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Walt Disney crosses $4 billion at box office; realigns film slate

MUMBAI: Walt Disney Studios has set a record by crossing $4 billion at the box office for the third consecutive year. This comes nearly six weeks before its previous record set on 14 November 2014. The studio is currently realigning its film slate to ensure continuous growth.

Disney managed to break its own record on the back of ‘Inside Out’, which became a big hit, crossing the $800 million global gross mark due to its opening in China this week. The film has drawn $353.9 million at the domestic box office. ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ also helped the studio by grossing $1.4 billion globally.

Disney is thus changing the release dates in its long-term schedule, pushing its ‘Toy Story’ sequel to a year later and rearranging animation, live action and Marvel schedules along with the ‘Ant-Man’ sequel.

Walt Disney Studios head of distribution Dave Hollis said in a statement, “2015 has been a record-setting year both domestically and internationally, thanks to a strong slate of films from all of our brands. With an incredible pipeline of both original stories and anticipated sequels featuring our most beloved characters, we are set to deliver some fantastic movies well into the future.”

‘Coco’ will still release in 2017, while ‘Toy Story 4’ will now see a worldwide release on 15 June 2018, a year later from its June 2017 slot. The vacated slot will now make way for ‘Cars 3’, which will release in June 2017.

Meanwhile, ‘Incredibles 2’ is slated for release on 21 June 2019. From the Marvel portfolio, ‘Ant-Man’ and ‘Wasp’ have been green-lit by Disney for release on 6 July 2018. Disney’s animated movie ‘Gigantic’ will also release in March 2018.

Other movies that have seen a change in release schedule include ‘Black Panther’, which has moved from July 2018 to 16 February 2018, and ‘Captain Marvel’, which has moved behind from November 2018 to 8 March 2019.

Disney announced a total of 19 film dates until 2020. Three additional yet untitled Marvel films are scheduled for 2020.