It's been a while since JHM last did a story about the various
domain names that The Walt Disney Company has registered. Me personally, I
always love the research phase for pieces like this because they then allow me
to peek over the horizon. See what the Mouse possibly has planned for the future.
Like -- say -- this domain name that the Company registered on March 15th ...
... which suggests that Disney Theatrical is perhaps toying
with the idea of reviving its first major production for the stage and then bringing
Belle and the Beast back to Broadway someday soon.
Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc.All rights reserved
Conversely, given some of the domain names that The Walt
Disney Company opted not to renew on April 15th ...
... it would appear that that live stage version of Walt
Disney Animation Studios' 1941 release which Disney Theatrical has had in development
for the past few years isn't ever going to get off the ground.
Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved
That's what's really intriguing about The Walt Disney
Company and its domain names. By keeping close tabs on which domain names the
Mouse has recently registered as well as the ones that Mickey has just let go
of, you can then get a sense of which projects are being fast-tracked and/or
are not going forward.
Take -- for examples -- the two would-be DVDs that Walt Disney Pictures
Home Entertainment let slip away on March 12th ...
... which suggest that 2007's "Book of Secrets"
will now be the only "National Treasure" sequel that Walt Disney
Studios will ever produce.
Likewise Disney's decision to delete its domain names for ...
... on May 1st suggests that all of that talk back
in the Spring of 2010 about how Joe Roth was trying to persuade Tim Burton to
shoot a sequel to "Alice in Wonderland" turned out to be just talk.
And there's the Company's April 24th decision to let ...
... go. Which suggests that the Mouse is finally (for the
time being, anyway) out of the "High School Musical" business.
Mind you, not all of the domain names that The Walt Disney
Company recently opted not to renew have to deal with movies which the Studio
won't be producing and/or show that Disney Theatrical won't be producing. In
the case of ...
... these are alternative film titles that Walt Disney
Animation Studios once considered for "Bolt," "The Princess and The Frog" and "Tangled" but now no longer needs.
That Disney would discard domain names like this only makes
sense from a business point of view. But then there are the domain names like
Copyright 1988 Touchstone Pictures / Amblin Entertainment. All rights reserved
... which the Company registered back on April 3rd which
raise far more questions than they answer. I mean, when I see a domain name like ...
... I have to assume that something like this (which was
registered back on April 22nd) has to do with the still-under-construction expansion
of WDW's Magic Kingdom.
But is that the same conclusion that you folks reach? Do any of you Disney insiders have
alternate theories and/or additional info that you'd like to share?
I can see Disney not doing Alice through the Looking Glass, considering how the first film's success was lightning in a bottle. But the National Treasure films made big bucks without being all that great. And since Nic Cage says yes to pretty much any project, it seems he would be open to a third National Treasure.
I'm more concerned with the lack of information regarding the supposed Summer "tent-pole" flix based around famous "Disney attraction" that were in the pipeline, ready to go long ago!
Apparently, those announced movies, have either clogged that "pipe" or have since been flushed down and forgotten entirely. Movies like: Jungle Cruise, It's a small World, Magic Kingdom, The Haunted Mansion 3D just to name a few. Where'd these hyped movies all go? Speaking of which...
If Disney is planning on ditching an "easy profit" sequel to National Treasure and a few other film franchises, I have to assume they're trying to ditch their image of becoming a "sequels machine". Then again, I haven't heard anything new from the mouse regarding past projects or any news on NEW movies coming to theaters either.
I wonder if any of this has to do with how weak the immensely over-budgeted "John Carter" performed. Is Disney's too afraid to really do ANYTHING?! By that logic, they should really consider doing a few of those easy profit film franchises to at least recover. I'd rather ANY movie, then no movie!
Although, it's time for Disney to make something good. I just wish those Summer tent-pole films that were planned long ago, actually came to fruition.
