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Aladdin (1992)

Discussion in 'Movies' started by steve jaros, Jan 26, 2020.

  1. Message #21 of 22 Jan 27, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2020
    Jake Lipson

    Jake Lipson Lead Actor

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    I have said my peace on the remake before in the thread I created for it and I really don't want to turn my further participation in this thread about the original into another protracted referendum on the remake.

    That being said, Aladdin had a longer-than-usual cycle out of print between the VHS (which went out of print in the mid-'90s) and the release of the DVD. It was originally scheduled to be released in IMAX format in December 2002, following the IMAX release of Beauty and the Beast in January of that year. All of the necessary tweaks to get the film up to the standards to be shown on giant IMAX screens was completed. Following this release, the DVD was then going to be the Platinum Edition release for October 2003.

    But then Beauty and the Beast made "only" $25 million in its IMAX run from a maximum theater count of just 68 theaters, mostly in museums. This was before IMAX theaters were commonplace in multiplexes like they are now. Most studios would do cartwheels if a re-release of a 12-year-old movie that was widely owned on VHS did $25 million from only 68 theaters, but Disney thought that was a disappointment.

    So they decided to postpone the IMAX release of Aladdin. Instead, they decided to move up The Lion King (which should have followed Aladdin) to December 2002 for IMAX and October 2003 for the DVD. They felt that if The Lion King didn't do huge business in IMAX, they would know not to continue with this release strategy. It was their hail Mary pass.

    The Lion King did "only" $15 million from its IMAX run, which was again considered a disappointment. So Disney cancelled the release of Aladdin altogether, even though it was ready to go. This stunt to "test" IMAX grosses with The Lion King also delayed the Aladdin DVD release, because The Lion King DVD was pushed up to follow its IMAX run.

    And then when they finally did release Aladdin on DVD in October 2004, well after it should have come out, they considered it to be a disappointing seller because it didn't match the sales for Lion King. Again, though, it sold an amount that almost any other studio would have been very happy with for a catalog title debut of something that they know sold very well on VHS the first time around. I don't have a source for this anymore because I read all about it a long time ago and I don't remember the source, but I know it. The gross information can be found on Box Office Mojo though; it's one of the few things that didn't go behind their paywall.

    After that, it took until 2015 (!) for Aladdin to debut on Blu-ray as one of the last major Disney classics to reach the format. In fact, I think it might have been the last one in the Diamond line, although I don't remember exactly. Again represented a long period

    So yeah. I think they mishandled it by failing to re-release it in theaters and by keeping it out of print longer than most of their other titles.

    The success of the Broadway show (which opened in 2011) is wonderful. I've seen it twice and I love it so much. But that's run by a different division of the Disney company and doesn't have anything to do with how the film itself was released or not released over the years.

    Keeping the film out of the public eye for so long did not do it any favors, and I think that resulted in people being surprised that the remake resonated so much. It is a testament to the quality of the original that the remake was able to buck most people's expectations for what it would do.

    But that doesn't change Disney mishandling the maintenance of the original film in the years since its initial run.
     
    Tommy R likes this.
  2. Jake Lipson

    Jake Lipson Lead Actor

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Movie information in first post provided by The Movie Database