than they ever would with Christopher Robin.
Speaking of Ant-Man…
We’ve known for a while that Hong Kong Disneyland will receive a new Ant-Man attraction. The park lacks ride exclusives, which positions them in a competitive disadvantage against Shanghai Disneyland. Since the parks are 760 miles apart, the competition factor isn’t ruinous, but they’re close enough that one impacts the other at least somewhat.
In other words, Hong Kong Disneyland needs its own stuff. The new Ant-Man ride is the first step in differentiating the park from the other Disney locations around the world. And Disney just revealed the name of it. Ant-Man and The Wasp: Nano Battle! will arrive in 2019. It will become a critical step in the park’s multi-year renovation plan, which is already underway and will continue through 2023. Disney describes the new Ant-Man and the Wasp attraction thusly:
“When a routine trip to the S.H.I.E.L.D. Science and Technology Pavilion at Stark Expo takes an unexpected turn, guests join forces with Ant-Man and The Wasp in S.H.I.E.L.D.’s state-of-the-art vehicle to fight against Arnim Zola and his army of Hydra swarm-bots in a heroic battle. Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lilly, the stars of the “Ant-Man” films, also appear in this all-new, interactive attraction.”
When this attraction opens, Hong Kong Disneyland will have a pair of exclusive attractions that aren’t available anywhere else. More importantly, both of them are Marvel-based, making them more valuable. Ant-Man and The Wasp: Nano Battle! will be a huge addition when it debuts.
New Restaurant Coming to Disneyland
This isn’t breaking news or anything, but Adventureland will get another restaurant over the next few months. Disney had previously revealed that they’re opening a place called The Tropical Hideaway. It’s going in the spot between Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room and Jungle Cruise in Disneyland.
I’m mentioning The Tropical Hideaway today because Disney has recently started construction on the project. They’ve walled off parts of Disneyland as they work to repurpose the former Aladdin’s Oasis space. Imagineers are also working on the Enchanted Tiki Room right now with the goal of making it more accessible. The belief is that the attraction will re-open later this year, and it’s possible that the new restaurant might, too. If not, The Tropical Hideaway should be ready in early 2019.
New Live Show at Raglan Road
Chandler Bing once summarized his fear of Michael Flatley, Lord of the Dance, by stating, “His legs flail about as if independent from his body.” That’s a great deal of Irish dancing described in one joke. Well, Raglan Road at Disney Springs is an Irish pub that loves culturally authentic performances. It advertises itself as, “the life and soul of Ireland.”
To prove this point, Raglan Road has introduced a new entertainment show. Dubbed The Rhythms of Raglan Dance Show 2018, it’s a nightly performance originally created in Ireland. Raglan Road imported it and now hosts the 90-minute show for its customers. You’ll find a violinist strumming tunes while several women and men flail their legs about as if independent from their bodies.
Raglan Road was already a destination restaurant due to its food and drink. The dance show is simply the icing on the proverbial cake.
The Pro Bowl Is Back!
For many years, the best part of an NFL player earning a Pro Bowl spot was the destination. The game was perennially hosted in Hawaii. Since Disney is a major sponsor/broadcaster of the NFL, however, they recently lured the game to Orlando for the first time.
In 2019, the city of Orlando will once again host the game at Camping World Stadium. If you’re an NFL fan who wants to see the league’s best players in action, you should plan to visit early next year. The Pro Bowl will take place on January 27th, 2019. You should speak with a MickeyTravels agent to combine the NFL game with a Disney trip! The ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex hosts several NFL-related activities the week of the game.