The new Disney film Moana just set a ton of records for the Thanksgiving Holiday, ending its run as the top box office film. This is nothing new for a Disney produced film, but the evolution of the company is. This year alone, Disney has produced 5 of the top 10 films and with Star Wars Rogue One on the horizon, things will continue to grow for the corporation.
But how did we get here?
Well since Disney’s huge success within its Marvel and Pixar franchises, the company has branched out, diversifying its films and continually adding new fans to its base. The strategy is genius. For example, despite the outcry of a female lead in the Star Wars franchise, with the promise of Luke Skywalker and Han Solo surrounding the film, old school fans turned out to support it. In addition new fans of the series also attended with its more inclusive tone. Now with so much cachet built up among fans, Disney can expand its reach to include more global characters.
Take a look at a few of its upcoming films as an example:
- Christmas movie staring Kevin Hart as Santa Claus
- The Nutcracker staring Misty Copeland and Morgan Freeman
- The Rocketeer with a black female lead
- Oliver Twitst developed by Ice Cube
- Mary Poppins co-starring Lin-Manuel Miranda (Hamilton fame)
- Star Wars: Rogue One with female lead
- Black Panther with 90% black cast
- A Wrinkle in Time directed by Ava DuVernay (Selma)
- Han Solo co-starring Donald Glover (Atlanta)
“Between 2016 and 2018, about 24 percent of the studio’s live-action releases will feature ethnic minority leads, Disney says.” Based on Disney’s continued investment in diversity, and depending on the success of these films, this just may be the beginning.