Disney backed off of a sequel to Tim Burton's Alice at the request of Burton who didn't want to do a sequel. So they dumped the web domains as they don't look to be making an Alice movie in the near future. However—a big caveat is that Burton's Alice did big business, and the original animated film spawned two very popular rides. At some point in the future, Disney might well make an Alice related film. Unlike Tron, and other self-concocted Disney wannabe franchises, Alice will stay in style for quite some time, unlike a certain civil war veteran marooned on Mars who loves arm bands.
The National Treasure movies are what going to the movies should be about, and what it was like in the 80's and early 90s, namely having a good time. You won't ponder any big historical mystery, but you get Da Vinci Code type thrills mixed up with American history and comedy. National Treasure 3 would be money in the bag as most people still remember the characters and want more of the same, you can't this for other franchises. I think National Treasure works as a franchise because it was supposed to be just one film, and the first film is solid and stands on its own.
I actually would like to see a third "National Treasure" film. Oh well if it doesn't happen however.
It would be a shame if Disney has decided not to do another National Treasure film. After the first, I used all my Disney wishes, praying for another. It was a very enjoyable series to watch, that I actually had hoped that it would be an annual film. : (
I would think the exits of Dick Cook and Richard Ross would have some play in this. Isn't it just standard Hollywood business for a new studio head to shutter the productions of a former head so if the production is a hit, it doesn't make the former head look like they knew what they were doing?
EDITOR'S NOTE: That's an interesting theory, Ano is Giggle. The only problem is that Rich Ross resigned on April 20th. And if you look over the dates of when Disney opted not to renew some of these domain names ... Well, I guess an argument could possibly be made that the "High School - Day One" and "Through the Looking Glass" projects got their plugs pulled by Ross' successor.
The only problem with that is Bob Iger hasn't named Rich Ross' successor yet. Walt Disney Studios (as of this moment, anyway) is kind of a headless organization. Which brings up an interesting moment from that series of interviews that the Disney brass did with Bloomberg news last week. Iger was flat-out asked -- given that Marvel Studios controls the development of their films, likewise Pixar and DreamWorks live-action -- does Disney Studios actually need a president / studio chief these days. And Bob said "Yes," insisting that -- given how important its various brands are to the overall health of the Walt Disney Company -- someone has to manage those brands.
Which -- to my way of thinking, anyway -- means that, while Walt Disney Pictures may have abandoned the idea of producing any more "National Treasure" films (And I've heard that some of this decision has to do with Nicholas Cage's somewhat dimming star in Hollywood. That it's been quite a while since a new Nicholas Cage movie opened to decent box office), there are still supposedly serious discussions underway about proceeding with "Pirates 5" & "Pirates 6."
But you didn't hear that from me.
Bummer about Dumbo, I was really hoping this could be something quite special... I wonder if it has anything to do with War Horse's upcoming transfer or Newsies opened run...
What's weird is that the domain names are very very cheap, and companies like Disney normally register them for years and years right off the bat. I mean we're talking about a cost of like $10 per year. I would assume they just didn't care about any of these anymore.
As far as the National Treasure related domain names, I wouldn't read too much into it other than Disney maybe realizing that they were silly and unnecessary domain names.
I'd rather see a National Treasure 3 than Pirates #1 billion.
I haven't heard anything about them cancelling a National Treasure 3... and believe me, I have Google Alerts on stand-by on my computer for that. As far as I know from previous news reports from last year, and from IMDB, it's still a go. Even IMDB has updated the production status of NT3 to "announced". I would expect it to at least come out next year or in 2014.
On June 13, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers will reveal the list of applicants and their proposed domains in a press conference. This is the largest ever expansion of the Internet's naming system. ICANN is the non profit organization responsible for managing generic top-level domains (gTLDs) - the ".com" part of a website address. At this time, there are only 22 gTLDs. ICANN received more than 1,900 proposals for new domain names. I would find it highly unlikely that Disney will not try to register its own gTLDs.