'Toy Story 5,' 'Frozen 3' and 'Zootopia 2' in the Works
Disney CEO Bob Iger announced more sequels to Toy Story, Frozen, and Zootopia during an earnings call with investors on Wednesday. It was Iger's first call since he returned to the CEO position after Bob Chapek's ousting. The executive also unveiled a new organizational structure for The Walt Disney Company that will include thousands of layoffs.
"Today I'm so pleased to announce that we have sequels in the works from our animation studios to some of our most popular franchises, Toy Story, Frozen, and Zootopia," Iger told investors, reports Deadline. "We'll have more to share about these productions soon, but this is a great example of how we're leaning into our unrivaled brands and franchises."
Iger offered no further details, but doubling down on popular franchises may be a reaction to the underperformance of the Walt Disney Animation Studios' latest original feature, Strange World. That movie bombed instantly after its release on Nov. 23, despite positive reviews. It grossed just $73.4 million worldwide and cost between $135 million and $180 million to produce. However, it became a streaming hit on Disney+ on Dec. 23.
All four films in the main Toy Story franchise were smash hits, dating back to the first film in 1995. The third film was planned as the last one, but a fourth was released in 2019 and it grossed over $1 billion. In 2022, Pixar tried to expand the franchise beyond just the toys with Lightyear, which was a major box office bomb. Although it grossed $226.4 million worldwide, it cost $200 million to make.
Frozen is still one of Disney's most bankable brands. The 2013 movie grossed over $1.2 billion worldwide, making it the highest-grossing animated film ever made until the 2019 Lion King remake overtook it. The 2019 sequel, Frozen II, grossed $1.45 billion worldwide. The original Frozen won the Oscars for Best Animated Feature and Best Original Song for "Let It Go."
Disney has reportedly been considering a Zootopia sequel for some time. The 2016 movie was another big hit, grossing just over $1 billion and winning the Best Animated Feature Oscar. The studio began testing interest in the franchise by releasing a spin-off series of shorts, Zootpia+, on Disney+ in November 2022.
Elsewhere in the earnings call, Iger outlined the new structure for the company, reports The Hollywood Reporter. There will be three main divisions: Disney Entertainment, which includes the film and TV productions and Disney+; ESPN, which includes the sports network and ESPN+; and Parks, Experiences, and Products, which will cover the theme parks and consumer products divisions. Alan Bergman and Dana Walden were made co-chairs of Disney Entertainment, while Jimmy Pitaro and Josh D'Amaro will keep their jobs at ESPN and Parks, respectively. Disney will also lay off 7,000 employees across its global workforce, Iger said.