In an intriguing move, yet retro, move for Disney on the 2024 theatrical release calendar which is starving for product, three Pixar movies –2020’s Soul, 2021’s Luca and 2022’s Turning Red –which were sidelined on Disney+ during the pandemic, are getting special engagement theatrical runs. We hear all three will receive moderate to wide theatrical runs. The titles will remain in play on Disney+ during their new theatrical window.
The Oscar winning animated movie Soul will open on Jan. 12, while Turning Red will play on Feb. 9, followed by Luca on March 22. Tickets go on sale Jan. 2. All three will precede Disney/Pixar’s Inside Out 2 which opens on June 14.
The press release reads that the studio invites “moviegoers to experience three Pixar films the way they were meant to be seen”. Disney’s re-release of older animated titles was a huge cash cow business that they practiced for decades even into the DVD era. One of the more recent theatrical re-releases was the 1994 title The Lion King 3D in 2011 which posted an opening of $30.1M stateside and contributed another $94.2M, propelling the pic’s domestic total to $422.7M.
Soul had but no choice with NYC and LA theaters closed to go on Disney+ during Christmas 2020. However, the Pete Docter and Kemp Powers co-directed movie, which also won an Oscar for best achievement in music written for a motion picture (with original score by Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross and Jon Baptiste), received a foreign release minting over $121M. Soul hits theaters on MLK weekend against Paramount’s Mean Girls, Sony/Affirm’s The Book of Clarence and Amazon MGM’s The Beekeeper.
Turning Red was a movie that could have stuck to its theatrical release back on March 11, 2022, however, Disney CEO Bob Chapek pulled it to bolster the streaming service. Many insiders believed that that brought further tarnish to the Pixar brand, conditioning fans to stay at home for big animated movies, rather than head out to theaters. The movie received a limited release overseas grossing just north of $20M. On its Feb. 9 weekend next year, Turning Red goes up against Focus Features’ Lisa Frankenstein and Sony’s Colleen Hoover’s It Ends With Us. The Domee Shi directed movie received an Oscar nomination for Best Animated Pic earlier this year.
The Enrico Casarosa directed set Luca was also nominated for an animated feature Oscar. The movie could have played theaters as they were largely reopened during summer 2021, but the studio under the Chapek administration chose not to. In its theatrical release next year, the pic will face off against Lionsgate’s Arthur the King.
In regards to the shorts accompanying these three Pixar pics, Soul, will be preceded by the SparkShort Burrow; Turning Red, will be paired with the SparkShort Kitbull, while Luca, will play after the classic Pixar short For the Birds.