Alan Horn tells theater owners studio will devote 8 slots on its annual slate to big-budget films
Walt Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn told theater owners Wednesday that the company is focused on developing a slate packed with "Star Wars," "Pirates of the Caribbean" and animated adventures.
Horn said that going forward, Disney will premiere between 14 to 15 films a year. Eight of these films will be big-budget event films like the forthcoming sequels to "Pirates of the Caribbean" and "Finding Nemo."
He also had a message for theater owners who are worried that a glut of R-rated movies this winter contributed to a box office slump that saw ticket sales plunge 12 percent.
Horn said that the second the curtain rises and Disney's Magic Kingdom logo appears on screen, audiences will know they're going to see a family movie.
"That's what makes this company so special," Horn said.
Pixar, the animation studio behind "Toy Story" and "Up," will contribute one film a year, while Marvel, which is releasing "Iron Man 3" and a sequel to "Thor," will field two releases. Future Marvel films will include "Guardians of the Galaxy" and "Ant-Man."
LucasFilm, the "Star Wars" creator Disney purchased last December for $4 billion, will release roughly a film every two years beginning in 2015. Those will include a planned trilogy that will take up with the Skywalkers after the events of "Return of the Jedi," as well as other spin-off films that will be set in the "Star Wars" universe, but will focus on other characters.
As for Walt Disney Studios itself, Horn said that he has directed President of Production Sean Bailey to produce six films a year — three of them will be blockbusters like the upcoming "Sleeping Beauty" spin-off "Maleficent," while the other three will be smaller budgeted films such as the forthcoming "Saving Mr. Banks." He labeled that film, which focuses on Walt Disney's efforts to secure the rights to "Mary Poppins," a "brand deposit."