MickeyBlog News for July 21, 2019
Disney movie news dominated the headlines this week, but the parks had a couple of bombshells, too. Let’s get you brought up to speed in the latest edition of MickeyBlog News!
The Lion King Rules the Box Office Jungle Once Again
When Disney released The Lion King in 1994, it became one of the most dominant box office performers in history. By the end of that year, it had firmly entrenched itself in second place all-time on the worldwide box office chart.
The film would remain in the top five until 2006 (!) and the top ten until 2011. Yes, The Lion King became such a blockbuster that its performance stood for more than 15 years after its release. Once Disney started remaking their classic animated films as live-action titles, the return of The Lion King was a foregone conclusion.
Audiences happily returned to the Pride Lands of Africa this weekend, as the 2019 version of The Lion King dominated the box office. It opened to a spectacular $185 million this weekend. Notably, The Lion King is already the number six domestic release of 2019 after three days in theaters.
Also, while we’re on the subject, if you know any haters complaining about The Lion King remake, tell them this. The film received an A Cinemascore, the second-highest possible. Disney and Lion King fans love the movie. It’s only those who have an axe to grind against Disney who are stirring up trouble.
Global Box Office Stats
Overall, The Lion King will become the sixth (!!!) Disney movie this year to earn $800+ million. It started with $531 million worldwide this weekend, although it technically started in some territories last weekend. It’s already one of the top 200 films ever after three days of the official release.
Also, here’s a stunning stat for you courtesy of my wife, box office analyst Kim Hollis. Presuming that you count Spider-Man: Far From Home as a Disney release (it’s technically Sony, but…), the company is responsible for the six worldwide box office hits this year. It’s Disney’s world, and we’re all just living in it.
Speaking of which, the other huge story this weekend is one that Disney revealed at Comic-Con. Avengers: Endgame is officially the number movie of all-time, finally overtaking Avatar to claim the title.
Speaking of Marvel…
The Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Phase Three is officially over. At Comic-Con, Marvel executives were ready to look forward with their announcements. They revealed a batch of 10 upcoming projects, some of which are theatrical releases. Others are limited television series that will screen on the upcoming Disney+ service.
In order of release, the movie titles are Black Widow, Eternals, Shang-Chi: The Legend of the Ten Rings, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, and Thor: Love and Thunder.
The television shows are Falcon and the Winter Soldier, WandaVision, What If…?, hawkeye (with a small “h” for some reason), and Loki. All of these movies and TV series will debut at some point during 2020/2021. I’ll offer a detailed analysis of them later this week.
The Disney Skyliner Is Only Two Months Away!
During 2019, rampant speculation has centered on the arrival of the Disney Skyliner. Guests are chomping at the bit to participate in this new form of Walt Disney World transportation. Like the monorail, it’ll feel like a ride as much as a practical method of reaching the parks.
Many Disney analysts had linked the debut of the Skyliner with the opening of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, which will happen on August 29th. The Disney Skyliner won’t quite make that date, at least not officially. However, it’ll be close. The confirmed opening for the gondola system is September 29th. Soon, my pretties!
Out with Citricos, in with…WHAT???
For the longest time now, Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa has struggled to differentiate between its two Signature Dining experiences.
Many frequent hotel guests deem Narcoossee’s and Citricos as indistinguishable, even though they have vastly different menus. The interchangeable styles are problematic.
Disney’s chosen to combat this problem in an unexpectedly aggressive manner. According to published reports, they’re renaming and re-theming Citricos.
The space will become Victoria and Albert’s Bistro, thereby attaching the former Citricos to the exponentially more famous restaurant, Victoria and Albert’s. Disney hasn’t confirmed this information yet, so please view it as an extremely likely rumor for now.
Disney Events Updates
This week, Disney unveiled information about a pair of nightly shows. Fans of Wayne and Lanny will love to learn that Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! returns to Disney’s Hollywood Studios this year. Starting on November 8th, park guests may watch the proceedings at the Chinese Theatre. It’s delightful.
Confession: I still have the original airing of Disney’s Prep & Landing on my TiVo. I never could bring myself to delete it.
The other big news involves Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. Park officials had previously promised a new fireworks presentation during the event. We now know that this event is Disney’s Not-So-Spooky Spectacular. The best part of the announcement is that Jack Skellington is the host!
According to Disney, the show has the following story:
“Jack has come to tell a not-so-scary story about how anything can happen on Halloween night. Jack’s ghost dog, Zero, then flies off carrying everyone along on a trick-or-treating adventure, where four friends – Mickey, Minnie, Donald and Goofy – find themselves drawn into a mysterious haunted house.”
I don’t know about you, but I’m sold.
Other Park Updates
The impending arrival of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge has had a few ripple effects at Walt Disney World. The most recent one is the reveal that Kylo Ren is heading to Batuu in search of spies from The Resistance.
Since even a Sith lord can’t be in two places at once, Mr. Skywalker-Solo-Ren needs a replacement at Star Wars Launch Bay. And who always picks up the slack when a kid needs help? Yup, it’s the grandparents. So, Kylo Ren is out while Darth Vader is in at the character meeting there. The former Anakin Skywalker will return to the Launch Bay on August 29th.
Please don’t ask Lord Vader about his first fight with Obi-Wan. It’s a sore subject. And definitely don’t make any quips about “higher ground.” Dude will Force-Choke the life out of you.
At Disneyland, I have some phenomenal news for annual passholders. As a friend excitedly pointed out the other day, anyone with a Disneyland annual pass can buy a collectible drink tumbler for $14.99 right now.
You should totally do that because refills are only $0.99! Yes, you can refill your mug with your favorite beverage for less than a dollar! With so many complaints about the rising costs at Disney theme parks, it’s important to take advantage of these opportunities to save a lot of cash.