Pixar and Disney movies in June and November seem as inevitable as death and taxes, and Wednesday the studio said that would be the case at least through 2018.
The studio set release dates for eight untitled projects from the iconic animation house and its own Disney Animation Studio between 2016 and 2018, six in calendar slots that have launched some of its biggest box-office hits over the years.
"The Pixar and Disney brands speak for themselves," Disney head of distribution Dave Hollis told TheWrap Wednesday, "and we think 'Monsters University' is going to continue that tradition of success." The film, due in theaters on June 21, will mark Pixar's 14th consecutive No. 1 debut if it performs as expected.
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"Brave" and "Toy Story 3" are among the Pixar movies that have taken off following June debuts, and with Wednesday's announcement, Disney has ensured it will release projects from the studio during that month for the next five years.
Similarly, it will release a Disney Animation title during in November through 2018. The strategy has worked with recent hits "Tangled" and "Wreck-It Ralph," and the studio has set "Frozen" for Nov. 27 this year.
"It's an alternating strategy," Hollis said. "We want parents to be able to set their clocks by us."
Disney has already filled most of those dates for the next two years. In 2014, after opening Pixar's "The Good Dinosaur" on May 14, it will roll out its first Marvel animated feature, "Big Hero," on Nov. 7. In 2015, Disney will debut Pixar's "Inside Out" on June 15 and its "Finding Nemo" sequel, "Finding Dory," on Nov. 25.
All of the movies which were given release dates Wednesday are being produced in 3D.
They don't mean much without titles – Disney said Wednesday announcements were coming soon – but here are the new release dates:
March 4, 2016 — Untitled Disney Animation wide in 3D
June 17, 2016 — Untitled Pixar Animation wide in 3D
November 23, 2016 — Untitled Disney Animation wide in 3D
June 16, 2017 — Untitled Pixar Animation wide in 3D
November 22, 2017 — Untitled Pixar Animation wide in 3D
March 9, 2018 — Untitled Disney Animation wide in 3D
June 15, 2018 — Untitled Pixar Animation wide in 3D
November 21, 2018 — Untitled Disney Animation wide in 3D