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Why Disney’s Live-Action Reimagining’s Have Been So Successful

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Disney’s live-action adaptation of Dumbo is in theaters now, and the film grossed over $45 million in its opening weekend. Aladdin, The Lion King, and Maleficent: Mistress of Evil, are right around the corner. It shouldn’t come as a surprise the studio has other properties in various stages of development they want to visit.

This past week at CinemaCon, Disney film chief Sean Bailey explained why these reimaginings have been so successful. Here is what Bailey had to say.

“Over the past several years we’ve had great success in revisiting some of these stories and characters and reimagining them for moviegoers. The reason we’ve been successful is because we are never simply retelling. We always want to stay true to their spirit and protect what people love and remember about them.

Adaptations like Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland and Maleficent took the original story and put a twist on the classic stories and characters. While The Jungle Book, Beauty and the Beast, and even Cinderella and Dumbo stayed a bit closer to the source material but made small changes to differentiate from the animated counterparts. Bailey also addressed this process.

We ask ourselves: How do we take these timeless stories and expand and update them to reflect our current world? Our goal is to create the quintessential, modern, live action versions of these stories.

Since 2010, Disney’s live-action reimagining’s have gone on to gross over a combined $5 billion at a worldwide box office. Which is big franchise type of numbers that any studio would love to see. 

Walt Disney Studios is showing no signs of stopping anytime soon as other reimagining’s in development for the studio include Sword in the Stone, Lilo & Stitch, Hunchback of Notre Dame, Peter Pan, The Little Mermaid, amongst others. Filming recently wrapped on the reimagining of Lady and the Tramp which could also see a 2019 release on Disney’s streaming service Disney+ slated for this fall.

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