On the same day Disney announced plans to lay off 7,000 people, the company also confirmed sequels to Frozen, Toy Story, and Zootopia.
“Today I’m so pleased to announce that we have sequels in the works from our animation studios to some of our most popular franchises, Toy Story, Frozen and Zootopia,” Iger said. “We’ll have more to share about these productions soon, but this is a great example of how we’re leaning into our unrivaled brands and franchises.”
The news came in the wake of some sour news, read a $5.5 billion cost savings by the conglomerate across all divisions and 7,000 jobs getting cut at Disney.
The most recent installments of those animated franchises were huge global grossing hits on the big screen: Frozen 2 ($1.45 billion in 2019), Pixar’s Toy Story 4 ($1.07 billion in 2019) and Zootopia ($1.02 billion in 2016).
Franchise sequels work, duh. Unfortunately, Disney’s original films of late have been low grossers, i.e. Strange World tanked with under $74M worldwide and was fast-tracked onto Disney+ close to a month after its theatrical release. Encanto, released at Thanksgiving 2021, did just over $256M global and only $96M stateside, but it was at a time when families were just making their way back to theaters after Covid shutdowns. The pic reportedly was a huge hit on Disney+.
Frozen 2‘s “Into the Unknown” was nominated for Best Original Song at the 2020 Oscars, but the first film won two Oscars in 2014 including Best Animated Feature and Best Song Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez’s anthem “Let It Go,” which went 8x platinum with 8M units sold stateside. Combined, the Frozen franchise counts $2.73 billion at the global box office.
Zootopia won an Oscar for Best Animated Feature in 2017.
Toy Story 4 was nominated for two Oscars in 2020, one being Randy Newman’s original song “I Can’t Let You Throw Yourself Away”, and winning Best Animated Feature. Through four movies, the Toy Story franchise counts $3.03 billion at the global box office.
We’ll be watching them all.