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After $5.85 bn in 2015, Disney plans a 13-movie slate this year

MUMBAI: After ending 2015 with a box-office record of $5.85 billion, Disney’s 2016 lineup is dominated by sequels, superheros and remakes. The studio, which is having a great time at the box office with the ‘Star Wars’ franchise, will release 13 movies this year. Not surprisingly, one of those movies is going to tap into the universe created by George Lucas almost four decades ago.

‘Rogue One: A Star Wars Story’ is a standalone film set before the events depicted in ‘Star Wars: A New Hope’. Like the current Star Wars release, the new one will also be released around Christmas time (16 December).

‘Rogue One: A Star Wars Story’ tells the story of resistance fighters out to steal plans to the malevolent Death Star. According to a Fandango survey, this is the most anticipated movie of the year. It stars Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Riz Ahmed and Ben Mendelsohn.

Actors Mia Wasikowska, Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter return to the world of author Lewis Carroll with ‘Alice Through The Looking Glass’. It will release on 27 May. The previous movie ‘Alice In Wonderland’ was released six years ago.

Another hotly anticipated film is the re-imagining of Disney’s classic ‘The Jungle Book’. Actors like Ben Kingsley, Idris Elba and Bill Murray lend their voices. This is about a boy Mowgli who grows up in a jungle. The movie will release on 15 April.

Then there is ‘Finding Dory’, the long awaited sequel to ‘Finding Nemo’. Dory looks for answers about her past and is assisted by Nemo and other. The movie will release on 17 June.

In terms of the Marvel universe, there is a third ‘Captain America’ movie that will be released on 16 May. Ironman, played once again by Robert Downey Jr., will have a key role in the new movie.

First to release is ‘The Finest Hours’. Set for release on 29 January, ‘The Finest Hours’ is the story of a daring Coast Guard rescue mission.

‘The BFG’ is the final DreamWorks movie to be released (1 July) by Disney. Post this, Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Partners has entered into a distribution deal with Universal.

‘Pete’s Dragon’ is about a boy (Pete) and his best friend, a dragon named Elliot. The film will release on 12 August.

‘Queen of Katwe’ is the story of a girl who becomes a chess whiz. Her life in the streets of Uganda moves to a larger world.

In ‘Doctor Strange’ the doctor (Benedict Cumberbatch) discovers magic and alternative realities after suffering a terrible accident.

Pixar’s second release of 2016 is ‘Moana’. It is the story of a girl who sets out on a mission to prove herself, with the aide of a demi-god, Maui.