It doesn’t take a movie junkie to figure out that Disney is now leading the pack in blockbuster entertainment. With its acquisition of the Star Wars and Marvel movie franchises, the Mouse House now has the biggest share of the pie in terms of the most lucrative films of the century. In 2015 alone the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) raked in an approximately US$3.8 billion at the worldwide box office – greater than the GDP of a developing nation. Notwithstanding the fact that Star Wars: The Force Awakens is still doing great after a month from its theatrical debut.
So where does the cinema giant go from here? Clearly there is still a very strong audience interest on how things will turn out from the galaxy far away, and the universe of Marvel superheroes. In an interview with Newsbeat.com, Disney CEO Bob Iger pulled the veil from
Talking about the Star Wars saga, Iger says, “There are five Star Wars films – four more with Episode VII: The Force Awakens – that are in varying stages of development and production. There will be more after that, I don’t know how many, I don’t know how often.” One thing for sure though, it is expected that there will be a new Star Wars movie every year. Beyond 2020 with an untitled anthology, however, we don’t know yet what will happen. ScreenRant says that there are lots of brainstorming going on and one possibility might be the shift of focus on the Sykwalker family saga. Are we to see a lot of family affairs in Episodes X to XII? Who knows. Fillers or spin-offs will be plenty as well if Disney would like to keep the cash flowing. There have been rumors even that a Boba Fett anthology might be in the works but Iger neither confirms nor deny that.
Speaking about Marvel, Iger mentions that they don’t have plans to stop expanding the MCU. “With Marvel, you’re dealing with thousands and thousands of characters – that will go on forever,” says Iger. The next four years offers a plethora of anticipated movie versions from the Marvel comic books culminating to the climax of the Infinity Wars. Iger is convinced that even after that, the MCU still has a lot of potential. Disney has a knack in turning an obscure comic series such as the Guardians of the Galaxy palatable to mainstream audience. So even if they focus on stand-alone series will not be much of an issue. As it seems, superhero movies have never been more popular. When asked if he sees any signs that the audience interest in the MCU may be waning, Iger says, “No, I don’t think they’re getting weary. But I think we keep raising the bar in terms of telling stories that bring them back, that excite them, that make it feel new and that is what we do for a living.”
Star Wars: The Force Awakens is now playing in theaters, and will be followed by Rogue One: A Star Wars Story on December 16th, 2016, Star Wars: Episode VIII on December 15, 2017, and the Han Solo Star Wars Anthology film on May 25th, 2018. Star Wars: Episode IX is expected to hit theaters in 2019, followed by the third Star Wars Anthology film in 2020.
Captain America: Civil War will release on May 6, 2016, followed by Doctor Strange– November 4, 2016; Guardians of the Galaxy 2 – May 5, 2017; Spider-Man – July 28, 2017; Thor: Ragnarok – November 3, 2017; Black Panther – February 16, 2018; The Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 – May 4, 2018; Ant-Man and the Wasp – July 6, 2018; Captain Marvel – March 8, 2019; The Avengers: Infinity War Part 2 – May 3, 2019; Inhumans – July 12, 2019; and as-yet untitled Marvel movies on May 1, July 10 and November 6, 2020.