Disney is doubling down on its animated franchises.
Disney CEO Bob Iger teased that more installments are in the works for Toy Story, Frozen and Zootopia. On an earnings call Wednesday, Iger told investors these future films were an example of how “we are leaning into our unrivaled brands.” Throughout the call, he stressed again and again the importance of curating the company’s marquee brands and franchises.
He provided no further details about creative teams involved in the development process.
Toy Storyvoice starring Tom Hanks and Tim Allen, has had four main installments dating back to 1995, with Toy Story 4 topping $1 billion at the box office in 2019. Last year, the Chris Evans-led spinoff Lightyear was released to muted results.
Frozen II flew to great heights in 2019, earnings $1.4 billion, with the 2013 first installment bringing in $1.2 billion. Kristen Bell and Idina Menzel lead the cast.
A Zootopia The sequel has been bandied about for years after the 2016 feature earned more than $1 billion at the box office. Gennifer Goodwin and Jason Bateman voice starred in the original feature.
The developments come as Disney moves to reinvigorate its animation business after both Pixar’s Lightyear and Disney Animation’s Strange World underperformed last year. The studio is bullish on its upcoming 2023 features, which include Pixar’s Elementaldue out June 16, and Disney Animation’s Wish, in theaters Nov. 22.
Wednesday’s earnings call is Iger’s first since returning to the CEO role, stepping back into the job after the ouster of Bob Chapek late last year. On the call, Iger laid out his new organizational structure for the company, and revealed that 7,000 employees will be laid off as part of the plans.
Iger also revealed that Disneyland, located in Anaheim, Calif., will be home to an Avatar experience. Disney already has Pandora – The World of Avatar at Disney World in Orlando, Fla. Iger did not reveal more details about the new Disneyland experience, but touted Avatar: The Way of Water becoming the no. 4 film of all time, with more than $2.1 billion in ticket sales since debuting in December.
Check the latest Hollywood news here.